Gmail eats Python

Rustom Mody rustompmody at
Sun Jul 26 23:34:46 CEST 2015

On Sunday, July 26, 2015 at 11:11:04 PM UTC+5:30, Steven D'Aprano wrote:
> On Mon, 27 Jul 2015 01:59 am, Rustom Mody wrote:
> > Its 2015 now and any ½ decent teacher of programming, writes programs in
> > front of the class. 
> Yeah, but the fully decent teachers prepare before hand, so the students
> don't have to wait while they type out the (buggy) program in front of
> them.
> *half a smiley*
> > And debugs and hacks and pokes around OS-related stuff 
> > (ps, top and more arcane) etc.
> And you do that in Emacs instead of the shell?
> Or IPython?
> > [Yeah I did hear complaints about an OS teacher who puts up PPTs and reads
> > [them out. So the set < ½-decent is not empty I guess]
> Did the students really complain "Teacher X came to class prepared with code
> already written"? Or was the complaint about the technology used? Or
> something else?
> I really don't know how I feel about this. I did maths and physics at uni,
> and it seems natural for the lecturer to work through the mathematics in
> front of you. I also did computer science, and it feels completely natural
> for the lecturer to hand out notes with the code already written. (These
> days, I suppose, you would use slides, or give them a URL and tell them to
> download the code.) Except for the most trivial interactive examples in the
> Python REPR, I can't imagine why anyone would want to watch the lecturer
> type the code out in front of them.
> I can think of one exception... watching somebody go through the iterative
> process of debugging code.
> > So while emacs makes everything else look rather puerile, setting it up
> > is such a bitch that last python course I just switched to idle.
> > Must admit it was more pleasant than I expected.
> > Except that sometimes we need C and C++ and assembly and haskell and make
> > and config files and git commits and...
> > And so emacs (or eclipse!!) remains the only option
> Um... your students are probably using Macs, Windows, and a small minority
> with Linux, yes? On laptops?
> Your Linux students are probably fine. Some of them probably know more than
> you :-)
> Mac users have access to a full BSB environment, even if most of them don't
> know it.
> Your Windows users are the problem.

Pretty much.
½ Linux ½ Windows, 1 mac
Tried to get everyone onto linux.
Most did. Some failed to install it.
[I actually called these stragglers for one special ubuntu-setup session.
Didn't happen for some silly reasons]
So I couldn't dictate linux, just 'suggest' it :-)
Policy-wise: College provides machines (supposedly) setup
Practically: If one relies on that, the hours the students spend with these
will end up being ¼ what they would spend on their own laptops

> You could try GnuWin and Gnu Core
> Utilities for a set of GNU tools for Windows. You could build a bootable
> USB stick containing the Linux installation of your choice, and get them to
> use that. (Of course, I can imagine your school/university having a
> conniption fit at the thought of the liability issues if the software
> erased somebody's hard drive...)
> Things were much better in my day. Nobody expected the students to have
> access to a computer at home. You used a dumb workstation to log into a VAX
> running Unix, and used the tools the uni supplied, or a standalone Mac 512K
> (if you were lucky) or Mac 128K (if you weren't), and again, you used the
> tools they supplied.
> -- 
> Steven

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