Monday, August 19, 2013

Python Challenge Number 1: Open Hatch's Scrabble Challenge: Intro

Intro to the Intro:

 If you are new to Python or new to programming, there's numerous Python tutorials and online courses. But once you get through Learn Python the Hard Way or the official tutorial, what's next?

The best way to learn may be another course or tutorial, but a project. Projects may be work projects or personal projects, or if you haven't found an idea that strikes your fancy, a suggested programming challenge. There's thousands of projects and challenge sites out there, so lets narrow the scope down an pick a few interesting, educational, fun, but doable ones.

The Challenge:

OpenHatch has a list of Intermediate Python Workshops/Projects on their wiki that suit our requirements. The Scrabble Challenge is the first one we want to attempt.  Scrabble, especially in the form of "Words with Friends", is a popular pastime among many people, including my spouse.

 Scrabble has been around for generations in my family and has evolved in a few forms to be a more interactive game on Facebook and various smart phones. My spouse usually has several games or more ongoing with friends and many of them use "hint" or "cheater" web sites to "broaden their vocabulary" or gain an advantage.

The Scrabble challenge is to make "Scrabble cheater" that helps the play find words in their letter rack with a CLI Python program.

The Requirements:

You need to have a computer with Python 2.6 or greater, a text editor and a copy of the SOWPODS word list that is referenced in the Scrabble Challenge. You should attempt to complete as much as this challenge on your own before resorting to the help of others.

The challenge web site does have some helpful guidelines and hints on how to break the problem down into easier pieces.  I'll post some code this week that may help you analyze the challenge.

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