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[Tutor] beginning to code


Stefan Ram wrote:
> Bill <BILL_NOSPAM at whoknows.net> writes:
>> I understand string[::-1] after only studying python for a day or two
>> (I've only been studying it for 2 weeks at this point).  A student could
>> study C++ for a semester or more and not encounter templates until they
>> studied data structures.  So in short, I don't believe that the example
>> you chose from Python and the one you chose from C++, were at similar
>> levels (not even close).
>    I was responding to your assertion:
>
> |It's much easier to tell what's going on, at a glance, in a
> |C++ program.
>
>    and I showed a simple counterexample.
But it was *not* a simple counterexample.
>    And above, now, it seems that you /agree/ that one can learn
>    Python in a short time, but needs a lot longer to learn C++.
Learning to develop code, in either language, involves much more than 
"learning C++" or "learning Python".  I have been reading Beazley's 
"Essential Reference", and I would say that Python is definitely a 
bigger, and more complicated language than C++.  In some aspects it has 
simpler syntax.  But consider all of the ways that you can pass 
arguments to a function, for instance. There are definitely alot more 
options than in C/C++. I like the way that both of these languages 
(unlike Java) allow you to stick with the procedural paradigm if you 
wish to (which I think is a natural way for a true beginner to start).  
 From my perspective, Python's simplicity lies in the fact that an 
entire program does not have to be recompiled if a module is changed. 
Since I was programming in C (and Fortran) before you were born, it's 
syntax does not generally pose a hindrance to me.


>
>    BTW: templates have little to do with data structures. One can
>    show resonable examples for function templates that do not use
>    any data structure:
You are sounding like a "know-it-all" again.  I am familiar with such 
examples.  One could code in C++ for a long time without a definitive 
need for templates.  It just depends on the application. By trade, I am 
more of a mathematician than a programmer but sometimes my needs and/or 
interests overlap.


>
> template< typename T >
> T maximum( T const a, T const b ){ return a > b ? a : b; }
>
>    . The corresponding Python def would be (untested):
>
> def maximum( a, b ): return a if a > b else b
>
>    , that is, because Python is not statically typed, one does
>    not need a template for a corresponding definition in Python.
>