I thought Noobfor’s rant was an exaggeration. Thank you for proving me
wrong, now I know better.
"How can “ten commands” be applied with same relevance in all
Obviously they can’t, and nobody suggested that they would.
You appear to have missed the point of the exercise, which is not to
teach ten commands and then stop, with the learner supposedly now
capable of programming everything and anything. The point is to come up
with an initial ten commands as an introduction to Python, suitable for
teaching kids with no programming experience.
Think about it logically: if you are teaching Python to (let’s say) an
average 12 year old who has never programmed before, there must be a
first Python command (or function, operator, statement, whatever) that
you demonstrate. If you are like most teachers, it is more likely to be
del. If there is a first, then there
will be a second, then a third, and so on.
That doesn’t mean that we stop at ten and announce that the student has
learned everything that there is to know about Python.
“It’s like asking for ten most important verbs in natural language.”
Bad analogy. We can ask what are the ten most important verbs in natural
language, and while they will be different from one language to another,
I expect that they will likely have quite similar across many languages.
In English, the ten most important verbs are:
- be, have, do, say, make, go, take, come, see, get.
They are all irregular verbs, so you might not recognise them when you
see them. For example, any of the following are the same verb in
- be, to be, will be, is, was, are, were, am, being, been
In any case, most important is not necessarily the same as what you
would teach first. I think that Python’s
import statement is easily in
the top ten most important things in the language, but I wouldn’t teach
it until the second or third lesson, after the students have learned how
to do basic arithmetic, assignment, comparisons, use print, etc.