Frustrated with frustrated beginners

@mbauman I appreciate that, but I take @DNF’s point. Reading through the thread again, I see how my tone got amped up a bit when it felt like my concerns weren’t being heard. With an understanding that some folks are sensitive to Matlab comparisons, I now see that maybe I poked a sore spot without fully realizing what I was doing.


I am pretty happy with beginner questions: first it is the only case where I might be of some help (a nice change from being helped all the time by this wonderful community) and more importantly it implies that a growing number of beginners are considering Julia :wink:


In this respect Julia is somewhat at a disadvantage, as no one claims C++ is a high-level language. So when you get those low-level detailed template error messages in C++ you mostly go “sigh, here we go again” and try to figure out what is going on.

While for Julia I can imagine that if you are relatively new user to the language and have only seen the “Julia is a high-level language” summaries you might not expect to get confronted with those kinds of details when working with Julia (“wasn’t it supposed to be a high level language??”). I think this is one of the things that could be better explained/managed. Yes, you can work at a high level in Julia, but you will have to understand those low-level details at some point, even if you don’t want to. This is especially true if you are moving more and more towards code optimization, use of the more powerful packages (but which have complex implementations), etc. Understanding a fairly large chunk of the Julia internals seems to be required at some point.

Just my 2 (euro)cents…


12 posts were merged into an existing topic: Why does scientific notation break the range function?

Unintentionally, I learned a few things about Julia from the answers to my post.


I think it is perfectly fine to compare Julia with Matlab or anything else. The thing to guard against is, in the heat of of the moment, making it sound along the same sentiment as “many more people would speak German is it were identical to English.” Then again, replies along the line of " German isn’t difficult! Try leaning Mandarin!" don’t help either. A lot of posts in this thread carried some of that as well.

I don’t earn a living from writing code, but I do use Julia in my job. Stack traces struck me as cryptic as well when I started learning Julia. A lack of debugger frustrated me. Then one day, stack traces were helpful and even while there is now a serviceable debugger, I rarely use it. (And while German still takes effort, I can now at least follow a news article.) Such is the nature of learning new things. It is a struggle until it isn’t. Don’t stop learning. It is always worth the frustration.