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I was going to agree with you.

But then I remember one scene in high school. I was talking to a friend who coded in IB American History and asked him how to get started with Python. He said just go to this website and download this tarball. I had no idea what a tarball was and was afraid it contained something bad. So I didn't download it and didn't play with Python until a few years later in college. If I had started playing with Python earlier, my life could be a lot different. I was not a guy back then who made programs on TI-84 calculators; I thought that was magic. I was planning on econ/finance. I used Windows (!) and didn't know anything about what Unix was, and barely knew about OS X.

It's hard to see why some decisions pan out and some don't; if you install a system version of Python how would the general public / PSF know how many people use it? But I don't think that's a good enough reason to remove system installs entirely. I think my younger self would have liked it.




I fully agree. I started programming in JavaScript because I only had access to public computers, where I couldn't install or even download binaries, but I could write a .html file and open it in the browser.

Ubiquitous access to these tools provides wonderful opportunities, and the drawbacks are minimal.


> If I had started playing with Python earlier, my life could be a lot different. I was not a guy back then who made programs on TI-84 calculators; I thought that was magic

How come you didn't start playing with the TI-84 programming language instead?

There's no more "battery included" than that, and it's not a pun only: you can program and run on the calculator (not a GREAT way to program it, but quite a nice way to spend your time instead of paying attention to the class :^) ) if you bought it new I guess you had a paper manual for the language (I had one for my TI-89), and there's so little you need to learn and take care of (libraries, dependencies, versions, execution bit, paths... None of these are an issue the novice user will be confronted with. It's like a C64 all over again).


A number of good points. At the time I took (I think) 5 IB higher-level courses as a junior/senior, as well as a pretty tough art curriculum, and economics competitions as extracurricular activities. There wasn't a lot of energy I could afford to something that didn't require my primary attention and time. Another big reason is the inability to quantify my fears and the ability to divide and conquer them, which is a problem I still have.


I'm in the US, not sure if you are. I think I had a similar experience. Didn't get into programming until much later in life and kicked every wall once I realized I love it.

People wondering why you didn't just power through your doubts may be forgetting what the world was like not too long ago. 'Nerds' weren't cool. If you chose to be a nerd it meant _offering_ yourself up as the _loser_ in every sitcom, movie, or book. Playing video games was something you were supposed to grow out of. No one was throwing 80k at a graduate just because they could pronounce 'WWW'. Perhaps most importantly, _every_ school was pushing the race to no where. If you were thinking about a 'trade' it meant you had given up and would crack out fixing sinks for the rest of your life. At _best_ computers were taught as something you'd use at other careers. Not a career itself, really.

* Please note the last line is less an insult to plumbers and more a commentary on how the perception of success is hammered into you as a very white collar thing.


I appreciate the honest and personal answer. What I meant was... considering you had access to a programming language (albeit very limited) in your TI but you didn't use it, why do you think it could have been different with python?


That's a great anecdote, and I see how learning Python might have been harder for someone if it was not included.

However, the software distribution model right now is fundamentally broken. And I do not think it is worth leaving broken simply because it makes learning easier for some people.

In general, I think the decision to push people to tie their app less to the system configuration and rely on virtualenv, containers etc more is a good move in the long run.


I very much disagree. The whole point of Python is to make programming as easy as possible, so that it can reach as many people as possible. Python literally gave up design optimizations like tail recursion elimination so that beginners wouldn't be confused with stack traces.

What about people who dip their toes in Python, then switch to another language? What about people who want to just replace their VBScript integrations with Excel and don't care about Python beyond 1-2 dependencies on local? You'd just push them back towards the less optimum situation.

Oh, and I just remembered, Windows 10 Home Edition does not ship with a hypervisor. You can't run Docker on Windows without Windows 10 Professional. That screwed my team over at a data science hackathon once.

If you're at the point where you're worrying about distribution environments, you're probably ahead of most people already, and you have the wherewithal to figure out what the state-of-the-art is in packaging and distribution, whatever that may be and regardless of how broken it is.


But the problem is that a Python installed this way can be abused as a dependency for application delivery.




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