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Briefly introduce dictionaries before using them in the exercise #809

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@tobiashuste tobiashuste commented Mar 2, 2020

Make sure that dictionaries are briefly introduced before using them in an exercise.

  • The exercise "Reading Error Messages" is moved before the "Syntax
    Errors" section, in order to ensure learners understood Tracebacks
    before moving onwards.
  • A dictionary is used in the "Reading Error Messages" exercise which has
    not been introduced before. The learner should be able to get to know
    dictionaries by this very brief explanation.

Closes #783

tobiashuste added 2 commits Mar 2, 2020
The exercise "Reading Error Messages" is moved before the "Syntax
Errors" section, in order to ensure learners understood Tracebacks
before moving onwards.

Related to swcarpentry#783
A dictionary is used in the "Reading Error Messages" exercise which has
not been introduced before. The learner should be able to get to know
dictionaries by this very brief explanation.

Closes swcarpentry#783
@maxim-belkin
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@maxim-belkin maxim-belkin commented Mar 2, 2020

Thanks for the PR, Tobias. We will discuss this PR at our next maintainers meeting.

@maxim-belkin
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@maxim-belkin maxim-belkin commented Mar 10, 2020

Hi Tobias,

Thanks for putting this together. I agree with you and @evezeyl that using dictionaries in an exercise without prior introduction is strange. However, "brief introductions" do increase cognitive load on learners and, therefore, we (maintainers) wonder if some other solution is necessary. The exercise in question does not have to have dictionaries because the key questions it poses are not related to the nature of this data structure. Would you agree to change the exercise to use a list instead of a dictionary? A list can contain names of the days of the week ("Monday", "Tuesday", ..."), first function prints name of the week day that corresponds to the specified day number and the second function calls the first function with index 7.

Thanks for you contribution again!
Maxim

CC @swcarpentry/python-novice-inflammation-maintainers

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2 participants