Python for N5 and Higher/AH

  • Mark Hay

    Hi folks, looking to change from VB for N5 and the new Higher and potentially AH given that one of the AH ASP solutions are in Python already. Wondered if anyone had any huge opinions or feedback from ES/SQA? My only huge remaining concerns are the way Python handles Arrays aka Lists and the lack of a record structure: although i could just create a class to simulate the record types. Any comments appreciated.

    Peter Thoresen

    Hi Mark

    I’ll be using Python, and using classes to simulate records. This does lead quite nicely into object-oriented programming.

    A bigger issues for Higher is parameter passing – Python uses neither “by value” nor “by reference”. This was discussed in an older thread

    Personally I am a Python convert – I find it so much easier to debug pupils’ programs. However, do get a decent IDE which will highlight syntax errors as you are editing code rather than at runtime – I use Eric.

    David Muir

    I’ve not tried Eric yet (but after a quick look at the screenshots, it looks promising). Currently, I am trying out the free PyCharm Educational Edition and so far, I am impressed. The built in tutorial that comes with it is not brilliant but the option to create your own tutorials might be useful.

    Has anyone used PyCharm with pupils?

    Ian Simpson

    We use Notepad++ and Python IDLE at school and, to be honest, I’d want to avoid the IDE route where possible – focussing on the errors shown by IDLE and encouraging students to actually read them. Eric looks nice, but I wonder if the kids have any trouble interpreting how to use it? It >looks< complicated and that might put more barriers up to those new to programming. I might have been swayed by requirements for the Outcome 3 report, but now it's off the table...

    Sean Stratton

    I’m trying to get back to basics as well. IDLE might be simple but so are a lot of their programs. With the push for the pupils to be able to read the code then having the IDE check it for them isn’t helping them, I think.
    I feel like I am back in the 80’s with Python and IDLE but it could be that is no bad thing. For years I’ve been forcing the kids not use VB’s objects, now they don’t have the choice.
    I’ll teach the basics and let the Uni or themselves simplify it.

    Same goes for HTML. I am sitting here investigating WebPlus X8 as a replacement for dreamweaver CS3 and thinking that notepad++ and HTML 5 would be better for the kids in the long run and that applies from the first time we show them it.

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