[Tutor] Why I'm learning Python (OT and long)

Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams ignacio@openservices.net
Thu, 30 Aug 2001 14:41:14 -0400 (EDT)

On Thu, 30 Aug 2001, Sheila King wrote:

> Just the other night I was saying to my husband, how discouraged I was,
> because the more I learn, the more I realize that I don't know. I
> wondered how do people learn all this stuff about how the operating
> systems work, and file locking and sockets and servers and ...
> Lots of stuff I'd like to know, but it took me a whole week (with lots
> of help) to write a file-locking module that works cross-platform on
> Win32/Unix. (And has only been tested under win98 and Linux.)

The whole OS innards thing can take a LOOOONG time to learn Trust me, I have
almost a decade and I still have a lot to learn.

> I know I need to learn some database stuff as well, but SQL seems a bit
> intimidating. And I don't really have anything to practice on. (Or time
> to do so, either, it seems.)

It only looks intimidating because it's big. It actually follows certain
rules so it's very predictable. Plus, there are many many many tools out there
to help you.

If you're using MySQL (http://www.mysql.com/), there is a tool written in PHP
called phpMyAdmin (http://sourceforge.net/projects/phpmyadmin/) which will
help you use it. It can do almost anything with it. Plus, I've been helping
out with it, so it can't be THAT bad ;)

Version 2.2.0 is coming out RSN; it's going to be SLICK.

> In my search for code to help me with file locking, I tried reading
> other people's code and couldn't understand it, either. (That's partly
> why I write my own. At least I understand my own code!)

Understanding other people's code only comes after months of working with your
own, because you need a point of reference for yourself.

> Here's some code I was looking at today that I COMPLETELY DON'T GET:
> http://www.sabren.com/code/python/crypt/md5crypt.py
> (I'm wanting to learn how to do session management and cookies...
> http://www.cs.virginia.edu/~lab2q/lesson_7/

The MD5 message-digest algorithm (RFC 1321,
ftp://ftp.isi.edu/in-notes/rfc1321.txt) isn't something that _anybody_ gets;
it's enough that it works ;)

> So what am I saying here? Basically, Bill, you aren't the only one who
> feels this way. I'm stumbling through, as well. So, hang in there. The
> best thing about Python, I think, is the supportive community. If you've
> managed to fool those guys you work with for four years, you must have
> something going for ya! ;)

Meh. I think Bill here is just still a little uncomfortable with Python. I
remember feeling that way when first starting out with Python (and PHP, and
XSLT, etc...)

> --
> Sheila King
> http://www.thinkspot.net/sheila/
> http://www.k12groups.org/

Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams  <ignacio@openservices.net>