Explanation of list reference

Ned Batchelder ned at nedbatchelder.com
Sat Feb 15 01:00:36 CET 2014

On 2/14/14 4:43 PM, Marko Rauhamaa wrote:
> Chris Angelico<rosuav at gmail.com>:
>> >be careful of simplifications that will cause problems down the line.
> Sure. Let it be said, though, that sometimes you learn through
> inaccuracies, a technique used intentionally by Knuth's TeXBook, for
> example. In fact, you get through highschool mathematics successfully
> without knowing what numbers and variables actually are.

Yes, sometimes for teaching reasons, you have to over-simplify or even 
introduce artificial constructs.  I'd recommend acknowledging them as such.

When you say, "There are two fundamentally different kinds of values in 
Python," or "So we have four kinds of (memory) slots," you aren't 
letting on that this is a teaching construct.  It sounds like you mean 
that this is how Python actually works.

I'd use words like, "This is an oversimplification, but might help...", 
or "You can think of it like ...".

Ned Batchelder, http://nedbatchelder.com

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