For a beginner, is fixing Period1's type to either float or string a good thing or a bad thing?
(And whoa, people still use floppies?)
I'm very curious about teaching programming languages; I asked htang (who has studied both CS and teaching extensively) about it and she didn't know if there was any conclusive evidence about what is more "natural". Regarding types, it always seemed to me that teaching C++ was needlessly confusing in that the magical "cout" function didn't care about types while everything else did.
Meena wanted to learn about programming so I tried to start her with Python. The first major point of confusion (aside from the minor confusions that are inevitably overcome with teaching) was the difference between "print x" and simply "x" at the prompt, because both seemed to just output x's value.