The Bluebook … revisited

We received another homework assignment. The first part of the homework was essentially a style guide for Python. At first I was perturbed: wasn’t it enough that I was going to know the language? Why did I need to indent 4 times or only have 79 characters on a line (or 72 for blocks)?

Then, it hit me: law has the same thing. But, law (not surprisingly) actually has a whole book, it’s called the Blue Book. All the Blue Book does is detail how to cite to something; it does not involve the actual citations or even the concepts. Instead, if you are going to tell someone where you found it, you use the Bluebook format.


I think that’s the same idea in Python. If you are going to write in this language, then you must make it look like this. My attitude changed remarkably when I noticed this similarity. Learning this became more fun. I realized that just like law, with some practice, I would learn PEP 80 too.

Next up: bash. I had been doing some simple commands, so most of the lesson was review. I started to wonder “what exactly is bash?” I have never heard of that as a language before. So, Google to the rescue. The reason that bash seemed oddly familiar: bash is kinda, sorta, Unix…

My history with Unix is (still working on a word choice for publication.)  I’ll skip the backstory, but this time around there is no SGI machine sitting in my living room waiting for me to practice Unix. Instead, there is a Mac that does things pretty fast using these basic Unix commands. Hmm… still looking for a word.

The next set of lessons involved conditionals, operators and the use of or, and, and not. Bedtime.

Comments are closed.

Blog at

Up ↑