[Tutor] 5 questions

Alan Gauld alan.gauld at btinternet.com
Sun Oct 22 09:16:12 CEST 2006

> 1. Is there a searchable archive of this list?

Yes, the ActiveState archive is searchable.
The gmane version might be too?

> 2. Is there list ettiquette one should be aware of?

Yes, but I'm not sure how you get a copy.

> 3. Besides Vaults of Parnassus, are there other webpages which list 
> projects
> written in Python?  I'm mainly interested in looking at 
> non-technical
> software, things for the common user to use.  I've been surprised at 
> just
> how little of that type I've found so far.

Thee are a few such sites around. The Vaults seem to be falling into
obsolesece now, although its still my first choice. Others will give 
their favourites I'm sure.

> 4. Can anyone recommend good books for non-programmers starting out 
> learning
> Python?  I've looked through a few so far and they are ok ("Learning
> Python", "Python: How to Program") but am still hoping to find one 
> that
> doesn't assume any prior knowledge of programming and defines terms 
> when
> they are first presented.  (That might be a tall order, I know...)

Well, my book assumes zero knowledge and tries to define all terms
as they arise. The book is quite old in Python terms but because it is
a basics book only it still works quite well, the only significant 
drop off
is that it uses the old string module rather than the newer string

Ivan Lanningham's Teah Yourself Python... is also targetted at
complete beginners but also is focussed on version 1.5.1 with the
same failings.

I believe there are a couple of newer books around for beginners too,
but I confess I havemn't kept up to date on that front. There are so
many Python books available now we are spoilt for choice.

That having been said I personally tend to recommend sticking
with web based tutorials in the beginning since novice books
become irrelevant fairly quickly. The web sites tend to be updated
more often than books too. My book uses Python 1.5.1, but the
web tutor is for Python 2.3

> 5. If I want to take user information from text boxes, check boxes, 
> etc.,
> and store it for later re-display to the person (imagine a movie 
> rating
> diary, with text review of the film and checkboxes or sliders to 
> give it 5
> stars, or has action, or is a comedy, etc.) and have all of it be
> efficiently searchable, what are some good ways to go in terms of 
> how to
> save the information?  For now I have textbox info saving just to a 
> .txt
> file, but that can't be a good way to go about it.  I have the vague 
> sense I
> should learn about databases, but really am not sure what to read 
> about...

Yes databases are a good searchable storage facility.
There is a database topic in my web tuitorial that should be enough
to get you started.

Alan Gauld
Author of the Learn to Program web site

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