Thanks for all the help

Discussion in 'Python' started by John Benson, Dec 7, 2003.

  1. John Benson

    John Benson Guest

    It's beginning to dawn on me that the whole
    OOP/functional/aspect-oriented/etc. scene is about software engineering, not
    just about egos and pet languages.

    My software engineering education kind of stopped with Structured System
    Design รก la Yourdon and Wirth's structured programming mantras in the 70's.
    After that, I saw fads come (and and almost as often go: AI, 4th-generation
    DBMS's, talking paperclips) but didn't see anything that made me want to
    change my basic take on programming.

    Then I got into Python about a year ago and it's been a bit of a rocket
    ride, educationally. In the beginning, the air was a little too thin at the
    requisite levels of abstraction and took some getting used to, and will
    probably remain the biggest barrier to entry. It's actually the second
    Revenge of the Nerds, and a Darwinian selection process is taking place as
    we speak: I think a lot of people didn't make the transition from COBOL to
    C, and another group will have trouble going from pointers to references and
    making sense of the multiheaded XML hydra.

    Add to this the fact that many people now believe that you can teach
    object-oriented languages without recapitulating the conceptual models
    underlying the whole progression: toggled-in machine language routines
    wriggling in the primordial ooze of absolute machine addresses, relocating
    assemblers darting about the shallows, "high-level" languages like FORTRAN
    and COBOL lumbering out of the primal memory sea and expiring on the land,
    clever amphibians like C scurrying on the shore but returning to the memory
    sea to lay their pointery little eggs, and finally the Pythons and Javas
    that preserve only a faint echo of their marine origins in the IDs of their

    I've taught computer languages professionally, and, as the age gap between
    myself and my students widens, I feel more and more guilty that I had the
    big advantage of having seen so much of the evolution happen. It helps me
    appreciate both what's great about what we have now, and why certain
    limitations are still there. The new folks don't have that advantage unless
    they do enough assembler programming to understand how things look from the
    instruction set level.

    'Nuff said about that. Many thanks to everyone at the python and twisted
    lists for their help as I reinvent myself again.
    John Benson, Dec 7, 2003
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