[OT] Why Python 'fits your brain'

Steven H. Rogers steve at shrogers.com
Fri Nov 10 07:29:58 CST 2006


Lisp has minimal syntax, as does APL, which does make them easy to learn if 
you have no preconceptions about what a programming language should be. 
They're rarely, if ever the first language people learn, so the strange 
appearance is a barrier that offsets the basic simplicity.  They both also 
have a large number of primitive functions, which adds to the cognitive 
load.  Of course, when you include necessary libraries, C and Java get 
pretty big too.

Maybe the types of connections are the deciding factor.  Hierarchical name 
spaces may help as well, so that it's more obvious that you only need to fit 
part of it into your brain as well.

Regards,
Steve
////////////////

Bill Baxter wrote:
> I think Ruby users say the same about Ruby, maybe even more
> emphatically than Python users, and Ruby's chart looks like just about
> the most complicated one there.  C and Python look to be about on par.
>  Also I suspect a chart of Lisp's grammar would be even simpler than
> any of those up there, but I doubt many scientists would say that Lisp
> really fits their brain.
> 
> So I'm not really sure what conclusions you can draw from such charts.
> The human brain is a complex network too.  Probably what matters more
> is that the connections in those dependency charts somehow match the
> connections in our brains.
> 
> --bb
> 
> On 11/10/06, Fernando Perez <fperez.net at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Please forgive the not-specifically-numpy post. I'll keep it short.
>>
>> Some of us often, when trying to explain to newcomers the benefits of
>> Python for scientific work, use expressions like the famous 'it fits
>> your brain'.  This is an attempt at conveying why it seems like such a
>> natural tool for expressing, concisely and without extraneous noise,
>> but simultaneously with ease, the nature of many algorithmic problems.
>>
>> I think these four images
>>
>> http://flickr.com/photos/nicksieger/281055485/
>> http://flickr.com/photos/nicksieger/281055530/
>> http://flickr.com/photos/nicksieger/280662707/
>> http://flickr.com/photos/nicksieger/280661836/
>>
>> may provide a useful visual aid.  I certainly intend to use them (with
>> attribution) the next time I need to give a talk along those lines.
>>
>> Regards,
>>
> 
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Using Tomcat but need to do more? Need to support web services, security?
> Get stuff done quickly with pre-integrated technology to make your job easier
> Download IBM WebSphere Application Server v.1.0.1 based on Apache Geronimo
> http://sel.as-us.falkag.net/sel?cmd=lnk&kid=120709&bid=263057&dat=121642
> _______________________________________________
> Numpy-discussion mailing list
> Numpy-discussion at lists.sourceforge.net
> https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/numpy-discussion
> 
> 

-- 
Steven H. Rogers, Ph.D., steve at shrogers.com
Weblog: http://shrogers.com/weblog
"He who refuses to do arithmetic is doomed to talk nonsense."
-- John McCarthy


-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Using Tomcat but need to do more? Need to support web services, security?
Get stuff done quickly with pre-integrated technology to make your job easier
Download IBM WebSphere Application Server v.1.0.1 based on Apache Geronimo
http://sel.as-us.falkag.net/sel?cmd=lnk&kid=120709&bid=263057&dat=121642




More information about the Numpy-discussion mailing list