Paul's Ponderings

Saturday, July 09, 2005
IronPython Article

My IronPython article was recently posted on the DevX site. They didn't run a sidebar that my 16-year old son wrote on learning to program so I'm gonna post it here.

About two years ago I approached my father about learning to program a computer. He gave me a Python interpreter, the LiveWires worksheets for young non-programmers, and the LiveWires package (the modules for the worksheets). The LiveWires materials ( include self-study PDF course notes and reference material along with sample programs.

The LiveWires worksheets teach a few of the most basic Python commands and use the LiveWires package to make a few of the inputs easier for the user to understand. It teaches basics about inputs, loops, common commands and mathematical calculations. The extra "games" file includes worksheets for more programs that explain about coordinates, colors, image files and more.

After completing the LiveWires worksheets I wrote programs of my own for a while and explored the examples using another book I borrowed from my father (Learning Python by Mark Lutz). Using the Python built-in help module I learned several other tricks about the language and actually modified some of the modules to make my programs work. One example of this is the py2exe module. This takes a raw Python script and converts it to a Windows executable. After fixing a few typos I was able to use the py2exe module with both a setup script and from the Windows command-line.

All in all I feel like I have a good start at programming and I’m looking forward to learning more in the future.

Micah Ferrill

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