Python documentation too difficult for beginners

Hallvard B Furuseth h.b.furuseth at usit.uio.no
Wed Nov 3 11:27:05 CET 2010


Steven D'Aprano writes:
> On Tue, 02 Nov 2010 03:42:22 -0700, jk wrote:
>> The former is difficult to find (try searching for 'open' in the search
>> box and see what you get).
>
> A fair point -- the built-in open comes up as hit #30, whereas searching 
> for open in the PHP page brings up fopen as hit #1. But the PHP search 
> also brings up many, many hits -- ten pages worth.
>
> But in any case, the Python search functionality could be smarter. If I 
> had a complaint about the docs, that would be it. Fortunately, I have 
> google :)

Actually that was one of the hair-tearing attitudes I heard a web search
guru complain about.  The smartest part of the search engine is the
people running it, so why not apply their brains directly?  Read the log
like you did, look for poor results (like "open"), put in exceptions by
hand.  This might be a fraction of the work it takes to program that
kind of smarts into the engine.  Or you might discover a group of
exceptions to put in - like all Python keywords.  That makes it at least
partially programmed, which may be preferable.

-- 
Hallvard



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