Python 2 vs. Python 3 (yet again)

Recently Zed Shaw, author of Learn Python the Hard Way, posted The Case Against Python 3 (For Now).

In his diatribe, Shaw shreds Python 3 for being a bad language for beginning programmer to learn.  One section of his post is supposedly written for beginners and another section is aimed at experienced programmers.  There isn’t much of use in the beginner materials outside of claiming that Python 3 has a low adoption rate and that is because the language is defective and broken.  OK then….

In the programmer explanation he goes into a little more detail.  His major complaints are strings are broken in Python 3 and Python 3 is broken because you can’t run Python 3 and Python 2 in the same VM.  Many people involved with Python have voiced opinions that Shaw is wrong.  Some of them, such as Michael Kennedy of the Talk Python To Me podcast, have been somewhat vocal about this.  Kennedy has promised to address this on a future episode.

Shaw really hates to be told that he is wrong so he proceeds to insult people on Twitter if they don’t have enough followers (in Shaw’s opinion) and he decided to write a rebuttal post titled The End Of Coder Influence which is a rant against all the mean people who are apparently taking away all of Shaw’s fun and making technology a bad place for him to work.  He even edited his original post and admitted he was just trolling people.

What this all seems to boil down to is Shaw actually acting like the asshole that he fancies himself to be all because his book was removed as suggested reading on Reddit because it didn’t reflect the current realities in the programming language.  His major comeback is that he has helped “millions” of people learn Python.  Granted his book Learn Python the Hard Way is free on the web, but that doesn’t make his adherence to Python 2 any more reasonable.  He and a number of his followers just need to get through their heads that Python 2 is no longer under development and in three years or so, it will be dead.  Sure, there will be a lot of legacy code that will die or need to be converted and if Shaw is so opposed to Python 3 then maybe he can make a good living converting it legacy Python to Python 3.

The language change has happened.  After teaching beginning programming students at a community college for 6 years, there is absolutely nothing in Python 3 that prevents students from learning.  If they did need to know something in Python 2, they can probably learn the differences in an afternoon.


The Net Ninja – SASS Tutorial

I recently found this YouTube channel which features a number of tutorials on topics such as SASS, AngularJS, NodeJS and HTML/CSS.  I found this page through someone that I was following on Twitter.  It looked interesting so I decided to take the SASS tutorials.  I chose the SASS tutorial because it was something that I am familiar with and felt I would be able to tell the difference between good information and not so good information.

I wished that I had known of this channel when I set out to learn SASS several years ago.  The tutorial has twelve videos ranging from about 3.5 minutes to about 8 minutes in length adding up to somewhere around 70 minutes total.  In this 70 minutes the narrator manages to walk you through what you need to download and setup to begin using SASS, walks you through the key parts of SASS such as variables and mixins and provided you with examples through a link to his GitHub repo.

As you can imagine, 70 minutes is definitely not enough time to make you an expert however if you have a reasonable knowledge of CSS and HTML then this tutorial will give you enough of a toolset to get you started and give you a foundation for more advanced coverage later.  I subscribed to his channel and followed him on Twitter.  I think I will try the NodeJS tutorials next because I know very little about it.

The one thing that I did not like about the videos is the really annoying karate sound effects.  Ninjas are silent and deadly, they don’t make AYYY YAWWW sounds like those from a Bruce Lee movie.

The Net Ninja YouTube channel can be found here.


Packt Publishing – Mastering Python videos

The impression that one gets when watching this video is that the narrator, Daniel Arbuckle, was most concerned about how fast he could read his script and still remain understandable.

I had to stop and backup several times to listen to what he said again.  I am already a competent Python programmer.  I would really hate to be a newbie trying to follow this video series.  The information was reasonably done but the narration killed the video.  If you are someone in a big hurry and are already comfortable with some language then you might find some use for this but if you are new, then I really suggest you keep your $94.99 in your pocket.  If you do have to have this video you might want to wait until they have their $10 video sales.  Right now is one of those times.

You can find the video at Mastering Python.


I am back!

When I started blogging, I had the best of intentions.  As you can see, those intentions come to fruition and I did not keep current on posting.  I am working on changing that now.  I still plan to outline my experiences on various tutorial/learning sites.  Stay tuned!

jQuery Tutorials

A few years ago I tried some of the tutorial videos on The New Boston, which now seems to be experiencing a name change to Bucky’s Room

When I visited before I was underwhelmed by the offerings on the site.  The presentations I watched were full of errors and the presenter had to keep backing up and retyping code when he found he had made mistakes.  As I recall I had viewed some JavaScript videos.

This time when I visited the site, it looks somewhat tacky but the videos that I watched in the jQuery tutorial were done much better.  The videos in this sequence were narrated by Alex from PHP Academy.  They were easy to follow and clearly explained.   I actually learned a few things and by extension I learned of a new site which I will probably try at some point in the future.

I did have to laugh at the categories for the videos that were listed. Two of the categories are Computer Programming and Computer Science.  Apparently XHTML and CSS, HTML5, 3Ds Max 2010 and Git are now ‘computer science’ topics.  These items were not on the curriculum for my degree.  I think there could be a much better classification for the titles but that is just me!

Overall the quality of the videos that I watched, which were the first 15 of 200 in the jQuery section, has pretty much assured that I will return and take a look at some of the other offerings…and probably finish off the jQuery videos just to see where they are going.

Getting Learned

I am embarking on a quest to spend one hour a day learning something new.  Most of my efforts will be directed towards computer programming related topics.  I plan to try various commercial sites, free tutorials and maybe a MOOC or two.  I will try to give opinions on things related to whatever I am reviewing.  These opinions are strictly my personal opinions and feelings and do not reflect on my employer, friends, wife or anyone else.