Monday, April 18, 2011

Learning Python

I've some experience now with LSL, some days I've worked with it up to fourteen hours with few breaks. Some people have asked if I'm some sort of child prodigy. Ha. No. I'm just a hard worker when I'm doing something I find interesting. It's been my intent for awhile now to try my hand at something approaching a real programming language. I just have no clue what I'd do with it.

Today I stumbled across a link on Hacker News with someone asking for advice on what language to learn in order to learn, one of the suggestions was Learn Python The Hard Way. So I nosed around the web a bit querying what the language is used for, and learned I could conceivably use it to have my Second Life vendors sent information to my web server and dump the data into a table that I can download and back up more easily than I can with the Linden Labs tools. Okay, I have a basic goal even if I never get around to doing that.

So, looking at the lesson plan I've begun to appreciate Zed Shaw's sense of practical humour more than I already had, and also now have a gedit app and a Command Promt shortcut on my desktop. Thank gawd I'm familiar with DOS or I might have been lost there. Maybe my old age is an advantage in some ways.

My first stumper came in Exercise 3. I know my basic arithmetic, but had never before seen a modulo operator. ZenMondo, despite not knowing Python, was able to suggest what it was, and wikipedia explained the rest. Again, modulo operators are a thing I have no clue why I'd ever use it, but knowing it exists and being able to recall how to research its use, my math vocabulary has grown. I'm the same way with language, the more words you know, the more thoughts you can have. This is a good thing.

I think I might be able to get through this in a couple weeks if I keep at it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Modulo arithmetic shows up all over the place and you deal with it every day. Consider when someone tells you that something will happen in two weeks or x days or some such: You're able to work out what day of the week that is because you've trained yourself to do mod 7 arithmetic ;)