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Python is like a narrowboat

I'm giving a Python course today, to a team of seasoned programmers, and of course I'm coming up with a few things that are different to the languages they know. So far, we've had ...

* No switch statement
* No ++ operator
* blocks indicated via insets
* else clauses on while loops

Of course, this makes them a little nervous, although it will turn out later on that the facilities that aren't present wouldn't be at all vital in Python, and indeed they may encourage poor coding practise. And block insets and extra "elses" are so natural once people are use to that way of doing things.

But people still aren't always convinced. "What do you drive?" I ask them. "A Ford" they say (or something else). "If you switched to a Vauxhall, would it be easy?" I ask. "Not necessarily - things will be in different places ..." is the answer but, yes, they would get used to the Vauxhall positioning in time.

Actually, Python can be very different. I used to drive a narrowboat quite regularly, and that's the complete opposite of driving a car - push the tiller to the right to go left for starters, and then remember that the boat takes a while to react as you're not controlling types straight onto the ground, but rather you're changing the direction via the water. Ah - but once you've driven a boat a few times you find there's a great natural beauty in it, and in the way it works. 8 tons can be controlled by just a gentle push with a single finger - much more efficient even that your car. Yes, that's a good description of the beauty and efficiency of Python too - Python is like a narrowboat.
(written 2006-10-30, updated 2009-01-01)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
Y101 - Introduction to Python
  [4590] Progress on moving from Python 2 to Python 3 - training for both versions - (2015-12-01)
  [4298] Python - an interesting application - (2014-09-18)
  [4118] We not only teach PHP and Python - we teach good PHP and Python Practice! - (2013-06-18)
  [1663] Python in an afternoon - a lecture for experienced programmers - (2008-06-01)
  [1375] Python v Ruby - (2007-10-02)
  [950] Python and the Magic Roundabout - (2006-11-27)
  [949] Sludge off the mountain, and Python and PHP - (2006-11-27)
  [846] Is Perl being replaced by PHP and Python? - (2006-08-27)
  [834] Python makes University Challenge - (2006-08-15)
  [753] Python 3000 - the next generation - (2006-06-09)
  [745] Python modules. The distribution, The Cheese Shop and the Vaults of Parnassus. - (2006-06-05)
  [712] Why reinvent the wheel - (2006-05-06)
  [710] Linux training Glasgow, Python programming course Dundee - (2006-05-05)
  [629] Choosing the right language - (2006-03-01)
  [444] Database or Progamming - which to learn first? - (2005-09-13)
  [382] Central London Courses - Perl, PHP, Python, Tcl, MySQL - (2005-07-18)
  [380] Bridging to the customer requirement - (2005-07-16)
  [317] Programming languages - a comparison - (2005-05-20)

Y103 - Python - Conditionals and Loops
  [4723] Conditional operators in Python - (2016-11-05)
  [4713] Equality (in Python) - (2016-10-30)
  [4545] Method, Class, Module, Package - how to they relate in Python? - (2015-10-17)
  [4541] Setting up and tearing down with the Python with keyword - (2015-10-16)
  [4402] Finding sum, minimum, maximum and average in Python (and Ruby) - (2015-01-19)
  [4323] Learning to program - Loop statements such as while - (2014-11-22)
  [4322] Learning to Program - the conditional statement (if) - (2014-11-21)
  [4210] If elif elif elif - multiway selection in Python - (2013-11-16)
  [4092] Identity in Python - (2013-05-17)
  [3895] Flowchart to program - learning to program with Well House - (2012-10-14)
  [3762] Learning to program - the if statement. Python. - (2012-06-12)
  [3620] Finding the total, average, minimum and maximum in a program - (2012-02-22)
  [3558] Python or Lua - which should I use / learn? - (2011-12-21)
  [3439] Python for loops - applying a temporary second name to the same object - (2011-09-14)
  [3397] Does a for loop evaluate its end condition once, or on every iteration? - (2011-08-18)
  [3200] How a for loop works Java, Perl and other languages - (2011-03-12)
  [3083] Python - fresh examples from recent courses - (2010-12-11)
  [2899] Groupsave tickets - 3 or 4 train tickets for the price of 2 - (2010-08-02)
  [2778] Learning to program in Python 2 ... and / or in Python 3 - (2010-05-24)
  [1696] Saying NOT in Perl, PHP, Python, Lua ... - (2008-07-04)
  [1661] Equality, sameness and identity - Python - (2008-05-31)
  [1477] Decisions - small ones, or big ones? - (2007-12-18)
  [1201] No switch in Python - (2007-05-23)
  [835] Python - when to use the in operator - (2006-08-16)
  [788] New - Conditional expressions in Python 2.5 - (2006-07-01)
  [668] Python - block insets help with documentation - (2006-04-04)
  [657] The ternary operator in Python - (2006-03-25)
  [353] Wimbledon Neck - (2005-06-20)
  [299] What - no switch or case statement? - (2005-05-03)


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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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