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how to write a tutorial

P: n/a
i've started to read python tutorial recently.
http://python.org/doc/2.3.4/tut/tut.html

Here are some quick critique:

quick example:
If the input string is too long, they don't truncate it, but return it
unchanged; this will mess up your column lay-out but that's usually
better than the alternative, which would be lying about a value. (If
you really want truncation you can always add a slice operation, as in
"x.ljust( n)[:n]".

better:
If the input string is too long, they don't truncate it, but return it
unchanged;
-----------------
delete: Reverse quotes (``) are equivalent to repr(), but their use is
discouraged.
-----------------
similarly, many places mentioning uncritical info such as warning or
reference to other languages should be deleted.

the tutorial should be simple, concise, to the point, stand along.
Perhaps 1/5th length of the tutorial should be deleted for better.
Follow the above principles.

at places often a whole paragraph on some so called computer science
jargons should be deleted. They are there more to showcase inane
technicality than do help the reader. (related, many passages with
jargons should be rewritten sans inane jargon. e.g. mutable object.)

one easy way to understand these principles is to compare perl's
documentation or unix man pages to Python's. The formers are often
irrelevant, rambling on, not stand-along (it is written such that it
unnecessarily requires the reader to be knowledgable of lots of other
things). Python docs are much better, but like many computer language
manuals, also suffers from verbiage of tech jargons. (these jargons or
passages about them are usually there to please the authors
themselves).

A exemplary writing in this direction is the Mathematica manual by
Stephen Wolfram. Any intelligent layman sans computer science degree
can read it straightforwardly, and learn unhindered a language that is
tantamount to features of lisp languages. Such documentation is not
difficult to write at all. (contrary to the lot of "computer
scientists" or IT pundits morons.) All it take is some simple
principles outlined above.
Xah
xa*@xahlee.org
http://xahlee.org/PageTwo_dir/more.html

Jul 18 '05 #1
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33 Replies


P: n/a
Xah Lee wrote:
i've started to read python tutorial recently.
http://python.org/doc/2.3.4/tut/tut.html
Finally! It was about time...
Here are some quick critique:


Given that you seem to be totally inert to critique yourself - e.g. your
continued posting of useless language comparison, and the plethorea of
posts requesting to stop that and limit yourself to your mailing list - I
doubt you'll get much attention for that.

--
Regards,

Diez B. Roggisch
Jul 18 '05 #2

P: n/a
You should not be giving such advice! (and the crosspost ... WTF?).

I've been trying to follow along with your perl/python yahoo group, but
your posts are terrible.

Perhaps you should provide the output of the code you post. Then i'd
actually know what i'm trying to achieve. As it is i have to cut/paste
your code into an interpreter just to figure out what it does.

What does this have to do with Lisp? (i'm in c.l.l).

drewc

Xah Lee wrote:
i've started to read python tutorial recently.
http://python.org/doc/2.3.4/tut/tut.html

Here are some quick critique:

quick example:
If the input string is too long, they don't truncate it, but return it
unchanged; this will mess up your column lay-out but that's usually
better than the alternative, which would be lying about a value. (If
you really want truncation you can always add a slice operation, as in
"x.ljust( n)[:n]".

better:
If the input string is too long, they don't truncate it, but return it
unchanged;
-----------------
delete: Reverse quotes (``) are equivalent to repr(), but their use is
discouraged.
-----------------
similarly, many places mentioning uncritical info such as warning or
reference to other languages should be deleted.

the tutorial should be simple, concise, to the point, stand along.
Perhaps 1/5th length of the tutorial should be deleted for better.
Follow the above principles.

at places often a whole paragraph on some so called computer science
jargons should be deleted. They are there more to showcase inane
technicality than do help the reader. (related, many passages with
jargons should be rewritten sans inane jargon. e.g. mutable object.)

one easy way to understand these principles is to compare perl's
documentation or unix man pages to Python's. The formers are often
irrelevant, rambling on, not stand-along (it is written such that it
unnecessarily requires the reader to be knowledgable of lots of other
things). Python docs are much better, but like many computer language
manuals, also suffers from verbiage of tech jargons. (these jargons or
passages about them are usually there to please the authors
themselves).

A exemplary writing in this direction is the Mathematica manual by
Stephen Wolfram. Any intelligent layman sans computer science degree
can read it straightforwardly, and learn unhindered a language that is
tantamount to features of lisp languages. Such documentation is not
difficult to write at all. (contrary to the lot of "computer
scientists" or IT pundits morons.) All it take is some simple
principles outlined above.
Xah
xa*@xahlee.org
http://xahlee.org/PageTwo_dir/more.html

Jul 18 '05 #3

P: n/a
>>>>> "Xah" == Xah Lee <xa*@xahlee.org> writes:

Xah> at places often a whole paragraph on some so called computer
Xah> science jargons should be deleted. They are there more to
Xah> showcase inane technicality than do help the
Xah> reader. (related, many passages with jargons should be
Xah> rewritten sans inane jargon. e.g. mutable object.)

The concept of mutable objects is extremely important in python, and
understanding is the key to answering two recurring newbie questions

* Why can't lists or dictionaries be keys to dictionaries?

* Why does using a list as a default value for a keyword argument in
a function definition often lead to unexpected results?

So it is definitely appropriate material in a tutorial.

As for jargon, it is hard to argue that "object" is inane jargon in
python. In fact, the base class for new-styled classes is indeed
"object", and if you want to write one of these classes yourself, you
need to do 'class MyClass(object)'. So object is not inane jargon in
an object oriented programming language. You still with me?

OK, now on to mutable. mutable means changeable, albeit it's a little
more of an obscure word than changeable, but it does roll off the
tongue a bit more easily. Perhaps 'changeable object' would be more
accessible to some readers, but it doesn't flow as well. So the
python tutorial should perhaps define mutable when it introduces it.
Which it does somewhat implicitly; the first time mutable is mentioned in the
docs, in the context of strings

Unlike strings, which are immutable, it is possible to change
individual elements of a list:
And now for my last musing on a new topic "How to write a critique":
It is much more constructive to suggest new text for documentation
than to brand it inane.

JDH
Jul 18 '05 #4

P: n/a
drewc <dr***@rift.com> wrote:
What does this have to do with Lisp? (i'm in c.l.l).


he is a troll, but one who confess this fact:

http://www.xahlee.org/Netiquette_dir/troll.html

--
Frank Buß, fb@frank-buss.de
http://www.frank-buss.de, http://www.it4-systems.de
Jul 18 '05 #5

P: n/a
Xah Lee wrote:

i've started to read python tutorial recently.
http://python.org/doc/2.3.4/tut/tut.html

Here are some quick critique:


This has absolutely nothing to do with c.l.c, nor most of the
cross-posted groups. F'ups set. Why did you do such a foul
cross-posting in the first place.

--
"If you want to post a followup via groups.google.com, don't use
the broken "Reply" link at the bottom of the article. Click on
"show options" at the top of the article, then click on the
"Reply" at the bottom of the article headers." - Keith Thompson
Jul 18 '05 #6

P: n/a
Xah Lee wrote:
i've started to read python tutorial recently.
http://python.org/doc/2.3.4/tut/tut.html


What does this have to do with Perl, Lisp, Scheme, or C?

-- MJF
Jul 18 '05 #7

P: n/a
On Fri, 21 Jan 2005 03:08:50 -0800, Xah Lee wrote:
i've started to read python tutorial recently.
http://python.org/doc/2.3.4/tut/tut.html

Here are some quick critique:


You don't have the respect points for anyone to give a damn. Step one
would be demonstrating that you understand the language enough to have a
valid opinion, which we're all still waiting on.
Jul 18 '05 #8

P: n/a
On Fri, 21 Jan 2005 03:08:50 -0800, Xah Lee wrote:
i've started to read python tutorial recently.
http://python.org/doc/2.3.4/tut/tut.html
(snip rest of misleading filler)
http://xahlee.org/PageTwo_dir/more.html


The first line is solipsistic (..like..'so what?'). But I think its all
misleading. The real purpose of his cross-post is to get people to visit
his website, ooh-and-ahh at his unique and daring Bush-bashing at the top,
and finally admire (along with Xah himself) the pictures he takes of
himself.

Vanity, vanity, all is vanity...

The only remaining question is 'why does he restrict his cross-posting to
this particular collection of groups?' I don't have an answer to that one.

[incidentally, I'm still cracking up over k.t. and the soldier...]
--Jeff
Jul 18 '05 #9

P: n/a
Daniel Bickett wrote:
Most texts in computing are written by authors to defend and showcase
their existence against their peers.

When you aren't busy `showcasing' your ignorance, this is *all* i see
in everything you write.


<snip>

Um, maybe that was his point...
Jul 18 '05 #10

P: n/a
Lucas Raab wrote:
Daniel Bickett wrote:
Most texts in computing are written by authors to defend and showcase
their existence against their peers.

When you aren't busy `showcasing' your ignorance, this is *all* i see
in everything you write.


<snip>

Um, maybe that was his point...


It was a critical comment -- meant to be derogatory. I pointed out
that that is exactly what he does.

Daniel Bickett
Jul 18 '05 #11

P: n/a
> the first paragraph of 9.1 "A Word About Terminology" is
epitome of masturbation.
I'm tempted to concede this point to you given the sheer overwhelming
testament to onanism that is your website but this is just nonsense.
Defining terms is *always* necessary, it ensures that participants in
whatever dialogue are at least partially using the terms with the same
intent
For 99% of readers, it is incomprehensible and irrelevant.


You're not 99% of the readers, so I find that remark difficult to
swallow. Having read your comments on women, the whole idea that you
have a superior insight into would-be python coders is just obscenely
ludicrous.

- alex23

Jul 18 '05 #12

P: n/a
alex23 wrote:
Having read your comments on women,


I hadn't looked at that part of his site until now. I can only say:
gah. Haven't seen something like that since Dave Sim's infamous
"Tangent" essay.

--
Christopher Mattern

"Which one you figure tracked us?"
"The ugly one, sir."
"...Could you be more specific?"
Jul 18 '05 #13

P: n/a
Chris Mattern wrote:
alex23 wrote:
Having read your comments on women,


I hadn't looked at that part of his site until now. I can only say:
gah. Haven't seen something like that since Dave Sim's infamous
"Tangent" essay.


It's painfully obvious that it is all for the sole purpose of negative
attention.
You guys are just begging for a YHBT ;-)

Daniel Bickett
Jul 18 '05 #14

P: n/a
Daniel Bickett wrote:
[snip]
You guys are just begging for a YHBT ;-)


I apologize, that should have been "we" -- I was criticizing him too.

no-one-wants-to-be-a-hypocrite-ly y'rs,
Daniel Bickett
Jul 18 '05 #15

P: n/a
Daniel Bickett wrote:
Chris Mattern wrote:
alex23 wrote:
Having read your comments on women,
I hadn't looked at that part of his site until now. I can only say: gah. Haven't seen something like that since Dave Sim's infamous
"Tangent" essay.


It's painfully obvious that it is all for the sole purpose of

negative attention.
You guys are just begging for a YHBT ;-)

Daniel Bickett


Jul 18 '05 #16

P: n/a

Daniel Bickett wrote:
You guys are just begging for a YHBT ;-)


Point taken :) I've noticed very few people even acknowledge his posts
at all; I'll follow the group lead and do the same.

Cheers!

- alex23

Jul 18 '05 #17

P: n/a
Xah Lee wrote:
adding to my previosu comment...


<snip>

*plonk*

--
"Women should come with documentation." - Dave
Jul 18 '05 #18

P: n/a
On Sun, 23 Jan 2005 12:28:12 -0500, rumours say that Hans Nowak
<ha**@zephyrfalcon.org> might have written:
Xah Lee wrote:
the first paragraph of 9.1 "A Word About Terminology" is epitome of
masturbation. The entire 9.1 is not necessary.

Large part of 9.2 "Python Scopes and Name Spaces" is again
masturbatory.


So I can just take a copy of the tutorial to the bathroom next time.
Thanks for the tip, man!


The first day I (got) laid my eyes on the Python tutorial, I knew the
days of "Pyboy", "Pythouse" and "Python 10" were over. I'm glad that
finally others, too, really grok the "joy of Python programming".

PS I just *love* the Classes chapter centerfold. All-time classic.
--
TZOTZIOY, I speak England very best.
"Be strict when sending and tolerant when receiving." (from RFC1958)
I really should keep that in mind when talking with people, actually...
Jul 18 '05 #19

P: n/a
in my previous two messages, i've criticized the inanity of vast
majority of language documentations and tutorials in the industry. I've
used the Python tutorial's chapter on class as an example. I've
indicated that proper tutorial should be simple, covering just common
cases, be self-contained, and be example based. Documenting or covering
the language's functionalities manifest as it is. An exemplary case of
this style i've indicated is Stephen Wolfram Mathematica documentation.

Following is a tutorial on Python's classes. It is part of a
a-Python-a-day mailing list. As an example, it shows what i mean by
covering the language's functionalities as is, without needing to chalk
up to rocket sciences. If expanded slightly and edited, it can supplant
sections 9.0 to 9.4 of the Python tutorial. Languages Tutorials should
follow this style.

---------------
From: xa*@xahlee.org
Subject: [perl-python] 20050124 classes and objects
Date: January 24, 2005 6:44:14 AM PST
To: pe*********@yahoogroups.com

# -*- coding: utf-8 -*-
# Python

# in Python, one can define a boxed set
# of data and functions, which are
# traditionally known as "class".

# in the following, we define a set of data
# and functions as a class, and name it xxx
©class xxx:
© "a class extempore! (^_^)"
© i=1 # i'm a piece of data
© def okaydokey(self): return "okaydokey"
© def square(self,a): return a**a

# in the following,
# we create an object, of the class xxx.
# also known as "instantiate a class".
x = xxx()

# data or functions defined in a class
# are called the class's attributes or
# methods.
# to use them, append a dot and
# their name after the object's name.
print 'value of attribute i is:', x.i
print "3 squared is:", x.square(3)
print "okaydokey called:", x.okaydokey()

# in the definition of function inside a
# class, the first parameter "self" is
# necessary. (you'll know why when you need to)

# the first line in the class definition
# is the class's documentation. It can
# be accessed thru the __doc__
# attribute.
print "xxx's doc string is:", x.__doc__

# one can change data inside the class
x.i = 400

# one can also add new data to the class
x.j=4
print x.j

# or even override a method
x.square = 333
# (the following line will no longer work)
# print "3 squared is:", x.square(3)

# in Python, one must be careful not to
# overwrite data or methods defined in a
# class.

#-----------------------

# for a obfuscated treatment with a few
# extra info, see
# http://python.org/doc/2.3.4/tut/node11.html

# in Python terminal, type help() then
# topic CLASSES to read about existing
# datatypes as classes, and classes in
# Python

# try to write a class with one data of
# integer and two functions, one
# increases it by 1, one decreases it by
# 1. note: inside a class definition,
# to refer to data inside itself use
# self. e.g. self.i
Xah
xa*@xahlee.org
http://xahlee.org/PageTwo_dir/more.html

Jul 18 '05 #20

P: n/a
"Xah Lee" <xa*@xahlee.org> writes:
[snip]
Following is a tutorial on Python's classes.

[snip]

Please stop posting this to comp.lang.c. I'm sure the folks in most
of the other newsgroup aren't interested either -- or if they are,
they can find it in comp.lang.python.

Followups redirected.

--
Keith Thompson (The_Other_Keith) ks***@mib.org <http://www.ghoti.net/~kst>
San Diego Supercomputer Center <*> <http://users.sdsc.edu/~kst>
We must do something. This is something. Therefore, we must do this.
Jul 18 '05 #21

P: n/a
>>>>> "XL" == Xah Lee <xa*@xahlee.org> writes:

XL> I've used the Python tutorial's chapter on class as
XL> an example. I've indicated that proper tutorial should be
XL> simple, covering just common cases, be self-contained, and be
XL> example based.

"Correct" is not in your list of criteria. Big surprise, that.

Followups set appropriately.

Charlton
--
cwilbur at chromatico dot net
cwilbur at mac dot com
Jul 18 '05 #22

P: n/a
Xah the arrogant wrote, among other things,

# one can change data inside the class
x.i = 400

# one can also add new data to the class
x.j=4
print x.j

# or even override a method
x.square = 333
# (the following line will no longer work)
# print "3 squared is:", x.square(3)

# in Python, one must be careful not to
# overwrite data or methods defined in a
# class.
--------------

However, there are several errors in the above that would mislead a Python
learner. I advise any such to ignore Xah's writings.

Terry J. Reedy

Jul 18 '05 #23

P: n/a
Terry Reedy said unto the world upon 2005-01-26 14:08:
Xah the arrogant wrote, among other things,
<SNIP>
However, there are several errors in the above that would mislead a Python
learner. I advise any such to ignore Xah's writings.

Terry J. Reedy


Hi all,

here's a thought:

There isn't any doubt that these 'tutorials' are generally unwelcome
and unhelpful. Numerous people have kindly taken the time to flag some
of the problems. So much so that any competent google of the archives
would quickly reveal the group consensus on their instructional merit.

I submit that continued corrections and advice of this sort are
counter-productive. I understand the good intentions behind the
corrections. (Indeed, my own level of Python-fu is such that it is
possible that I might have been mislead the 'tutorials' without these
corrections; I thus appreciate the correctors' efforts.) But, such
corrections are troll-food and make it unlikely that the 'game' of
posting such tutorials will soon loose its magical power to amuse the
OP. They all but ensure that there will be more such 'tutorials' to
correct.

Could we try to ignore them in the hopes that without the light of
attention they will wither, meanwhile trusting the many extant reviews
and google to do their work?

(In case it isn't obvious: none of this is intended as a criticism of
Terry or any of the others who have been 'fighting the good fight'; I
just think a change of strategy might be in order.)

Best to all

Brian vdB

Jul 18 '05 #24

P: n/a
Brian van den Broek wrote:
Terry Reedy said unto the world upon 2005-01-26 14:08:
Xah the arrogant wrote, among other things,

<SNIP>
However, there are several errors in the above that would mislead a
Python learner. I advise any such to ignore Xah's writings.

Terry J. Reedy

Hi all,

here's a thought:

There isn't any doubt that these 'tutorials' are generally unwelcome
and unhelpful. Numerous people have kindly taken the time to flag some
of the problems. So much so that any competent google of the archives
would quickly reveal the group consensus on their instructional merit.

I submit that continued corrections and advice of this sort are
counter-productive. I understand the good intentions behind the
corrections. (Indeed, my own level of Python-fu is such that it is
possible that I might have been mislead the 'tutorials' without these
corrections; I thus appreciate the correctors' efforts.) But, such
corrections are troll-food and make it unlikely that the 'game' of
posting such tutorials will soon loose its magical power to amuse the
OP. They all but ensure that there will be more such 'tutorials' to
correct.


<snip>

I couldn't agree with you more. *However*, when the person posting is
self-absorbed to the extent that he doesn't realize that others exist
and don't give a crap about their wishes or discomforts, it puts you in
a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation. I honestly think
that we're stuck with the inane ramblings of Xah Lee regardless of
whether we feed his trolling or ignore him. But I do think that
responding to him in order to preach some sense into him is futile. He
is right about everything and can't be swayed by the likes of us mere
mortals. So, ignore him, post responses for the benefit of others out
there, entertain yourself by pointing out to yourself and others his
folly, but don't waste your time replying back to him and trying to talk
sense. Like I said, we're stuck with him.
Jeremy
Jul 18 '05 #25

P: n/a
[New subject line]

In response to my response to a trollish posting...
There isn't any doubt that these 'tutorials' are generally unwelcome and
unhelpful. Numerous people have kindly taken the time to flag some of the
problems. So much so that any competent google of the archives would
quickly reveal the group consensus on their instructional merit.
Yes, having advised many people to use Google, I thought it appropriate to
flag one particular section that I thought dangerous.
I submit that continued corrections and advice of this sort are
counter-productive.
I agree that 'correcting' Xah's writing is useless, and so I refrained. If
asked 'What's wrong with the part you flagged?', I would stick with my
original advice: "Ignore it".
Could we try to ignore them in the hopes that without the light of
attention they will wither, meanwhile trusting the many extant reviews
and google to do their work?
I only read that particular post because it lacked the [Perl-Python] flag
and because I was interested in the subject. Sure, now that I have added
my one and presumably only review, let's everyone stop ;-)
(In case it isn't obvious: none of this is intended as a criticism of
Terry or any of the others who have been 'fighting the good fight'; I
just think a change of strategy might be in order.)


No offense taken. My personal strategy is to read only as much of trollish
threads as I find interesting or somehow instructive, almost never respond,
and then ignore the rest. I also mostly ignore discussions about such
threads.

Terry J. Reedy


Jul 18 '05 #26

P: n/a

Terry Reedy wrote:

No offense taken. My personal strategy is to read only as much of trollish threads as I find interesting or somehow instructive, almost never respond, and then ignore the rest. I also mostly ignore discussions about such threads.


Indeed. Let's just nominate XL to the "Full Canvas Jacket" website
(http://www.ratbags.com/ranters/) and move on.

Jul 18 '05 #27

P: n/a
John Machin wrote:
Indeed. Let's just nominate XL to the "Full Canvas Jacket" website
(http://www.ratbags.com/ranters/) and move on.


I'm not sure how reliable that site could be. After
all, it contains no articles with the words "autocoding",
"threeseas", or "rue" (other than as the French "street").

Sad, really. ;-)

(Neither has it been updated in the last two years. :-( )

-Peter
Jul 18 '05 #28

P: n/a
On Wed, 2005-01-26 at 09:35 +0000, Keith Thompson wrote:
"Xah Lee" <xa*@xahlee.org> writes:
[snip]
Following is a tutorial on Python's classes.

[snip]

Please stop posting this to comp.lang.c. I'm sure the folks in most
of the other newsgroup aren't interested either -- or if they are,
they can find it in comp.lang.python.


Going by the general reaction on c.l.py, I think it'd be more accurate
if you left that at "Please stop posting".

Sorry for the cross-post, and for this "perl-python" moron who appears
to have nothing to do with either, or any knowledge of them.

--
Craig Ringer

Jul 18 '05 #29

P: n/a
In comp.lang.perl.misc Xah Lee <xa*@xahlee.org> wrote:
Following is a tutorial on Python's classes. It is part of a
a-Python-a-day mailing list. As an example, it shows what i mean by
covering the language's functionalities as is, without needing to chalk
up to rocket sciences. If expanded slightly and edited, it can supplant
sections 9.0 to 9.4 of the Python tutorial. Languages Tutorials should
follow this style.


It is crap, not a tutorial, but just an aide-memoire for someone who
presumably knows the stuff anyway.

And keep it where it belongs please.

Axel

Jul 18 '05 #30

P: n/a
in the doc for re module
http://python.org/doc/lib/module-re.html

4.2.2 on Matching vs Searching
http://python.org/doc/lib/matching-searching.html

Its mentioning of Perl is irrelevant, since the majority reading that
page will not have expertise with Perl regex. The whole section should
be deleted, because it only adds confusion. (later section 4.2.3 on
search and match methods plainly indicated their difference.)

(the mentioning of perl there is a combination of author masterbation,
ass kissing, and Python fanaticism. All together innocently done as
ignorance of standard authors.)

A detailed explanation of their difference or the mentioning of Perl
should be in FAQ or such material.

in section 4.2.6 Examples, there needs to be more and simple examples.
(e.g. http://xahlee.org/perl-python/regex.html.) The beginning large
section about some scaf() should be deleted for the same reason as the
Perl above.

-------------------------

in section 11.12.2 SMTP Examples
http://python.org/doc/lib/SMTP-example.html

the example given is turgid.

In a tutorial or documentation, you want to give example as short and
to the point as possible. In this case, it is illustrating how to use
smtplib, not how to preamble with nice command line interface. A better
example would be like:

import smtplib
smtpServer='smtp.yourdomain.com';
fr***********@xahlee.org';
to*********@xahlee.org';
text='''Subject: test test

Hi ...
'''

server = smtplib.SMTP(smtpServer)
server.set_debuglevel(1)
server.sendmail(fromAddr, toAddr, text)
server.quit()
Xah
xa*@xahlee.org
http://xahlee.org/PageTwo_dir/more.html

Jul 18 '05 #31

P: n/a
i've noticed that in Python official doc
http://python.org/doc/lib/module-re.html
and also How-To doc
http://www.amk.ca/python/howto/regex/

both mentions the book "Mastering Regular Expressions" by Jeffrey
Friedl.

I suggest it be dropped in both places. The mentioning of this book in
the Perl/Python community is mostly a fawning behavior and confession
that the author is among "in the know". This book and its mentioning is
a cultish behavior among OpenSource morons.

Most of the time, its mentioning as a reference is irrelevant. 99% uses
of regex are the simplest uses. Spending time to read this book of
specialization, from economy perspective, is a waste of time.
Xah
xa*@xahlee.org
http://xahlee.org/PageTwo_dir/more.html

Jul 18 '05 #32

P: n/a

"Xah Lee" <xa*@xahlee.org> wrote in message
news:11*********************@c13g2000cwb.googlegro ups.com...
i've noticed that in Python official doc
http://python.org/doc/lib/module-re.html
and also How-To doc
http://www.amk.ca/python/howto/regex/

both mentions the book "Mastering Regular Expressions" by Jeffrey
Friedl.

I suggest it be dropped in both places. The mentioning of this book in
the Perl/Python community is mostly a fawning behavior and confession
that the author is among "in the know". This book and its mentioning is
a cultish behavior among OpenSource morons.

Most of the time, its mentioning as a reference is irrelevant. 99% uses
of regex are the simplest uses. Spending time to read this book of
specialization, from economy perspective, is a waste of time.
Xah


We should drop the olympics too. 99% of people don't practice any of those
sports at a competitive level. Who the hell does pole vaulting or throws a
javelin?

Sorry, maybe I should have posted this in the "next Xah Lee post contest"
thread.

Dan
Jul 18 '05 #33

P: n/a
On Wed, 2 Feb 2005 12:22:24 -0500,
Dan Perl <da*****@rogers.com> quoted:
"Xah Lee" <xa*@xahlee.org> wrote in message
I suggest it be dropped in both places. The mentioning of this book in
the Perl/Python community is mostly a fawning behavior and confession
that the author is among "in the know". This book and its mentioning is
a cultish behavior among OpenSource morons.


Not to mention that the reference to the book in the regex howto is hardly
"fawning":

The most complete book on regular expressions is almost certainly
Jeffrey Friedl's Mastering Regular Expressions, published by
O'Reilly. Unfortunately, it exclusively concentrates on Perl and
Java's flavours of regular expressions, and doesn't contain any
Python material at all, so it won't be useful as a reference for
programming in Python. (The first edition covered Python's
now-obsolete regex module, which won't help you much.) Consider
checking it out from your library.

(I like how Lee extols Python, but also says its documentation was written
by "opensource morons". Honestly, you couldn't pay for this much
entertainment.)

--amk
Jul 18 '05 #34

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