Teaching Python

MRAB python at mrabarnett.plus.com
Thu Apr 21 18:11:32 CEST 2011

On 21/04/2011 14:58, Westley Martínez wrote:
> On Thu, Apr 21, 2011 at 06:02:08AM +0200, Stefan Behnel wrote:
>> Ben Finney, 20.04.2011 02:06:
>>> Dan Stromberg writes:
>>>> On Tue, Apr 19, 2011 at 4:03 PM, geremy condra wrote:
>>>>> When you say 'hacking', you mean.... ?
>>>> Presumably he meant the real meaning of the word, not what the press
>>>> made up and ran with.
>>> To be fair, the press already had its own pejorative meaning of “hack”
>>> before the engineering and computing term
>> Not anywhere outside of the English language that I'm aware of,
>> though. In German, it's a computing-only term that's used in both
>> contexts by those who understand why the pointer is moving over the
>> screen when moving the mouse, and almost exclusively in a bad
>> context by those who write news paper articles (and, consequently,
>> by those who innocently read them).
>> Stefan
>> --
>> http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/python-list
> O Lord, I'd hope we'd be speaking for English here.  But really, hack
> has always been a negative term.  It's original definition is chopping,
> breaking down, kind of like chopping down the security on someone elses
> computer.  Now I don't know where the term originally came from, but the
> definition the media uses is quite a fair use.  Why should we call
> ourselves hackers anyways?  I don't smoke.  I'm no different from anyone
> else, I just happen to know a lot about computers.  Should we call
> people who know a lot about the economy hackers, too, or perhaps we
> should call them economists....

As I understand it, "hacking" is about not doing the job "properly".
When trying to make something, a hacker will use the equivalent of duct
tape to hold things together.

A computer hacker doesn't write the requirements of the software or
draw Jackson Structured Programming diagrams, etc, but just thinks
about what's needed and starts writing the code.

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