Parody text book?

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Parody text book?

kirby urner-4
Did anyone else get asked to review this bogus text book by some company in England?  I suspect it's a front for Python's competition, as the survey questions ask for all kinds of intelligence, in exchange for reading a couple tawdry chapters and some measly amount of money.  Anyway, I sent it back with negative comments, payment refused.

Kirby


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Re: Parody text book?

Grégoire Dooms
kirby urner a écrit :

>Did anyone else get asked to review this bogus text book by some company in
>England?  
>
Yes, I turned down the offer because I lacked time to do the review on
time.
I am amused to see it was bogus. Tell us more about it.

Best,
--
Grégoire

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Re: Parody text book?

kirby urner-4

Maybe I'll run some checks, but I can't say for sure it was bogus. 

It was definitely thrown together, and full of misinformation about Python, e.g. leading CS students to think IDLE is Windows-only, and the only way to make your Python experience resemble what you'd get on Linux is by installing Cygwin.  No mention of Mono or .NET, no real overview of the history or future of Python (giving the impression the authors were clueless). 

Anytime the text got at all detailed (technically speaking), it would "gloss over for now" and promise we'd get back to it.  But of course the two sample chapters didn't really get back to anything (it's all Tk turtle graphics, like fourth graders might do, plus some obsessing about using Python as a calculator, a parody of the first 10 minutes of Guido's tutorial), plus the survey asks me to do all kinds of homework, like "if this isn't right, please show us how" (given everything is wrong, that's a tall order) -- and for less than I make in an hour working for trusted clients around Portland (like Free Geek or the Hillsboro police).

On another front, I see I'm still listed as edu-sig page manager (different from edu-sig list manager).  I'm willing to let that be for now.  Oregonian reporters have started writing to me, getting more background, and I've pointed to that python.org page in connection with my curriculum prototyping gig at Winterhaven.

I've been posting quite a bit to math-thinking-l by the way.  I've amused some of them with my quirky writing style (a known quantity here on edu-sig).  Feel free to peruse the archive (I'm not suggesting anyone here *needs* to join -- we've already got it all right here when it comes to mixing math and programming, it seems to me (still, I find this other venue a good outlet)). 

If I had an easy way to edit my page, I might even make a link to it (we could use more snake charmers -- Schemer-dreamers seem over-represented).  Here's the archive:  http://mail.geneseo.edu/pipermail/math-thinking-l/  (note:  Python powered).

Finally, I haven't registered for Pycon yet.  Prospects seem dim that I'll go.  This has nothing to do with any disillusionment with Pycon, which I highly respect and enjoy and get value from.  It has more to do with Texas.  It's not like I haven't been out of the country before, but even a world traveler like me can't be everywhere at once.  We're saving up for a trip to Italy, maybe next winter.

Kirby

On 1/15/06, Grégoire Dooms <[hidden email]> wrote:
kirby urner a écrit :

>Did anyone else get asked to review this bogus text book by some company in
>England?
>
Yes, I turned down the offer because I lacked time to do the review on
time.
I am amused to see it was bogus. Tell us more about it.

Best,
--
Grégoire



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Re: Parody text book?

Vern Ceder
Actually, I doubt the offer is bogus. Thomson is a pretty large company,
and as far as I can tell, the message did actually originate from their
UK offices. They are publishers (through a subsidiary) of the
"<language> Programming for the Absolute Beginner" series, among other
things.

Anyway, I agreed to review it, but I haven't actually done much more
than read the proposal, which was rather turgidly written, but not
horribly wrongheaded, IMHO.

I agree that 75 quid is hardly big bucks, and the text may leave
something to be desired, but that does't strike me as reason to suspect
foul play.

On the other hand, I may just be too gullible - that's been suggested
before. ;)

Vern

kirby urner wrote:

>
> Maybe I'll run some checks, but I can't say for sure it was bogus.
>
> It was definitely thrown together, and full of misinformation about
> Python, e.g. leading CS students to think IDLE is Windows-only, and the
> only way to make your Python experience resemble what you'd get on Linux
> is by installing Cygwin.  No mention of Mono or .NET, no real overview
> of the history or future of Python (giving the impression the authors
> were clueless).
>
> Anytime the text got at all detailed (technically speaking), it would
> "gloss over for now" and promise we'd get back to it.  But of course the
> two sample chapters didn't really get back to anything (it's all Tk
> turtle graphics, like fourth graders might do, plus some obsessing about
> using Python as a calculator, a parody of the first 10 minutes of
> Guido's tutorial), plus the survey asks me to do all kinds of homework,
> like "if this isn't right, please show us how" (given everything is
> wrong, that's a tall order) -- and for less than I make in an hour
> working for trusted clients around Portland (like Free Geek or the
> Hillsboro police).
>
> On another front, I see I'm still listed as edu-sig page manager
> (different from edu-sig list manager).  I'm willing to let that be for
> now.  Oregonian reporters have started writing to me, getting more
> background, and I've pointed to that python.org <http://python.org> page
> in connection with my curriculum prototyping gig at Winterhaven.
>
> I've been posting quite a bit to math-thinking-l by the way.  I've
> amused some of them with my quirky writing style (a known quantity here
> on edu-sig).  Feel free to peruse the archive (I'm not suggesting anyone
> here *needs* to join -- we've already got it all right here when it
> comes to mixing math and programming, it seems to me (still, I find this
> other venue a good outlet)).
>
> If I had an easy way to edit my page, I might even make a link to it (we
> could use more snake charmers -- Schemer-dreamers seem
> over-represented).  Here's the archive:  
> http://mail.geneseo.edu/pipermail/math-thinking-l/  (note:  Python powered).
>
> Finally, I haven't registered for Pycon yet.  Prospects seem dim that
> I'll go.  This has nothing to do with any disillusionment with Pycon,
> which I highly respect and enjoy and get value from.  It has more to do
> with Texas.  It's not like I haven't been out of the country before, but
> even a world traveler like me can't be everywhere at once.  We're saving
> up for a trip to Italy, maybe next winter.
>
> Kirby
>
> On 1/15/06, *Grégoire Dooms* <[hidden email]
> <mailto:[hidden email]>> wrote:
>
>     kirby urner a écrit :
>
>      >Did anyone else get asked to review this bogus text book by some
>     company in
>      >England?
>      >
>     Yes, I turned down the offer because I lacked time to do the review on
>     time.
>     I am amused to see it was bogus. Tell us more about it.
>
>     Best,
>     --
>     Grégoire
>
>
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> _______________________________________________
> Edu-sig mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/edu-sig

--
This time for sure!
    -Bullwinkle J. Moose
-----------------------------
Vern Ceder, Director of Technology
Canterbury School, 3210 Smith Road, Ft Wayne, IN 46804
[hidden email]; 260-436-0746; FAX: 260-436-5137

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Re: Parody text book?

wesley chun
In reply to this post by kirby urner-4
if it's the thomson book, i don't think it's a fraud, but i don't
think it will be received well.  i had to negotiate for a higher rate
in exchange for "my opinion."  i mentioned the shortcomings the book
had, and gave them *my* idea of what such a book should be like, and
just pointed them to "Core Python."  :-)  then they conveniently
forgot to pay me..., no wait, it was an "error in the accounting
dept," which they fixed, and finally sent across the pond.  the main
problem is that they are so many good books on the market now, that i
don't see any reason why anyone should buy it much less publish it.

cheers,
-wesley
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Re: Parody text book?

kirby urner-4
Not to belabor the issue, but for this to be a bogus or scam operation doesn't necessarily implicate this publisher of high repute, with whom I've made my peace.  The authors submitting this draft didn't arrive with much bio in my inbox, i.e. I know nothing that would certify them as Pythonista insiders, so if they were plants, here to discredit Python by saying IDLE is Windows only, there's nothing Thomson has to do about it, except watch.

Anyway, I don't think there's much purpose to all this paranoia (and yes, I'm the one who stirred it up in the first place).  I usually rely on Arthur to come out with the dark motives hypotheses.  Now we know that, left to my own devices, I'm able to auto-generate same.

Kirby


On 1/17/06, w chun <[hidden email]> wrote:
if it's the thomson book, i don't think it's a fraud, but i don't
think it will be received well.  i had to negotiate for a higher rate
in exchange for "my opinion."  i mentioned the shortcomings the book
had, and gave them *my* idea of what such a book should be like, and
just pointed them to "Core Python."  :-)  then they conveniently
forgot to pay me..., no wait, it was an "error in the accounting
dept," which they fixed, and finally sent across the pond.  the main
problem is that they are so many good books on the market now, that i
don't see any reason why anyone should buy it much less publish it.

cheers,
-wesley
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Re: Parody text book?

Arthur-27
Anyway, I don't think there's much purpose to all this paranoia (and yes, I'm the one who stirred it up in the first place).  I usually rely on Arthur to come out with the dark motives hypotheses.   
 
 Kirby

True.
 
 Sometimes I even get the feeling that I am being dissed on obscure discussion groups in the course of obscure threads in which I am uninvolved ;)
 
And in html no less. 
 
Isn't it better to send plain text?
 
Art
 
 

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Re: Parody text book?

Arthur-27

> Anyway, I don't think there's much purpose to all this paranoia (and
> yes, I'm the one who stirred it up in the first place).  I usually
> rely on Arthur to come out with the dark motives hypotheses.  
>  
>  Kirby

Of course there is another way to look at it.

Money, prestige, influence are the *light* motives.

Real education is the dark motive.

;)

Art

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