Minimal skills

Valeri Galtsev galtsev at
Fri Jun 5 17:36:57 UTC 2020

> On Jun 5, 2020, at 10:49 AM, Steve O'Hara-Smith <steve at> wrote:
> On Fri, 5 Jun 2020 08:05:33 -0400
> Robert Huff <roberthuff at> wrote:
>> Kurt Hackenberg writes:
>>> I guess you could start with C, and maybe add C++ later. That's if
>>> you want to learn to program, which is a big project. There's also
>>> an argument that a beginning programmer should learn some newer
>>> language.
>> 	I am now accepting rhetorical nominations for a useful
>> programming language better suited for teaching a beginning programmer
>> of at least average intelligence.  At the moment the only other
>> candidate is Pascal, <sarcasm>beloved on account of its vast code
>> base</sarcasm>. 
> 	Python - it's clean, enforces decent structure, is available
> everywhere and provides an interactive environment which is great for
> learning and experimenting in. Oh and it *does* have a vast code base and a
> lot of active users, online resources up the whazoo not least being the
> Raspberry Pi foundation when it comes to beginner programming.

I can not pass on that. Python, being great language for my researchers to use, has its specifics. I usually tell my users: python is a sneaky snake. Meaning: python itself paces fast, changing its internals. Whatever modules written by others you use, will be peaky about specific version of python, namely, once module developer stops modifying module for new releases when minor (not even major!) version of python changes, pretty soon such module will not work in newer - latest - version of python, getting you stuck with older python, potentially with security vulnerabilities. In other words python based server software may be real nightmare for sysadmin (mailman 2 was the only example of not being such I know of). The only nastier in that respect that comes to my mind is ruby [with “gems”, “rails” and friends ;-)

Just my 2 cents.


> -- 
> Steve O'Hara-Smith <steve at>
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