Experiences/guidance on teaching Python as a first programming language

Roy Smith roy at panix.com
Thu Dec 19 06:56:56 CET 2013

In article <bhff4qF21fhU1 at mid.individual.net>,
 Gregory Ewing <greg.ewing at canterbury.ac.nz> wrote:

> Roy Smith wrote:
> > even 
> > if you've got all the signatures of foo() in front of you, it can 
> > sometimes be hard to figure out which one the compiler will pick.
> And conversely, sometimes the compiler will have a hard
> time figuring out which one you want it to pick!
> I had an experience in Java recently where a library
> author had provided two overloads of a function, that
> at first sight could be disambiguated by argument types.
> But for a certain combination of types it was
> ambiguous, and I was unlucky enough to want to use that
> particular combination, and the compiler insisted on
> picking the wrong one. As far as I could see, it was
> *impossible* to call the other overload with those
> parameter types.
> I ended up resorting to copying the whole function and
> giving it another name, just so I could get it called.


We were doing a huge network management application.  There was an 
SNMP_Manager class, which had three or four different constructors, each 
one taking a dozen or more arguments, many of them optional.

I finally got fed up with eternally trying to figure out which 
constructor was being called and replaced them with a series of factory 
functions: construct_for_traps(), construct_for_polling(), etc.

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