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Code Challenge 58 - Analyze Podcast Transcripts with NLTK - Part I - Review

Posted by PyBites on Mon 07 January 2019 in Challenges • 5 min read

In this article we review our PCC58 - Analyze Podcast Transcripts with NLTK - Part I code challenge.

Community Pull Requests

It has been a while but we're all caught up: we merged in 40+ Pull Requests. Kudos to all of you that submitted code, really cool seeing all the different solutions for our code challenges!

Below is a digest of last month's learning ...

$ git pull origin community
remote: Total 504 (delta 213), reused 176 (delta 170), pack-reused 247
   aff4834..54cebc2  community  -> origin/community
 72 files changed, 3959 insertions(+)

PCC58 Lessons

Used itertools.chain because some Talk Python transcripts were missing, so I had to skip those. I also used sqlite3 for the first time. It's really easy to use, I think I'll use it more in the future to store data that I retrieve from APIs. I also got more experience using the GitHub API for retrieving repo content. - PR

Nice challenge! I scraped Talk Python's RSS feed (requests/ feedparser) getting the transcripts from GH, saved all this in a sqlite3 DB, also wrote a function to generate an HTML for consumption on my Kindle (after Save-to-PDF on Mac). Some details: decode("utf-8") to work around some transcripts being stored as bytes (required some debugging), f'{episode_id:0>3}' as alternative for zfill, cur.executemany is awesome as it works flawlessly with a generator of namedtuples, to get row dicts from sqlite use conn.row_factory = sqlite3.Row, I also used writelines for the first time! - PR

Reading Code for Fun and Profit

The best way to learn/improve programming is to read and write a lot of code. Apart from following along with our review posts, you can look at all submitted PRs and/or checking our our Community branch where we merge in all solutions.

Here are the Pythonic learnings we spotted in Pull Requests made during the last month:


I have an opportunity with discover more sorted list with all given arguments, get some more details with some commands in git I didn't know yet. - PR

To reverse an OrderedDict one must create another one by the use of OrderedDict(sorted(..., reverse=True, ...)) - PR

Mostly, I learned about list comprehensions after looking at the official solution and refining my own. I kept my original code in comments, but it helped me better understand the official one by typing it in myself. - PR

I learned how to read a file and create a list from it. I practiced my recent git skills and was introduced to unit tests. - PR

Before this exercise I never came across dictionary comprehensions. A bit confusing at first! - PR

Yes, I learned how to better format lines from input files by using splitlines() - PR


I introduced myself to itertools package to create permutations. I also focused on breaking my code into smaller, easier to manage functions. Practiced basic game logic and list manipulation. - PR

Refresher on manipulating lists and using itertools functionality - PR

Yes, I learned how to build a set using iterators - PR


Yes, I learned how to parse from xml documents. I also found a fun side effect of sets: as unordered collections, the order in which they return data is inconsistent and seems to be dependent on where that data is in memory. If it's important to display the information consistently or in the same order every time a program is run, either refrain from using a set or change it back to a list to sort it. - PR

Learned about SequenceMatcher. Great thing. Started to think about how tests actually work, since I did get the results from the website but could not manage to pass the tests. Heard about nltk (looks interesting). - PR


I learned about the power of generators when you need to pass lists, dicts, or sets around - PR


I gained experience in compartmentalizing code, I broke down big code chunks into smaller functions to make it easier to understand. I didn't use any new features of Python, but I got better with software development practices. - PR


yes, how to tie together a few tools from the collections module to get a seemingly complicated task done relatively quickly. - PR

I learnt a lot more about collections, in particular defaultdict. Using it with namedtuple was a great exercise. - PR

I learned collections - defaultdict, namedtuple, Counter. I learned how to use f-string. I still do not know how I can sort specific element inside the value of the default dict e.g. in this case I can't sort the score of movies under the director. - PR

I learned about namedtuple - PR


I learn how to make request to remote database (in this project used RIPE DB) and how to parse JSON output from DB - PR


I learned how to use praw, the library for accessing the reddit API through a python wrapper. This challenge was fun, I think I'll be using praw more in the future. - PR


Create an Interval class that can be leveraged by a pomodoro app. I learned pytest methodology for testing a custom class - PR

yes, I mucked around with flask testing - PR


Solidified my understanding of regex. - PR

Didn't know non-capture group can be used like that. - PR


Kind of? datetime is pretty new to me, and this is the first time I actually used the time module. It was also the first time I used os.system, and the "\r" character. It was a good experience, but I wouldn't go as far as to say that I "stretched" my skills. I will most likely come back to the timer and improve the interface a bit. - PR

I learned how to define the timedelta, how to use string to properly show datetime. - PR

Yes, I learned that when I print timedelta, it shows the string in this format: "0:00:00". - PR

argparse, datetime, making CLI applications - PR

Thanks to everyone for your participation in our blog code challenges! Keep the PRs coming and include a README.md with one or more screenshots if you want to be featured in this review post.

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