[plt-scheme] HtDP in Python!

From: Arthur Nunes-Harwit (anh at cs.rit.edu)
Date: Mon Feb 16 15:19:05 EST 2009

On Mon, 16 Feb 2009, Grant Rettke wrote:

> On Mon, Feb 16, 2009 at 12:31 PM, Arthur Nunes-Harwit <anh at cs.rit.edu> wrote:
>>  I'm interested in getting reactions to doing programming HtDP style but in Python.
> That is delightful:
> 1. The theory is that HtDP can be used with any language. Have you
> found that to be the case?

   I believe that HtDP can be used with any language that supports 
functional programming.  (Of course, there may not be support for the 
groovy web and graphics examples.)

> 2. Any downsides compared to doing it with the teaching languages and DrScheme?

   I can't yet say.  I am planning a course using Python.  That wasn't my 
first choice.  The curriculum committee was suggesting Scheme or Haskell. 
Most of the sub-committee members voted against both of those.  We'll see 
what happens.

   I expect that we'll have students use unadulterated Python.  That 
strikes me as an immediate disadvantage.  The teaching languages are 
simpler and simpler to learn.

> 3. Have you developed any new opinions of Python as to its pros and cons?

   I'll let you know.

   My choice for representing structures in Python is unconventional.  I 
chose it for reasons of immutability and succinctness.

   I was bracing myself for negative reactions from both folks with Python 
experience and PLT Scheme folks.  Pleasantly, that's not at all been the 
case so far.


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