[Tutor] NEWBIE looking for help

Danny Yoo dyoo@hkn.eecs.berkeley.edu
Mon, 4 Feb 2002 19:03:16 -0800 (PST)


On Mon, 4 Feb 2002, Robert Garber wrote:

> I am very new to programing and am hoping that Python is the place to
> start. My question is this: I am a football coach who is very unhappy
> with some of the software available to use in scouting and keeping
> stats. I am certian a program of this nature will need to be set up as
> some type of database that is searchable ( by formation, field
> position, player number/position, down and distance, etc...)

Hi Robert,

You might be able to do a lot with Python combined with a SQL relational
database.  It might be good to invest some time looking at SQL.  Here are
some links that may help explain what SQL is about:

    http://www.arsdigita.com/books/sql/
    http://www.devshed.com/Server_Side/MySQL/Intro/page1.html
    http://mysql.com/

A relational database is a fairly flexible medium for saving and querying
data.  You can learn it independently of Python, and it's not too hard to
coax a relational database to do basic bread-and-butter stuff.



> is Python the language to start with? I have purchased the Sams
> "TEaching yourself Python in 24 hours" as Alan Gaulds "Learnign to
> program book". I have also downloaded every tutorial I can find on
> python. I am enjoying the learning experince and hope that Python is
> the language to open a whole new world for me. Thans for any help,

Cool!  Glad to hear you're enjoying things.

It must be said that this is "Python-Tutor" --- you may not get an
unbiased answer here.  *grin* Yes, I think it's a good language to learn
and use.  It has a fairly nice syntax that tries not to get in the way of
learning.  It's nice because you can do a lot of casual programming with
it, yet it's powerful enough to handle things like web serving and
scientific applications.

Most importantly, it has a great community behind it!  *grin* There's more
cheerleader-style advocacy here:

    http://www.linuxjournal.com/article.php?sid=3882

Try Python out; it's free, and you can always ask questions here.  We'll
do our best to answer your questions well.  Ah, by the way, here's a link
that has another good source of tutorials:

    http://python.org/doc/Newbies.html



For the sake of completeness, I should mention: there's another powerful
programming language called Perl, and it too has a strong user community
behind it.  If you're interested, take a look at:

    http://learn.perl.org/

for more information.  I wouldn't say that Perl is for beginners --- Perl
code can have a really cryptic syntax, and I think it forces the user to
carry too much mental baggage.  Still, it's a very popular alternative,
and it's good to know what choices you have.


Good luck to you!