[Tutor] Re: Example source code..

R. A. rob@jam.rr.com
Sat, 06 Jan 2001 14:01:56 -0600

In my mind's eye, I see this whole idea as an interesting way to help
the tutorial process.  We could take examples from the list interaction
and add them to the website collection, and use the comment feature to
enhance the tutorial nature of it.

A great strength of the list is that newbie-type people like me can ask
a newbie-type question and get back interesting answers with commentary
built-in.  There are a number of Python tutorials out in the void, but
what we have here is special.  If the website we're proposing can take
on some of this feel, I think it will really help a lot of people.

People approaching Python often need something of a *light in the
darkness* to help them get a feel for the Python landscape.  Tutorials
often have enough examples to demonstrate things like the difference
between common data structures and other features of the language (which
is great).  However, when people completely new to programming run
through a couple of these tutorials, they often feel like they have a
basic feel for the Python language but no idea what they can do with it,
because they lack the foundation in programming to start experimenting
with *useful* programs.

The site we're talking about could easily become a tutorial on Python
programming by example, which would be nice indeed.  And the comments
could provide people the opportunity to add things like *and this is how
I did the same thing in Perl* or whatever.  I'd be more interested in
developing this into a resource for good Python examples than just an
archive of useless code (which is a cool idea in its own right).  And
there's no real reason why the maintainer(s) couldn't take good examples
from current list discussion and post them to the site with some
context.  When people post to the list asking where to find Python
source code on the web, I honestly think that something like this is
often what they're looking for.

Rob Andrews

Tesla Coil wrote:
> On 05 Jan 2001, R. A. wrote:
> > 3) We could devise some way to implement a comment system
> > on the site so viewers could add their own two cents' worth.
> That would be essential.  Peer review would be major motive
> to post.  You want people to be able to say "here's a different
> implementation of the same thing," or "wow, that one function
> you've got there is simply Not Of This Earth."
> But regarding it all as unimportant source, a web comment
> board tends to grace an inital post with the false value of
> Definitive Unimportant Version, while a mailing list presents
> any followup as The Last Word For The Moment Anyway.  From
> a subscriber's perspective, a list suggests, like Alan Perlis,
> "is it possible that software is not like anything else, that it
> is meant to be discarded:  that the whole point is to see it as
> a soap bubble?"  Subscribers can preserve what soap bubbles
> particularly interest them, and still consult the archive for
> what may have floated past earlier.
> Another advantage to a list over a web comment board is that
> participants in the latter may cease to contribute for no other
> reason than that they wandered off and kinda forgot it existed.
> Enough forgetting, and you don't even have the fortnightly new
> additions bulletin John suggested to remind people.  A mailing
> list can go quiet for a while, but any single member deciding to
> post reminds everyone that it's still there, and among those will
> be persons to whom it then occurs, "oh yeah, I oughta post that
> one script I wrote a couple days ago."
> Whatever form it takes, occasionally someone posts to Tutor
> and says "I'm starting out with Python and need suggestions
> on programs to write for exercise."  It wouldn't be a bad idea
> to have a web page collect proposals for unimportant Python
> programs.  You'd still want this to be on a web page if the
> project were undertaken as a list, so it wouldn't become the
> "someone do my homework for me" request line.
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