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[Python-Dev] Informal educator feedback on PEP 572 (was Re: 2018 Python Language Summit coverage, last part)

On Sun, Jul 1, 2018 at 11:36 PM Tim Peters <tim.peters at gmail.com> wrote:

> [Michael Selik]
> > My worry is that assignment expressions will add about 15 to 20
> > minutes to my class and a slight discomfort.
> So not intractable - which is my high-order bit ;-)
> For those who want more bits of precision (perhaps Guido), while
> quantification is good, it needs context to provide insight.  Like, out of
> how many class hours total?

Generally between 20 and 40 hours.

Is 15-20 minutes a little, a lot, par for the course ... compared to other
> topics?

I guessed 15-20 minutes, because I'm mentally comparing it to things like
ternary expressions. Odds and ends that make the code better, but not a
major concept that deserves hours.

Will it require you to drop other topics?

Yes. It might not seem like much, but every minute counts. I'd probably try
to ignore := unless some pesky student brings it up. It's like someone
saying, "Hey, I heard that Python can't do threads?!" I always say, "Good
question," but internally I'm thinking, "there goes a half hour. What can I
cut today?"

> Would you _save_ twice as much class time if we got rid of "is"? ;-)

Ha. You joke, but ``is`` takes about 5 minutes. About 5 or 10 minutes more
if some clever student notices that ``1 is 1`` and I need to explain
Singletons and interpreter optimizations versus language spec.

If it's accepted, do read the PEP

I've read it a few times now. I hope I didn't sound like I haven't read it.
That'd be embarrassing.

Meta: About the Vasa, I'm not concerned.

Matt Arcidy brought up an interesting point, which I'll quote here: "... I
don't see any importance to the position of educators right now, especially
since these educators in the thread are complaining about an increase in
their personal work, for which it appears they were compensated."

>From my brief observations, it seems that the nattering nabobs of
negativism, such as myself, are mostly educators. I recently started to
wonder if I'd care so much about the language if I didn't teach. I suspect
that if I didn't worry about teaching new features, Python 4 could be
announced tomorrow and I wouldn't really mind.

I suppose it is selfish. But I hope that you [Tim], Guido, and the so many
others who have poured energy into this project will appreciate that it's
not the current users, but the next billion (?!) Pythonistas that will
really keep the language going. Maintaining popularity among educators is a
big part of that.
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