Code Challenge 10 - Build a Hangman Game - Review

Posted by PyBites on Sat 18 March 2017 in Challenges • 2 min read

It's end of the week again so we review the code challenge of this week. It's never late to join, just fork our challenges repo and start coding.

Possible solution and learning

First of all it is great to see more people working on our challenges.

Games are challenging, we learned quite a bit from this one. We also saw better ways of doing things. Our solution is here. A summary what we learned:

  • We used a class to keep state. We used two lists for secret and guessed_word. Looking at it now self.secret_word should probably be a tuple (inmutable). Handling non-ASCII in the constructor made the rest easier:

    self.secret_word = list(word.lower())
    self.guessed_word = [PLACEHOLDER if c in ASCII else c
                        for c in self.secret_word]
    
  • We could probably save the extra self.num_wrong_guesses variable by just popping states of the HANG_GRAPHICS list (or use the hang_graphics() generator directly). It's a real eye opener how you pick up these kind of improvements from reading each other's code. If you pick up one habit from our challenges let it be to start reading source. As somebody remarked:

    I like seeing the other solutions. There are definitely small things that I could have done better/more pythonically.

  • It was also fascinating to see that there are various ways to accomplish this task: to check for a win, you can compare guess with secret. We took another approach by checking for absense of PLACEHOLDER (_) in the self.guessed_word list.

  • Small details. For example we had a debug flag while developing, and we used the __str__ dunder to build up a string representation of the object. What was new though was that you can use it with 'self' as well, as in '.format(self)'. Small tricks you only pick up by actually practicing.

  • UI: we saw other solutions clearing the screen after each guess, and showing the ASCII constant (alphabet) with guesses stripped out, bit more GUI like. Nice.

  • We saw an try/except block wrapped around 'input = raw_input' to support Python 2 and 3. We will study 2vs3 in more detail next week ...

Process update around Forking

We got some feedback that Forks don't lead to activity on your Github profile. One of our followers was so nice to update our INSTALL (via PR). Maybe you want to use the workaround under III. if the credit thing is an issue for you. See issue #2 for more details.

Feedback

We hope you are enjoying these challenges. Please provide us feedback if we can improve anything ...

If you have an interesting challenge you want us to feature, don't hesitate to open a new issue or reach out to us.

See you next week ...


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