I’m almost at the end of the third chapter of Dive Into Python. The first time I considered learning Python, my pal Stuart persuaded me to blog my experience. He was interested to know what might trip me up or what I felt could be better explained to people from a non-development background.
First time round, I dismissed Dive Into Python because it seemed to be aimed at people who were already familiar with code. The first page of chapter 2 – Your first Python program - reminded me why I felt that way. The first example starts with a comment and then this line:
return ";".join(["%s=%s" % (k, v) for k, v in params.items()])
Python fans talk about its readability. While I’m not disputing Python’s readability – I’m in no position to – that line means nothing to me and, in a weaker moment, would have sent me scurrying for something with a greater relevance to my experience.
I’m enjoying Dive Into Python. I’m surprised not to have dived into anything just yet – it’s all a bit abstract so far. However, its reasonably straightforward approach makes a refreshing change from Why’s (Poignant) Guide to Ruby which, although amusing at first, seemed irritatingly determined to avoid the subject.