Swaroop C H

blog books about contact subscribe

An interactive version of A Byte of Python

09 Nov 2009

Roorky is a new startup that has created a new file format and software for interactive books. As part of the default installation of the software, they are bundling A Byte of Python free with the software.

What is interesting is that this may help complete beginners who stumble in getting started with IDLE, etc. The most common email that I get asked is when people run python abc.py on the IDLE interpreter prompt and wonder why it is not working - both the concepts of two command lines as well as the concept of running a program is not grokked well by beginners who are getting started, especially people who are self-taught. From that perspective, this is an interesting approach to the problem.

I am still not convinced about this approach because people cannot bypass the learning of how to edit, compile and run the code in the native environment, because that will be needed when writing new programs. It will be interesting how the two opposing needs will be balanced.

But I hope beginners will try it out and see if it helps them get started.

A full size video of a walkthrough of the software is available at the Roorky website.

Note: Be warned that it is a beta software.

Comments

Sayamindu Dasgupta says:

Heh - nice to see other people having similar ideas. I posted about similar stuff a couple of months back : http://sayamindu.randomink.org/ramblings/2009/08/12/braindump-on-ebooks/

Mott says:

this is..well...rather silly.
why would anyone bother with this...I mean give me the PDF any day cand I can do highlighting/notes etc as I read.

Prasad says:

Hi Swaroop,

Thanks a lot for mentioning about Roorky on your blog.

Hi Matt,
You are right about PDF. What differentiates PDF from iPUB is that you can execute programs right within reader. Apart from that we will be adding new features notes saved for a book in one machine will be available in another machine :) Also you can share, rate and discuss notes of all the readers of given iPUB in upcoming versions.

Thanks
-- Prasad

Roorky says:

Please visit http://roorky.wordpress.com/2009/11/12/why-ipub-is-needed/ to see major motivations for coming up with this new format.

Thanks
-- Roorky

Swaroop says:

@Sayamindu Yes, that was eerily on the same lines :) ... And definitely, ebooks can be more fun and engaging based on what you have mentioned.

Mott says:

Just wish e-books (of the future) would have this command :

[Minimalist Version: Just the FACTS! (i.e. Hide all blah-blah "fillers")]

Mott says:

adding to my comment above ^^^

oh, and Swaroop, your BOP(120) is quite near that "minimalist/condensed" style.
Good job. thanks

Feedback

There's no comment box, but please do email me or tweet me your thoughts and criticisms, and I will publish the relevant ones here.