Linked by Kroc Camen on Mon 21st Jun 2010 19:49 UTC
General Development "For three years [my] son Ben, and I have engaged in a quixotic but determined quest: We've searched for a simple and straightforward way to get the introductory programming language BASIC to run on either my Mac or my PC. Why on Earth would we want to do that, in an era of glossy animation-rendering engines, game-design ogres and sophisticated avatar worlds? Because if you want to give young students a grounding in how computers actually work, there's still nothing better than a little experience at line-by-line programming." Looking beyond the immediate fear-inducing acronym BASIC, this article delves deeply into what it means to simply be in control--via a basic understanding of under the hood--of your own computer, and how our whiz-bang world of technology today is failing to bestow this understanding on this generation of would-be hackers.
Thread beginning with comment 431050
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE[3]: Comment by kittynipples
by mintar on Tue 22nd Jun 2010 08:49 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by kittynipples"
mintar
Member since:
2008-09-26

Python is not like other languages because of the indentation syntax no? Surely this does not lend itself to new programmers? I could be wrong though...


Actually, Python was designed as a language to teach programming, and the indentation had exactly the goal of making it easier for new programmers. For example, in C you could write stuff like this:

if (some condition)
........if (another condition)
................do_something(fancy);
else
........this_sucks(badluck);

Obviously, the indentation of the "else" is wrong, and this is very hard to spot for new programmers. This wouldn't happen in Python. Example adopted from here: http://www.secnetix.de/~olli/Python/block_indentation.hawk .

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[4]: Comment by kittynipples
by wigry on Tue 22nd Jun 2010 09:23 in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by kittynipples"
wigry Member since:
2008-10-09

There are rules in C and there are rules in Python. Your example simply outlines the weakness of one language to advertise the other.

New programmers are supposed to follow the rules as strictly as possible and cut corners (elliminate the curly braces) only when they are comfortable and understand what they are doing.

If statement without braces is and exception to the rule and as a professional programmer, am avoiding it usually.

Reply Parent Score: 1