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[Python] Does anyone else not find the fun in programming...?

Chris Lyon
Jan 13, 2004 at 4:23 pm
I find python very effective as a language and can generally project
most of my hazy thoughts into it. But FUN !!! This is work dammit,
I have now ground my teeth down from the number of times I read that
programming is fun. Football (association) is fun, walking along
canals is fun, Arguing about quite how useless the British Government
is fun but programming ?

Do I need help ?

(Actually typing this was quite fun, so perhaps)
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24 responses

  • Lawrence Oluyede at Jan 13, 2004 at 4:26 pm

    chris.lyon at spritenote.co.uk (Chris Lyon) writes:

    Do I need help ?
    Mmmm maybe programming is not your way (or you work in a boring
    place :)

    --
    Lawrence "Rhymes" Oluyede
    http://loluyede.blogspot.com
  • Rony at Jan 13, 2004 at 5:28 pm
    Group : comp.lang.python
    I find python very effective as a language and can generally project
    most of my hazy thoughts into it. But FUN !!! This is work dammit,
    I have now ground my teeth down from the number of times I read that
    programming is fun. Football (association) is fun, walking along
    canals is fun, Arguing about quite how useless the British Government
    is fun but programming ?

    Do I need help ?

    (Actually typing this was quite fun, so perhaps)
    Well I agree...
    Meeting people, having a drink with them, sex.. is fun

    Programming is just a job

    Rony
    --
    Rony

    /_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/
    / bucodi_no_spam at yahoo.fr (delete _no_spam)
    /
    www.bucodi.com - My work
    \ www.ifrance/karamusic -- My hobby
    \_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/
  • Christos TZOTZIOY Georgiou at Jan 13, 2004 at 5:45 pm
    On Tue, 13 Jan 2004 18:28:13 +0100, rumours say that Rony
    <bucodi_no_spam at ahoo.fr> might have written:

    [snip: Chris Lyon doubts that programming is fun]
    Do I need help ?

    (Actually typing this was quite fun, so perhaps)
    [Rony]
    Well I agree...
    Meeting people, having a drink with them, sex.. is fun

    Programming is just a job
    Programming can be fun if seen as creation. It's hard to be fun when
    you do what others request, but it *is* fun when you write programs for
    your own reasons...
    --
    TZOTZIOY, I speak England very best,
    Ils sont fous ces Redmontains! --Harddix
  • Bruno Desthuilliers at Jan 13, 2004 at 10:20 pm

    Rony wrote:
    Group : comp.lang.python
    (snip)
    Well I agree...
    Meeting people, having a drink with them, sex.. is
    s/fun/boring/
    Programming is just
    s/a job/fun/

    <op> did this help ?-) </op>
  • Robert Brewer at Jan 13, 2004 at 5:44 pm

    I find python very effective as a language and can generally project
    most of my hazy thoughts into it. But FUN !!! This is work dammit,
    I have now ground my teeth down from the number of times I read that
    programming is fun. Football (association) is fun, walking along
    canals is fun, Arguing about quite how useless the British Government
    is fun but programming ?
    Different people find different activities to be "fun" (for various
    definitions of "fun"). I personally enjoy _design_, and programming
    provides a context for that, but there are other vehicles for meeting my
    daily design quota. Python in particular allows me to focus on
    higher-level design issues (compared to other languages I've used).

    One of the interesting things about computers in general is their
    ability to be a vehicle for most things people enjoy, if only virtually.
    My sincere sympathies to anyone who is stuck programming (or doing any
    other kind of work with computers) for a paycheck only.


    FuManChu
  • Arthur at Jan 13, 2004 at 6:00 pm

    On 13 Jan 2004 08:23:46 -0800, chris.lyon at spritenote.co.uk (Chris Lyon) wrote:

    I find python very effective as a language and can generally project
    most of my hazy thoughts into it. But FUN !!! This is work dammit,
    I have now ground my teeth down from the number of times I read that
    programming is fun. Football (association) is fun, walking along
    canals is fun, Arguing about quite how useless the British Government
    is fun but programming ?
    I reserve Python for fun, i.e. use it for projects having no $ motive.
    Scheduling Python work on "when the mood stkes me" basis, i.e.
    unscheduled.
    Do I need help ?
    Since, for me, it's most particularly fun when I *should* be doing
    something else:

    it would seem, I do.

    Art
  • John J. Lee at Jan 14, 2004 at 11:35 pm
    Arthur <ajsiegel at optonline.com> writes:
    [...]
    Do I need help ?
    Since, for me, it's most particularly fun when I *should* be doing
    something else:

    it would seem, I do.
    :-))

    it's-only-work-when-they-make-you-do-it-ly y'rs,


    John
  • Jeff Epler at Jan 13, 2004 at 9:01 pm
    "fun" in "programming"
    0 # DANGIT
    "programming".find("fun")
    -1 # ARGARGHARGH
    "programming".index("fun")
    ValueError: substring not found in string.index # F***!
    assert "programming" is "fun"
    AssertionError # I'm going home

    Jeff
  • Hans Nowak at Jan 14, 2004 at 1:09 am

    Jeff Epler wrote:
    assert "programming" is "fun"
    AssertionError # I'm going home
    Try: assert "programming is fun"

    :-)

    --
    Hans (hans at zephyrfalcon.org)
    http://zephyrfalcon.org/
  • Alan Gauld at Jan 13, 2004 at 11:13 pm

    On 13 Jan 2004 08:23:46 -0800, chris.lyon at spritenote.co.uk (Chris Lyon) wrote:
    I find python very effective as a language and can generally project
    most of my hazy thoughts into it. But FUN !!! This is work dammit,
    When I was a working programmer I kind of felt the same way.

    But then I became a designer and now cherish the time I spend
    writing code (and not just in Python, even C++, Lisp and
    Delphi)- because it is fun! :-)
    programming is fun. Football (association) is fun, walking along
    canals is fun, Arguing about quite how useless the British Government
    is fun but programming ?
    Its fun like doing a jigsaw is fun, or a crossword. Its about
    problem solving. Its about finding elegant solutions to problems.
    If you don't enjoy doing the puzzle page in your daily newspaper
    you probably won't enjoy programming... Probably a bad example
    since zillions of crossword haters will now say how much they
    enjoy programming! :-)

    But its in that ballpark IMHO.

    Alan G.
    Author of the Learn to Program website
    http://www.freenetpages.co.uk/hp/alan.gauld
  • Asun Friere at Jan 14, 2004 at 12:22 am
    chris.lyon at spritenote.co.uk (Chris Lyon) wrote in message news:<d232c5e.0401130823.27fd26ff at posting.google.com>...
    I find python very effective as a language and can generally project
    most of my hazy thoughts into it. But FUN !!! This is work dammit,
    I have now ground my teeth down from the number of times I read that
    programming is fun. Football (association) is fun, walking along
    canals is fun, Arguing about quite how useless the British Government
    is fun but programming ?

    Do I need help ?

    Maybe you just need another vocation. Work and fun are not
    necessarily mutually exclusive. Considering the proportion of your
    life you will spend at work, you ought to make damn sure they aren't!

    Programming is such fun that I'm happy (almost) every day to be going
    to work. Which is more than I can say about various other jobs I've
    had. OK so maybe it can be painful at times (like when I have to work
    with XSLT :o), but designing and implementing solutions in Python (or
    watching my little creatures take on a life of their own - which is
    how I look at OOP - hmm maybe I need help?), is just plain fun. Which
    is not to say football, walking and arguing are not.
  • Samuel Walters at Jan 14, 2004 at 2:06 am

    Thus Spake Chris Lyon On the now historical date of Tue, 13 Jan 2004
    08:23:46 -0800|
    I find python very effective as a language and can generally project
    most of my hazy thoughts into it. But FUN !!! This is work dammit, I
    have now ground my teeth down from the number of times I read that
    programming is fun. Football (association) is fun, walking along canals
    is fun, Arguing about quite how useless the British Government is fun
    but programming ?
    Do you grind your teeth whenever you hear someone say... Oh, perhaps
    "Knitting is fun?" I don't like knitting, but my grandmother finds
    knitting fun, and it causes me no anxiety that she or anyone else gets
    enjoyment that way.

    Why is it, then, that me saying "programming is fun" upsets you?
    Is it jealousy that causes you to grind your teeth, or something else?

    You see, I get a certain feeling of reward when I solve a problem. This
    might be a particularly tough math problem, or a programming problem, or
    most any other kind of "self challenge." First it's a feeling of intrigue
    and fascination, then a feeling of triumph.

    I'll try to draw some more mundane situations that gave me the same
    feeling.

    With perhaps only a difference in adrenaline level, I get the same kick
    from programming that I got when I sacked a quarterback or scored a
    touchdown playing football (american) during high school.

    I get the same kick as when I first benchpressed my own weight. And as
    when I completed my first 10k run, and again when I won my first 10k run.

    There's something to point out about the past few examples. I didn't
    necessarily enjoy all the weightlifting and running and training for
    football, but in the end, it was well worth it to me.

    During the process of solving a problem, I get the same feeling as I get
    while chatting up an interesting girl in a bar. (No, the playful
    fascination part, not the sexual part.)

    I also get the same feeling as watching a good movie. There's some level
    of intrigue involved.

    The list goes on, but maybe now you can see what I get out of it.

    No doubt there are things that give you the same feeling. Too bad you
    haven't yet found a line of work that incorporates them.
    Do I need help ?
    Perhaps from a career counselor.

    I have a philosophy about time, money, happiness and freedom. There are
    those who say that time is money, and I disagree with them. If I lose
    money, I can get it back. If I lose time, it's gone forever. We've all
    heard the cliche "Money can't buy happiness," which is only a half-truth.
    Money doesn't buy happiness, but it can buy the freedom to pursue
    happiness. So, when I consider a job, I ask myself "Will this job result
    in a net gain of happiness and freedom for me?" I am, after all, selling
    pieces of my very own existence (time) for money. Thus, I try hard to
    find jobs that I will enjoy, even if they don't pay as much, because I'll
    be spending an awful lot of my existence working.

    HTH

    Sam Walters.

    --
    Never forget the halloween documents.
    http://www.opensource.org/halloween/
    """ Where will Microsoft try to drag you today?
    Do you really want to go there?"""
  • Max M at Jan 14, 2004 at 7:54 am

    Chris Lyon wrote:
    I find python very effective as a language and can generally project
    most of my hazy thoughts into it. But FUN !!!

    Perhaps you are working on the wrong projects?

    I program for work. That isn't fun. Well it's not bad either.

    But I also have a hobby creating music with algorithmic composition
    techniques in Python. And that is *fun*

    Creating basic libraries is also fun. Spending all the time you need to
    get them "just right"

    Combining programming with some kind of hobby hardware can also be fun.



    regards Max M
  • Dave Benjamin at Jan 17, 2004 at 9:54 pm

    In article <4004f5ac$0$69931$edfadb0f at dread12.news.tele.dk>, Max M wrote:
    But I also have a hobby creating music with algorithmic composition
    techniques in Python. And that is *fun*
    What Python libraries do you use to do algorithmic composition? I played
    around with Snack (for Tcl) awhile back but couldn't get decent realtime
    performance so I gave up on the idea for the time being. I'm very interested
    to hear what sort of techniques you use.

    --
    .:[ dave benjamin (ramenboy) -:- www.ramenfest.com -:- www.3dex.com ]:.
    : d r i n k i n g l i f e o u t o f t h e c o n t a i n e r :
  • Max M at Jan 18, 2004 at 12:23 pm

    Dave Benjamin wrote:

    In article <4004f5ac$0$69931$edfadb0f at dread12.news.tele.dk>, Max M wrote:
    What Python libraries do you use to do algorithmic composition? I played
    around with Snack (for Tcl) awhile back but couldn't get decent realtime
    performance so I gave up on the idea for the time being. I'm very interested
    to hear what sort of techniques you use.
    First of I don't use realtime...

    I create lists of notes::

    class Note:

    def __init__(self, time=0, pitchd, velocityd, duration�):
    self.time = time
    self.pitch = pitch
    self.velocity = velocity
    self.duration = duration

    def __str__(self):
    r = []
    a = r.append
    a('time %s' % self.time)
    a('pitch %s' % self.pitch)
    a('velocity %s' % self.velocity)
    a('duration %s' % self.duration)
    return '\n'.join(r)


    That are then converted into midi files by a very simple wrapper layer.

    This simple structure makes it extremely simple to create
    transformations on a list of notes. I considder each list a "part" like
    you see it in Cubase/Logic.

    The idea is then to create a personal library of transformations and
    generators that expres your own musical style. I also have a few
    routines for repeating/extending/sequencing these parts.

    I import these midi files into software like Cubase, or Reason or Orion.
    Where they drive either hardware or software synths.

    I like to fiddle around with the sounds manually by twiddleling the knobs.

    But I don't change the mnusic manually in the sequencer software. Rather
    i change the software and genereate a new midi file, that I reload.

    It is a bit like writing code generators. And it is completely flexible,
    creative and fun due to the ease of Python.


    regards Max M
  • Dave Benjamin at Jan 18, 2004 at 7:42 pm

    In article <400a7a92$0$205$edfadb0f at dread12.news.tele.dk>, Max M wrote:
    Dave Benjamin wrote:
    In article <4004f5ac$0$69931$edfadb0f at dread12.news.tele.dk>, Max M wrote:
    What Python libraries do you use to do algorithmic composition? I played
    around with Snack (for Tcl) awhile back but couldn't get decent realtime
    performance so I gave up on the idea for the time being. I'm very interested
    to hear what sort of techniques you use.
    First of I don't use realtime...
    I figured... =)
    I create lists of notes::

    class Note:

    def __init__(self, time=0, pitchd, velocityd, duration�):
    self.time = time
    self.pitch = pitch
    self.velocity = velocity
    self.duration = duration

    def __str__(self):
    r = []
    a = r.append
    a('time %s' % self.time)
    a('pitch %s' % self.pitch)
    a('velocity %s' % self.velocity)
    a('duration %s' % self.duration)
    return '\n'.join(r)

    That are then converted into midi files by a very simple wrapper layer.

    This simple structure makes it extremely simple to create
    transformations on a list of notes. I considder each list a "part" like
    you see it in Cubase/Logic.

    The idea is then to create a personal library of transformations and
    generators that expres your own musical style. I also have a few
    routines for repeating/extending/sequencing these parts.
    So, a data-flow style more or less... that seems to be a useful model for
    music software. Have you ever played around with Max?
    I import these midi files into software like Cubase, or Reason or Orion.
    Where they drive either hardware or software synths.

    I like to fiddle around with the sounds manually by twiddleling the knobs.

    But I don't change the mnusic manually in the sequencer software. Rather
    i change the software and genereate a new midi file, that I reload.

    It is a bit like writing code generators. And it is completely flexible,
    creative and fun due to the ease of Python.
    Yeah, makes perfect sense to me. Do you have any Python-generated songs
    available? Sounds really cool.

    The thing I was working on was a probabilistic beat generator, based on
    statistics of when a certain drum would hit in a beat for a selection of hip
    hop songs. I was trying to capture the "feel" rather than the exact sequence
    of sounds. I still have the (tcl) source laying around here somewhere. It
    worked pretty well on Linux (I could actually get it to beat-match) but in
    Windows the performance was terrible. Which is probably because I'd have to
    be out of my mind to think I could get realtime performance out of Tcl. ;)

    Thanks, Max...

    --
    .:[ dave benjamin (ramenboy) -:- www.ramenfest.com -:- www.3dex.com ]:.
    : d r i n k i n g l i f e o u t o f t h e c o n t a i n e r :
  • Max M at Jan 19, 2004 at 12:18 pm

    Dave Benjamin wrote:

    So, a data-flow style more or less... that seems to be a useful model for
    music software. Have you ever played around with Max?
    No. I tried c-sound, and while it was interesting, it was really
    cumbersome at the level I am interested in.
    Yeah, makes perfect sense to me. Do you have any Python-generated songs
    available? Sounds really cool.
    Nothing I will release. Mostly pre-studies.
    The thing I was working on was a probabilistic beat generator, based on
    statistics of when a certain drum would hit in a beat for a selection of hip
    hop songs. I was trying to capture the "feel" rather than the exact sequence
    of sounds.
    That is a good way to go. Bayes networks for rythmical patterns.


    regards Max M
  • Dave Benjamin at Jan 22, 2004 at 7:24 am

    In article <400bcb2b$0$180$edfadb0f at dread12.news.tele.dk>, Max M wrote:
    Dave Benjamin wrote:
    So, a data-flow style more or less... that seems to be a useful model for
    music software. Have you ever played around with Max?
    No. I tried c-sound, and while it was interesting, it was really
    cumbersome at the level I am interested in.
    Yeah, CSound is theoretically amazing but practically useless for me. ;) But
    I've had a few friends swear by it. I played around with Max a little bit in
    an electronic studio class, and found it very interesting. It's the only
    thing I've ever seen that was worthy of the name "graphical programming
    languaeg". A language you could program in entirely with a mouse, and it was
    actually useful. My teacher used it to do MIDI routing and later to create
    an algorithmic music installation in a musem.

    For the sake of keeping this on-topic, and because it actually sounds like a
    neat idea, I think it'd be cool to develop something like Max (or jMax - is
    that project still alive?) for Python. What's the best way of interfacing
    Python with real-time MIDI?
    Yeah, makes perfect sense to me. Do you have any Python-generated songs
    available? Sounds really cool.
    Nothing I will release. Mostly pre-studies.
    Hehe...
    The thing I was working on was a probabilistic beat generator, based on
    statistics of when a certain drum would hit in a beat for a selection of hip
    hop songs. I was trying to capture the "feel" rather than the exact sequence
    of sounds.
    That is a good way to go. Bayes networks for rythmical patterns.
    Interesting idea.

    --
    .:[ dave benjamin (rameny sp00) -:- spoomusic.com -:- ramenfest.com ]:.
    : d r i n k i n g l i f e o u t o f t h e c o n t a i n e r :
  • Ilpo Nyyssönen at Jan 14, 2004 at 7:11 pm

    chris.lyon at spritenote.co.uk (Chris Lyon) writes:

    This is work dammit,
    At work you do what you are told to do. As a hobby you can do what you
    want to do. Both can be fun. Just compare programming to filling a
    crossword puzzle or writing a poem.

    Programming gives something to think about. And then finding a
    solution for a problem or getting the program released or getting good
    feedback... the feelings can be awesome.

    And then, look at the code, it can be ugly or beautiful. Python
    luckily makes you to write better looking code. :)

    --
    Ilpo Nyyss?nen # biny # /* :-) */
  • Michael Chermside at Jan 15, 2004 at 4:52 pm

    Chris Lyon writes:
    I find python very effective as a language and can generally project
    most of my hazy thoughts into it. But FUN !!! This is work dammit,
    I have now ground my teeth down from the number of times I read that
    programming is fun. Football (association) is fun, walking along
    canals is fun, Arguing about quite how useless the British Government
    is fun but programming ?

    Do I need help ?
    Well, I can only speak for myself, but *I* _DO_ find programming fun.
    When I was in college, I used to practically disapear every once in
    a while for nearly a week at a time while working furiously on a
    program. These days, when I get a free weekend (which is somewhere
    between hardly ever and never), I will sometimes spend it writing a
    program for something like a game I was inspired to create. The fact
    that in my day job they pay me to do programming is just, well, great!
    Of course, I don't enjoy every moment. Right now I really need to
    spend the rest of the day writing up release notes and deployment
    plans for the latest version of our software, and that's not my
    favorite part of the job. But I couldn't take the same kind of pride
    in my work if I didn't see to it that even our release notes are of
    the same high quality as our code.

    Perhaps I'm just VERY fortunate... but then before I worked as a
    programmer, I used to be a teacher, and I ALSO enjoyed doing that
    job. My recomendation is to try to find a job which you really
    enjoy doing. After all, why waste such a large portion of your life
    on something that isn't rewarding? Sure, you still need to eat, but
    (at least in the USA where I live) it doesn't take NEARLY as much
    money to live on as most people seem to think, and there are many
    different ways of earning a living.

    -- Michael Chermside
  • Aahz at Jan 17, 2004 at 4:00 pm
    In article <d232c5e.0401130823.27fd26ff at posting.google.com>,
    Chris Lyon wrote:
    I find python very effective as a language and can generally project
    most of my hazy thoughts into it. But FUN !!! This is work dammit,
    I have now ground my teeth down from the number of times I read that
    programming is fun. Football (association) is fun, walking along
    canals is fun, Arguing about quite how useless the British Government
    is fun but programming ?
    When I learned Python, I'd been programming for more than twenty years,
    but I didn't call myself a programmer because I hated programming. I
    still don't think that programming is fun, but Python is enough fun for
    me to call myself a programmer.
    --
    Aahz (aahz at pythoncraft.com) <*> http://www.pythoncraft.com/

    A: No.
    Q: Is top-posting okay?
  • Chris Lyon at Jan 17, 2004 at 6:49 pm
    (Actually typing this was quite fun, so perhaps)
    Well, well ,well, what an interesting response !

    I have taken a walk down the canal, I have totally ignored the Gov't
    and have gloried in the fabulous Wolverhampton Wanderers win today as
    football (association). Apparently we beat some team from the
    Manchester area. Who would have thought it!

    With regard to the actual pursuit of happiness via programming I can
    acknowlege certain aspects of the pleasure to be derived from a neat
    solution and python has certainly provided me with real solutions. It
    has never run out of power for anything I have asked it. If you have
    been following over the past couple of years I have attempted to ask
    it some pretty stupid questions (for which I hang my head in shame,
    Medusa forgive me!)

    My own limitations are what I will obviously tend to concentrate on
    and I think I am just too lazy to ever programme with true confidence.

    However during the days, now long in the past, when I did right stuff
    for fun which as it happened sorted out problems at work, I wish
    Python had been my language of choice rather than Basic which I did
    actually use. But of course...

    A word of caution however I think the word fun is a dangerous one to
    employ as I have seen it instill, at the very least, nervousness in
    managements as they feel they are getting another crazed take on the
    world rather than the carefully studied approach that the feel their
    particular problem really requires.
    Perhaps work will always be that way.

    p.s I wrote my bilge pump measuring website in Python and I did have a
    lot of fun with that :)
  • Tracy Ruggles at Jan 17, 2004 at 10:08 pm
    Jeff Epler <jepler at unpythonic.net> wrote in message news:<mailman.333.1074027727.12720.python-list at python.org>...
    "fun" in "programming"
    0 # DANGIT
    "programming".find("fun")
    -1 # ARGARGHARGH
    "programming".index("fun")
    ValueError: substring not found in string.index # F***!
    assert "programming" is "fun"
    AssertionError # I'm going home
    curiosities = ("functional programming", "fundamental OO theory", \
    "defunct languages", "economic funnels", "fungal analysis")

    ["fun" in curiosity for curiosity in curiosities]
  • Rick Muller at Jan 18, 2004 at 4:23 am
    chris.lyon at spritenote.co.uk (Chris Lyon) wrote in message news:<d232c5e.0401130823.27fd26ff at posting.google.com>...
    I find python very effective as a language and can generally project
    most of my hazy thoughts into it. But FUN !!! This is work dammit,
    I have now ground my teeth down from the number of times I read that
    programming is fun. Football (association) is fun, walking along
    canals is fun, Arguing about quite how useless the British Government
    is fun but programming ?

    Do I need help ?

    (Actually typing this was quite fun, so perhaps)

    I never found programming fun until Python. But I find Python's syntax
    so natural that I can write little toy codes almost effortlessly and
    try out ideas, which I find incredibly gratifying. Plus, I really like
    the fact that so many cool things are included in the Python
    distribution, so I can play around with list comprehensions or XML
    parsing when the mood strikes.

    However, I should point out that I'm a scientist, not a computer
    scientist. I have a feeling that if all I got paid to do, day in and
    day out, was write code, I might see Python as merely another tool of
    management's oppression. So I know where you're coming from.

    R.

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