Relearning python, part 7: Which way is up?
Weeks after beginning python, I have hit a forest on a plateau- the speed of learning and discovery has slowed, and I’m getting confused and discovered. I’m beginning to think I won’t finish my current project- I am sure deploying it on a server is going to be another exercise in frustration and hope I can even make it to that point before my life gets busy. Here’s what I’m struggling with.
1. Changing my mind. I was very much in the habit, in the static-typing world, to declare simple immutable data types. This seems unnecessary and uncommon in python- instead, use dictionaries. This makes sense- the onus of immutability is on the caller in python (in general), and the dynamic nature means having those simple data types doesn’t buy anything over a dictionary (especially if you use a bunch-like object, you will probably want to write your own though). The problem is that a) this makes refactoring more difficult- this sort of linking is where static typing shines, so changing- and then removing- these data types is never ‘foolproof’, just quick and sometimes with minor breakages that unit testing hopefully finds.
2. Unittesting. I am writing tests and actually enjoy it. And I am getting better. Mostly my problem is with running tests. I am struggling along the spectrum of everything manually (set up to run the .py file with the tests run if __main__) and completely done through the IDE w/ nose (pycharm -> Python nosetests). I actually found out a lot of my tests weren’t being run, somehow. I’ve now switched it to be the manual setup, so I can have better control and learn more about what’s going on. That’s a problem with convention-driven systems, I guess, is that the implications can get too confusing for noobs like me.
I am struggling more from not having people to ask questions to than I am because of anything to do with python or the web. Part of the problem is I’m so unfamiliar with certain things that I don’t even know what questions to ask.
I look forward to starting at CCP and having people to field more general python questions, and I also feel myself getting over the hump and getting a hang of the web stuff enough to actually make something.
[…] did it. As I was finishing yesterday’s blog post, I finally got my project working, and exposed on the internet. Now I that things are finally […]