Does turtle graphics have the wrong associations?

Discussion in 'Python' started by Alf P. Steinbach, Nov 12, 2009.

  1. One reaction to <url: <url: http://preview.tinyurl.com/ProgrammingBookP3> has
    been that turtle graphics may be off-putting to some readers because it is
    associated with children's learning.

    What do you think?


    Cheers,

    - Alf
    Alf P. Steinbach, Nov 12, 2009
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. Alf P. Steinbach

    Terry Reedy Guest

    Alf P. Steinbach wrote:
    > One reaction to <url: <url:
    > http://preview.tinyurl.com/ProgrammingBookP3> has been that turtle
    > graphics may be off-putting to some readers because it is associated
    > with children's learning.
    >
    > What do you think?


    I just started using the module for simple plots.
    I am not a child.
    You cannot please everyone.
    Terry Reedy, Nov 12, 2009
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. Alf P. Steinbach

    AK Eric Guest

    On Nov 12, 11:31 am, Terry Reedy <> wrote:
    > Alf P. Steinbach wrote:
    > > One reaction to <url: <url:
    > >http://preview.tinyurl.com/ProgrammingBookP3> has been that turtle
    > > graphics may be off-putting to some readers because it is associated
    > > with children's learning.

    >
    > > What do you think?

    >
    > I just started using the module for simple plots.
    > I am not a child.
    > You cannot please everyone.


    I used Turtle back on the Apple in the early 80's... so I personally
    have very positive feelings towards it ;) To each their own eh?
    AK Eric, Nov 12, 2009
    #3
  4. "Alf P. Steinbach" <> wrote:
    > One reaction to <url: <url:http://preview.tinyurl.com/ProgrammingBookP3> has
    > been that turtle graphics may be off-putting to some
    > readers because it is associated with children's learning.


    [I'll be honest and say that I merely glanced at the two
    pdf files.]

    Who is your target audience? The opening Getting Started
    paragraph would probably put off many beginners right from
    the get go! You're talking about a 'first language' but
    throwing 'syntax', 'windows', 'graphics', 'networking',
    'file and database access' and 'standard libraries' at them.

    The success of 'XXXX for Dummies' is certainly not their
    accuracy, but rather that they make far fewer assumptions
    that people already know the subject being tought! That
    assumption seems almost ingrained in every 'beginner'
    programming book I've ever seen!

    > What do you think?


    Whilst everyone knows children tend to think visually more
    than abstractly, the same is precisely true of adults.
    However, the ultimate problem with Turtle is that it ends
    up teaching a 'mathematical' perspective and it's far from
    intuitive how you map that perspective to tackling more
    real world issues. It's simply substituting one difficult
    abstraction with another.

    My recollection is that many children struggled with Turtle
    graphics because they had very little concept of trigonometry.
    [Why would they? Many wouldn't learn for another 2-10 years.]
    Adults tend to have even less concept since they almost never
    use trig (or much else from school ;-) in the real world.

    They can see the patterns and understand there's a logic to
    it, but they struggle replicating it. Get an angle wrong
    and you end up with a mess where it's not clear whether it's
    your algorithm or the maths that's at fault.

    The visual aspect might pique interest, but may put just as
    many people off. In any case, it won't relieve the difficulty
    of having to teach what is fundamentally an abstraction that
    doesn't have very good parallels with how people approach
    problems in the real world. Humans simply don't think like
    mathematicians^W computers. :)

    I've met a lot of mathematics and comp sci teachers who
    honestly believe that you can't teach these subjects without
    a mathematical perspective. That stands in contrast to the
    number of people I see using spreadsheets with a very high
    proficiency who would never dream of saying they were good
    at mathematics or programming.

    --
    Peter
    Peter Nilsson, Nov 13, 2009
    #4
  5. On 2009-11-12, at 11:36, AK Eric wrote:
    > On Nov 12, 11:31 am, Terry Reedy <> wrote:
    >> Alf P. Steinbach wrote:
    >>> One reaction to <url: <url:
    >>> http://preview.tinyurl.com/ProgrammingBookP3> has been that turtle
    >>> graphics may be off-putting to some readers because it is associated
    >>> with children's learning.

    Take a look at Abelson and diSessa's _Turtle Geometry: The Computer as a Medium for Exploring Mathematics_ (MIT Press, 1986). This is most definitely not a kids' book. Chapter titles include `Topology of Turtle Paths', `Piecewise Flat Surfaces', and `Curved Space and General Relativity'.

    As well as being a very nice 2D graphics API, turtles let you explore very deep math. Of course, they also let you explore cybernetics and feedback; see some of the old MIT AI Lab reports on LOGO for that (you can find them at MIT's CSAIL lab website). For a lot of that, you actually need a robot turtle, like perhaps a LEGO Mindstorms robot. Seymour Papert (who did a lot of the MIT LOGO work) was, before his terrible motor accident, in research chair endowed by...LEGO. Hmmm... :)

    Of course, some people don't like Python itself because they are afraid of snakes.

    > I used Turtle back on the Apple in the early 80's... so I personally
    > have very positive feelings towards it ;) To each their own eh?

    I did my master's thesis on LOGO about 10 years before that, and I have VERY warm and fuzzy feelings about turtles :)

    -- v
    Vincent Manis, Nov 13, 2009
    #5
  6. On Nov 11, 10:21 pm, "Alf P. Steinbach" <> wrote:
    > One reaction to <url: <url:http://preview.tinyurl.com/ProgrammingBookP3> has
    > been that turtle graphics may be off-putting to some readers because it is
    > associated with children's learning.
    >
    > What do you think?


    How about calling it Raptor Graphics that will please everyone ;-)


    Raymond
    Raymond Hettinger, Nov 13, 2009
    #6
  7. * Raymond Hettinger:
    > On Nov 11, 10:21 pm, "Alf P. Steinbach" <> wrote:
    >> One reaction to <url: <url:http://preview.tinyurl.com/ProgrammingBookP3> has
    >> been that turtle graphics may be off-putting to some readers because it is
    >> associated with children's learning.
    >>
    >> What do you think?

    >
    > How about calling it Raptor Graphics that will please everyone ;-)


    He he. :)



    import turtle as raptor
    raptor.shape( "triangle" )

    def draw_poison_bush( level, angle, stem_length ):
    start_pos = raptor.pos()
    raptor.left( angle )
    raptor.forward( stem_length )
    if level > 0:
    draw_poison_bush( level-1, 30, 0.7*stem_length )
    draw_poison_bush( level-1, 0, 0.85*stem_length )
    draw_poison_bush( level-1, -37, 0.65*stem_length )
    raptor.right( angle )
    raptor.goto( start_pos )

    raptor.title( "A DANGEROUS poison bush!" )

    raptor.left( 90 )
    raptor.back( 180 )
    draw_poison_bush( 6, 0, 80 )

    raptor.mainloop()



    Cheers,

    - Alf
    Alf P. Steinbach, Nov 13, 2009
    #7
  8. * Peter Nilsson:
    > "Alf P. Steinbach" <> wrote:
    >> One reaction to <url: <url:http://preview.tinyurl.com/ProgrammingBookP3> has
    >> been that turtle graphics may be off-putting to some
    >> readers because it is associated with children's learning.

    >
    > [I'll be honest and say that I merely glanced at the two
    > pdf files.]
    >
    > Who is your target audience?


    Someone intelligent who doesn't know anything or very much about programming and
    wants to learn general programming.


    > The opening Getting Started
    > paragraph would probably put off many beginners right from
    > the get go! You're talking about a 'first language' but
    > throwing 'syntax', 'windows', 'graphics', 'networking',
    > 'file and database access' and 'standard libraries' at them.
    >
    > The success of 'XXXX for Dummies' is certainly not their
    > accuracy, but rather that they make far fewer assumptions
    > that people already know the subject being tought! That
    > assumption seems almost ingrained in every 'beginner'
    > programming book I've ever seen!


    Yes, I totally agree with not assuming knowledge. However, (without implying
    that you think so) lack of knowledge is not lack of brains. I assume an
    intelligent reader, someone who doesn't balk at a few technical terms here and
    there.

    Pedagogically it's a challenge, because a correspondence between knowledge and
    brains is so often assumed, and the field of knowledge accordingly (but mostly
    by historical accident) divided up into "basic", "medium level" and "advanced".

    And so an explanation of something that's trivial to someone who already knows,
    something in the "basic" category, might seem (to someone who confuses knowledge
    with brains) to assume a dumb or childish reader. But in reality the
    intellectual challenge of something in the traditional "basic" category can be
    greater than for something conventionally regarded as "advanced". So I strive to
    not make any distinction between traditional levels of knowledge in the field,
    but rather to focus on what's relevant and on how hard something would be to
    grasp for someone without the base knowledge and experience.


    >> What do you think?

    >
    > Whilst everyone knows children tend to think visually more
    > than abstractly, the same is precisely true of adults.
    > However, the ultimate problem with Turtle is that it ends
    > up teaching a 'mathematical' perspective and it's far from
    > intuitive how you map that perspective to tackling more
    > real world issues. It's simply substituting one difficult
    > abstraction with another.
    >
    > My recollection is that many children struggled with Turtle
    > graphics because they had very little concept of trigonometry.
    > [Why would they? Many wouldn't learn for another 2-10 years.]
    > Adults tend to have even less concept since they almost never
    > use trig (or much else from school ;-) in the real world.
    >
    > They can see the patterns and understand there's a logic to
    > it, but they struggle replicating it. Get an angle wrong
    > and you end up with a mess where it's not clear whether it's
    > your algorithm or the maths that's at fault.
    >
    > The visual aspect might pique interest, but may put just as
    > many people off. In any case, it won't relieve the difficulty
    > of having to teach what is fundamentally an abstraction that
    > doesn't have very good parallels with how people approach
    > problems in the real world. Humans simply don't think like
    > mathematicians^W computers. :)
    >
    > I've met a lot of mathematics and comp sci teachers who
    > honestly believe that you can't teach these subjects without
    > a mathematical perspective. That stands in contrast to the
    > number of people I see using spreadsheets with a very high
    > proficiency who would never dream of saying they were good
    > at mathematics or programming.


    Uhm, yes, I agree. I've tried to limit the math to what most anyone can handle.
    No geometry so far! Although it will have to be discussed for graphics. But
    although most ch 2 examples are graphical, graphics generation as such is not
    discussed. It's like the difference between driving a car and designing one. You
    don't need an engineering degree to drive a car. :)


    Cheers, & thanks,

    - Alf
    Alf P. Steinbach, Nov 13, 2009
    #8
  9. "Peter Nilsson" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > "Alf P. Steinbach" <> wrote:
    >> One reaction to <url: <url:http://preview.tinyurl.com/ProgrammingBookP3>
    >> has
    >> been that turtle graphics may be off-putting to some
    >> readers because it is associated with children's learning.

    >
    > [I'll be honest and say that I merely glanced at the two
    > pdf files.]
    >
    > Who is your target audience? The opening Getting Started
    > paragraph would probably put off many beginners right from
    > the get go! You're talking about a 'first language' but
    > throwing 'syntax', 'windows', 'graphics', 'networking',
    > 'file and database access' and 'standard libraries' at them.
    >
    > The success of 'XXXX for Dummies' is certainly not their
    > accuracy, but rather that they make far fewer assumptions
    > that people already know the subject being tought! That
    > assumption seems almost ingrained in every 'beginner'
    > programming book I've ever seen!
    >


    yep, but I guess it depends some on the type of beginner...

    many beginner books take the style of lots of examples and verbosity, and
    trying to gradually ease the person into the topic, ...

    also common is more of a "crash course" style, where topics are introduced
    and defined, and where the contents tend to be far more categorical (in
    these books, often the later chapters and/or appendices are long, and often
    consist largely of definitions and reference material).

    there are merits to both styles I think...


    I have also seen where they try to fictionalize the topic, or turn it into
    some huge mass of allegories, but I don't really like this style so much...

    it is possible the 'turtle' may hold these sorts of associations...


    >> What do you think?

    >
    > Whilst everyone knows children tend to think visually more
    > than abstractly, the same is precisely true of adults.
    > However, the ultimate problem with Turtle is that it ends
    > up teaching a 'mathematical' perspective and it's far from
    > intuitive how you map that perspective to tackling more
    > real world issues. It's simply substituting one difficult
    > abstraction with another.
    >
    > My recollection is that many children struggled with Turtle
    > graphics because they had very little concept of trigonometry.
    > [Why would they? Many wouldn't learn for another 2-10 years.]
    > Adults tend to have even less concept since they almost never
    > use trig (or much else from school ;-) in the real world.
    >


    yep, much the same as trying to teach trig in a pseudo-fantasy setting by
    addressing the relative dimensions of the various parts of Excalibur...

    one gets much more amusement out of just watching a sword fight where all
    they do is whack the swords into each other and pause momentarily, with
    whoever was doing the mixing unable to get the delay between the swords
    hitting and the 'clang' much less than about 300ms...


    > They can see the patterns and understand there's a logic to
    > it, but they struggle replicating it. Get an angle wrong
    > and you end up with a mess where it's not clear whether it's
    > your algorithm or the maths that's at fault.
    >


    yep...

    simple, unstructured, thinking is easier.
    if one screws up somewhere, it is a lot easier to find and correct the
    problem.

    this is probably part of why procedural and OO have traditionally been more
    popular than functional programming:
    one does not have to try to bend their mind so much to get things written or
    figure out just what the hell is going on...

    granted, some level of mind-bending in necessary for programming, but IMO it
    is more of a necessary evil...


    > The visual aspect might pique interest, but may put just as
    > many people off. In any case, it won't relieve the difficulty
    > of having to teach what is fundamentally an abstraction that
    > doesn't have very good parallels with how people approach
    > problems in the real world. Humans simply don't think like
    > mathematicians^W computers. :)
    >
    > I've met a lot of mathematics and comp sci teachers who
    > honestly believe that you can't teach these subjects without
    > a mathematical perspective. That stands in contrast to the
    > number of people I see using spreadsheets with a very high
    > proficiency who would never dream of saying they were good
    > at mathematics or programming.
    >


    apparently, I don't even approach math in a mathematical manner...


    I had thought I had understood math, and I use it enough, but I am
    suspecting that the thing I am familiar with is a good deal different than
    that seen by mathematicians (partly as a result of some interactions with,
    and observation of, physics teachers...).

    or, it could be that my world is severely 'bent' because of my exposure to
    computers, and almost complete lack of need or desire to write proofs or to
    expand-out and perform huge amounts of symbolic manipulations by hand...


    so, I guess my difficulty curve is rather "unusual" as well...

    I live in a world where vectors and matrices are fairly simple, and
    quaternions would be, apart from my near inability to intuitively understand
    or visualize their behaviors...

    and, in this same world, set theory and predicate logic are evil beasts best
    avoided at all cost...


    and, it seems, traditional math screws me over even with seemingly trivial
    problems...

    and, it does not take long to figure out that, for example, even a trivial
    operation such as renormalizing a vector becomes a marathon of pain...

    A=<Ax, Ay, Az>
    |A|=sqrt(Ax^2+Bx^2+Cx^2)
    B=A/|A| = <Ax/|A|, Ay/|A|, Az/|A|> = <Ax/sqrt(Ax^2+Bx^2+Cx^2),
    Ay/sqrt(Ax^2+Bx^2+Cx^2), Az/sqrt(Ax^2+Bx^2+Cx^2)>=...


    I would far much rather think:
    N(A)=A/|A|

    and leave it as that, this way we factor out everything leaving mostly
    abstract operations...
    (once we know the operation, we no longer need to care what it is or how it
    works...).

    but, other people want to expand everything out and turn it into a big
    evil-looking mess, bleh...


    > --
    > Peter
    BGB / cr88192, Nov 13, 2009
    #9
  10. Alf P. Steinbach wrote:
    > One reaction to <url: <url:
    > http://preview.tinyurl.com/ProgrammingBookP3> has been that turtle
    > graphics may be off-putting to some readers because it is associated
    > with children's learning.
    >


    Incidentally ... something you may wish to consider for inclusion in you
    book ... games programming and Pygame.

    See, e.g.,

    Andy Harris, Game Programming (L Line: The Express Line to Learning),
    John Wiley & Sons, 2007, ISBN-10: 0470068221 or

    Will McGugan, Beginning Game Development with Python and Pygame : From
    Novice to Professional, APRESS, 2007, ISBN-10: 1590598725.

    I have the impression that there are many young people who could learn
    programming via games programming. On the other hand, in languages like
    C++ or Java, the threshold to games programming is extremely high.

    Not so using Pygame.

    The additional nice thing about Pygame is that it is based on a Python
    binding of SDL (Simple DirectMedia Layer) an open-source games API. This
    could mean easy migration to C++ games programming (using SDL).

    Best regards,

    Jon C.

    --
    Jonathan Campbell www.jgcampbell.com BT48, UK.
    Jonathan Campbell, Nov 13, 2009
    #10
  11. > > Who is your target audience?
    > From: "Alf P. Steinbach" <>
    > Someone intelligent who doesn't know anything or very much about
    > programming and wants to learn general programming.


    I think of what a computer *does* as data processing, and then
    programing is simply telling the computer what data processing to
    do. In calculator mode, you just tell the computer one step at a
    time and immediately see the result before giving the next command.
    In program mode, you tell the computer the whole sequences of steps
    before the computer does even the first, which requires planning
    the whole sequence in your mind ahead of time. Lisp's REP allows
    you to use calculator mode when doing a dry run, then just wrap
    PROG around it and viola you have a program of all the steps
    together, thus bridging the gap between calculator and program mode
    painlessly.

    The two "hard" things about programming are syntax and planning.
    REP gets rid of the need to plan in your mind before writing the
    code, but you're still stuck with the syntax. My proposed no-syntax
    IDE *also* gets rid of the need to bother with any
    programming-language syntax. I've been proposing it for years, but
    nobody has shown any interest, so I'm spending my time on other
    things, but sometime in the next several months I am very likely to
    go ahead and implement no-syntax IDE as part of
    http://TinyURL.Com/NewEco.

    > I assume an intelligent reader, someone who doesn't balk at a few
    > technical terms here and there.


    There's a **major** difference between the ability to figure out
    complex puzzles and the ability to memorize jargon. Case in point:
    I placed top-five in Putnam math context despite disability whereby
    it was very difficult for me to memorize vocabulary/jargon. Then I
    flunked out of graduate school because suddenly I was expected to
    (but unable to) memorize ten definitions/lemmas to solve each
    homework problem.

    Ideally, with either somebody like me with memorization disability,
    or a very young child who just naturally by age has trouble
    learning more than one concept or term simultaneously, you should
    introduce only one concept or term at a time, and exerecise the
    person's mind with that concept or term for a while before moving
    to the next.

    > It's like the difference between driving a car and designing one.
    > You don't need an engineering degree to drive a car. :)


    Sure some humans can be trained like pigeons to do the motions of
    driving a car through a fixed course without having the slightest
    concept of what's really happening. But to be able to respond
    appropriately to new situations, it really helps to understand that
    the brake pedal does *not* stop the car, it merely pulls a lever
    that presses a plate against a wheel causing excess friction
    causing the wheel to gradualy slow down, which is connected to the
    tires causing *them* to resist motion of car against road, which on
    non-slippery surfaces and with *gentle* braking results in the car
    slowing down, but with **sudden** pressure on brake, or on slick
    surfaces, the wheels stop turning completely and simply slide
    against the roadway, causing loss of control of both yaw and
    momentum, so suddenly your whole car is spinning about a vertical
    axis as well as no longer going around the road-curve but instead
    veering in a straight line across opposing traffic lanes or over
    the edge of the "S curve" of the Bay Bridge and then 200 feet down
    to a rather violent meeting with Yerba Buena Island.

    I hate that "CHECK ENGINE" light, because there's usually no way
    the driver of the vehicle actually *can* check the engine in any
    meaningful way to determine why the light is on. I think it really
    means "check" in the sense of a cloak-room, where you "check" your
    raincoat and umbrella by handing them to a clerk, thus you really
    do "check" your automobile by handing it over to a mechanic.

    <silly>By the way, I don't want Python running on my Macintosh,
    because it might eat my mouse.</silly>
    Robert Maas, http://tinyurl.com/uh3t, Nov 19, 2009
    #11
  12. On Thu, 19 Nov 2009 02:00:58 -0800, Robert Maas, http://tinyurl.com/uh3t
    wrote:

    > My proposed no-syntax
    > IDE *also* gets rid of the need to bother with any programming-language
    > syntax. I've been proposing it for years, but nobody has shown any
    > interest


    I'm interested. No-syntax IDE? How is this even possible?

    The only way I can think of is some sort of wizard interface. E.g.
    instead of having to remember the syntax for a slice, you click the
    "Slice" button and the computer prompts you to enter some combination of
    start, end, step, then generates the syntax [a:b:c] for you.



    --
    Steven
    Steven D'Aprano, Nov 19, 2009
    #12
  13. > > My proposed no-syntax
    > > IDE *also* gets rid of the need to bother with any programming-language
    > > syntax. I've been proposing it for years, but nobody has shown any
    > > interest

    > From: Steven D'Aprano <>
    > I'm interested. No-syntax IDE? How is this even possible?


    I guess you missed what I previously posted. The basic idea is that
    you start with test data, and you use menus to select appropriate
    data-processing actions to perform on that data. For example, you
    manually key in a file name containing test data, or copy and paste
    that same file name. Then you select "open file by that name" or
    "load all lines from file by that name" etc. from a menu. If you
    just opened the file, you now have a stream of input, and you can
    select to read one line or one s-expression or one character etc.
    from that file. After loading the whole file or one unit of data,
    you now have some *real* data to work from. For example, with a
    line of input, you might break it into words.

    Caveat: When I said "no syntax", I mean no programming syntax, no
    syntax to indicate function calls or variable assignment etc. You
    still must deal with visual representation of strings and integers
    and other essential data objects, which in a way may be considered
    to be syntax. But if you want, you can avoid *all* syntax, even for
    data, by drawing a *picture* of the individual bits. For some
    low-level machine-language training, or boolean algebra lessons,
    this might actually be preferable to Arabic numerals and English
    letters to represent data values. Seeing a *picture* of something
    that looks like a paper tape seems more binary-friendly than seeing
    arabic digits "0" and "1" in rows across a page, when studying
    operations upon boolean values or bitmasks.

    Now if you don't like the burden of navigating the multi-level
    menus, a search engine can be available, whereby you key in
    keywords for the name of some data-processing operation you either
    saw before or a name you can construct in your mind based on naming
    conventions.

    The extreme case of search engine would be if English-language
    pseudo-code can be automatically converted into a very short menu
    of most likely data-processing operations. I actually am seriously
    considering doing NewEco software development by this means.
    Basically I contract people to brainstorm with me in a Delphi
    fashion to create the toplevel design of a new computer algorithm,
    then we do top-down break into pieces, and continue top-down
    break-down as far as it takes until the search engine recognizes
    some step as something it already knows how to do.

    > The only way I can think of is some sort of wizard interface.
    > E.g. instead of having to remember the syntax for a slice, you
    > click the "Slice" button and the computer prompts you to enter
    > some combination of start, end, step, then generates the syntax
    > [a:b:c] for you.


    Yeah, it'll be vaguely like that in some ways. For major data,
    we'll have the data first, all parameters to the next function to
    apply, and *then* we select what function to call on those
    parameters. But for minor parameters, we might allow you to choose
    the function before filling in the minor-parameter slots. For
    example, to select the nth character of string, we might have both
    the string and the integer N before we select the NTH function, but
    if N is a constant we might instead have just the string and select
    the NTH function and fill in the constant N. With the pseudo-code
    translation, some of the constant parameters might be apparent in
    the English. For example, we have a string, and we say "select the
    second word" (actually that's almost HyperTalk, the scripting
    language of HyperCard on Macintosh computers), at which point the
    constant parameter 2 would be supplied from the word "second" in
    the English.
    Robert Maas, http://tinyurl.com/uh3t, Nov 20, 2009
    #13
  14. Alf P. Steinbach

    Terry Reedy Guest

    Robert Maas, http://tinyurl.com/uh3t wrote:
    >>> My proposed no-syntax
    >>> IDE *also* gets rid of the need to bother with any programming-language
    >>> syntax. I've been proposing it for years, but nobody has shown any
    >>> interest


    What you describe below is similar to various systems that have been
    proposed and even implemented, including visual programming systems. And
    there has been some success with non-programmers. But for most people,
    it is simply easier to say/write what one means rather than point and
    click. Point-and-click writing reminds me of point-and-click speaking.
    Great for those who need it but a hindrance to those who do not.

    This is not to say that traditional editors cannot be improved with
    better backup memory aids. Indeed, even IDLE recognizes function names
    and pops up a bar listing parameters.

    Feel free to develop a Visual Python environment. I might even give it a
    try.

    >> From: Steven D'Aprano <>
    >> I'm interested. No-syntax IDE? How is this even possible?

    >
    > I guess you missed what I previously posted.


    I did too and had the same question.

    > The basic idea is that
    > you start with test data, and you use menus to select appropriate
    > data-processing actions to perform on that data. For example, you
    > manually key in a file name containing test data, or copy and paste
    > that same file name. Then you select "open file by that name" or
    > "load all lines from file by that name" etc. from a menu. If you
    > just opened the file, you now have a stream of input, and you can
    > select to read one line or one s-expression or one character etc.
    > from that file. After loading the whole file or one unit of data,
    > you now have some *real* data to work from. For example, with a
    > line of input, you might break it into words.


    Processing a single data file is a common programming task, but not the
    only general category. A specialized Visual Data Analysis with Python
    might be a better and more focused project.

    When I was doing statistical data analysis on a daily basis for a
    living, I would have loved to have had a system that would read in the
    first line and let me define (and name) the fields by point and click.
    (I usually worked with fixed-width, column-delimited fields.)
    Instead, I had to write a format statement and some summary analysis
    code, run it, look at it for sanity, and decide if my format had been
    correct.

    Terry Jan Reedy
    Terry Reedy, Nov 20, 2009
    #14
    1. Advertising

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

It takes just 2 minutes to sign up (and it's free!). Just click the sign up button to choose a username and then you can ask your own questions on the forum.
Similar Threads
  1. Brent W. Hughes

    Python and Turtle Graphics

    Brent W. Hughes, Jul 19, 2004, in forum: Python
    Replies:
    4
    Views:
    1,531
    Lee Harr
    Jul 20, 2004
  2. Dick Moores

    Saving output of Turtle Graphics?

    Dick Moores, Apr 7, 2007, in forum: Python
    Replies:
    7
    Views:
    425
    Dick Moores
    Apr 7, 2007
  3. tomy
    Replies:
    5
    Views:
    324
  4. Robert Maas, http://tinyurl.com/uh3t
    Replies:
    0
    Views:
    403
    Robert Maas, http://tinyurl.com/uh3t
    Nov 22, 2009
  5. Adam Funk
    Replies:
    7
    Views:
    216
    Adam Funk
    Feb 6, 2013
Loading...

Share This Page