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Struggling with basics

 
 
Jason
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Posts: n/a
 
      09-25-2005
A week ago I posted a simple little hi-score routine that I was using to
learn Python.

I've only just managed to examine the code, and the responses that
people gave, and I'm now seriously struggling to understand why things
aren't working correctly.

At present my code is as follows...

import random
import bisect

class HiScores:
def __init__(self,hiScores):
self.hiScores=[entry for entry in hiScores]

def showScores(self):
for score,name in self.hiScores:
score=str(score).zfill(5)
print "%s - %s" % name,score


def addScore(self,score,name):
score.zfill(5)
bisect.insort(self.hiScores,(score,name))
if len(self.hiScores)==6:
self.hiScores.pop()

def lastScore(self):
return self.hiScores[-1][0]

def main():

hiScores=[('10000','Alpha'),('07500','Beta'),('05000','Gamma '),('02500','Delta'),('00000','Epsilon')]

a=HiScores(hiScores)
print "Original Scores\n---------------"
a.showScores()

while 1:
newScore=str(random.randint(0,10000))
if newScore > a.lastScore():
print "Congratulations, you scored %s " % newScore
name=raw_input("Please enter your name :")
a.addScore(newScore,name)
a.showScores()

if __name__=="__main__":
main()


My first problem (lack of understanding of course) is that if I run the
above, I get an error saying:

print "%s - %s" % name,score
TypeError: not enough arguments for format string

Now I understand what it's saying, but I don't understand why.

If I change the code to read:

print "%s - %n" % name, score (thinking of course that ah-ha, score is
numeric) then I get the same error.

The only way for the program to run is to simply have

print name,score (or print score,name)


The final part that's simply not working correctly is that the entire
program isn't sorting the data.

If I run the program and get a score of, say, 6789, then when I add my
name, nothing is entered. I have changed the clause that deletes (pops)
the last array if the array count is 6 and seen what figures are being
entered into the array.

Sure enough they are going in the array, and they are being sorted, but
they are only being sorted AFTER the 00000 of the initial array creation.

I'm pretty sure it's to do with comparing a string against an integer
but can't for the life of me see where to force the comparrison to check
against two integers.

Apologies for going over old ground and if I'm not understanding, I'm
getting there honest

 
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Reinhold Birkenfeld
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      09-25-2005
Jason wrote:
> A week ago I posted a simple little hi-score routine that I was using to
> learn Python.
>
> I've only just managed to examine the code, and the responses that
> people gave, and I'm now seriously struggling to understand why things
> aren't working correctly.
>
> At present my code is as follows...
>
> import random
> import bisect
>
> class HiScores:
> def __init__(self,hiScores):
> self.hiScores=[entry for entry in hiScores]
>
> def showScores(self):
> for score,name in self.hiScores:
> score=str(score).zfill(5)
> print "%s - %s" % name,score
>
>
> def addScore(self,score,name):
> score.zfill(5)
> bisect.insort(self.hiScores,(score,name))
> if len(self.hiScores)==6:
> self.hiScores.pop()
>
> def lastScore(self):
> return self.hiScores[-1][0]
>
> def main():
>
> hiScores=[('10000','Alpha'),('07500','Beta'),('05000','Gamma '),('02500','Delta'),('00000','Epsilon')]
>
> a=HiScores(hiScores)
> print "Original Scores\n---------------"
> a.showScores()
>
> while 1:
> newScore=str(random.randint(0,10000))
> if newScore > a.lastScore():
> print "Congratulations, you scored %s " % newScore
> name=raw_input("Please enter your name :")
> a.addScore(newScore,name)
> a.showScores()
>
> if __name__=="__main__":
> main()
>
>
> My first problem (lack of understanding of course) is that if I run the
> above, I get an error saying:
>
> print "%s - %s" % name,score
> TypeError: not enough arguments for format string
>
> Now I understand what it's saying, but I don't understand why.


The '%' operator expects a tuple or a single value on its right. So you
have to set parentheses around "name, score".

That needs getting used to, but otherwise it can't be discerned from
print ("%s - %s" % name), (score).

> If I change the code to read:
>
> print "%s - %n" % name, score (thinking of course that ah-ha, score is
> numeric) then I get the same error.


For integers you can use %s or %i (or %d), see http://docs.python.org/lib/typesseq-strings.html.

> Apologies for going over old ground and if I'm not understanding, I'm
> getting there honest


No problem. c.l.py is newbie-friendly.

Reinhold
 
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Duncan Booth
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      09-25-2005
Jason wrote:

> My first problem (lack of understanding of course) is that if I run the
> above, I get an error saying:
>
> print "%s - %s" % name,score
> TypeError: not enough arguments for format string
>
> Now I understand what it's saying, but I don't understand why.
>


The problem is precedence.

print "%s - %s" % name,score

is equivalent to:

print ("%s - %s" % name),score

not:

print "%s - %s" % (name,score)

The % operator binds more tightly than the comma, so you need to put
parentheses around the argument to % (as in the last line above).
 
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Dennis Lee Bieber
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      09-25-2005
On Sun, 25 Sep 2005 19:37:32 +0100, Jason <(E-Mail Removed)>
declaimed the following in comp.lang.python:


> My first problem (lack of understanding of course) is that if I run the
> above, I get an error saying:
>
> print "%s - %s" % name,score
> TypeError: not enough arguments for format string
>

print "%s - %s" % (name, score)

You need to pass a two-element tuple to the % operator; without the
parens you have the equivalent of two print statements:

print "%s - %s" % name, # the comma says "don't go to new line"
print score


> I'm pretty sure it's to do with comparing a string against an integer
> but can't for the life of me see where to force the comparrison to check
> against two integers.
>

Look closely:
1) You initialize the high-score table with zero-filled STRINGS
2) show() is also taking the entry from the table, converting to STRING
(which is redundant for a string data item), and then zero-filling it
(also redundant at this point)
3) add() is taking a value, presumed to be a string, zero-filling it,
and then... THROWS AWAY the zero-filled version and saves the original
non-zero-filled.
4) bisect requires a sorted list -- but your list doesn't really count
as sorted; you have a REVERSE sorted list. bisect puts larger values
AFTER smaller ones.

Here's a DIFF report between your code, and what I did to it... If
you aren't familiar with the notation...

m1,m2cn1,n2 old file lines m1 to m2 CHANGE new file lines n1 to n2
< text old file contents
> text new file contents


m1an1,n2 old file lines m1 APPEND after new file n1 to n2

m1,m2dn1? old file lines m1 to m2 DELETE (? showing new file line just
above?)[not used in this diff]

9,12c9,11
< def showScores(self):
< for score,name in self.hiScores:
< score=str(score).zfill(5)
< print "%s - %s" % name,score
---
> def showScores(self):
> for i in range(len(self.hiScores)-1, -1, -1):
> print "%s - %s" % self.hiScores[i]

16c15
< score.zfill(5)
---
> score = score.zfill(5)

19c18
< self.hiScores.pop()
---
> self.hiScores.pop(0)


I think the next one is a problem of wrap-around caused by having no
spaces in the line... they need to be indented properly...
26c25
<
hiScores=[('10000','Alpha'),('07500','Beta'),('05000','Gamma '),('02500','Delta'),('00000','Epsilon')]
---
> hiScores=[('10000','Alpha'),('07500','Beta'),('05000','Gamma '),('02500','Delta'),('00000','Epsilon')]

27a27,28
> hiScores.reverse()
>

--
> ================================================== ============ <
> http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed) | Wulfraed Dennis Lee Bieber KD6MOG <
> (E-Mail Removed) | Bestiaria Support Staff <
> ================================================== ============ <
> Home Page: <http://www.dm.net/~wulfraed/> <
> Overflow Page: <http://wlfraed.home.netcom.com/> <

 
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Peter
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      09-25-2005
Duncan Booth wrote:

>Jason wrote:
>
>
>
>>My first problem (lack of understanding of course) is that if I run the
>>above, I get an error saying:
>>
>> print "%s - %s" % name,score
>>TypeError: not enough arguments for format string
>>
>>Now I understand what it's saying, but I don't understand why.
>>
>>
>>

>
>The problem is precedence.
>
> print "%s - %s" % name,score
>
>is equivalent to:
>
> print ("%s - %s" % name),score
>
>not:
>
> print "%s - %s" % (name,score)
>
>The % operator binds more tightly than the comma, so you need to put
>parentheses around the argument to % (as in the last line above).
>
>

Well said.

- Peter
 
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Tom Anderson
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      09-25-2005
On Sun, 25 Sep 2005, Jason wrote:

> A week ago I posted a simple little hi-score routine that I was using to
> learn Python.
>
> I've only just managed to examine the code, and the responses that people
> gave, and I'm now seriously struggling to understand why things aren't
> working correctly.


Others have dealt with the string printing problem, so i'll leave that.

The problem with the sorting is that you're not consistent about how
scores are represented - are they strings or integers? At present, you
sometimes use one and sometimes the other, with the result that the sort
basically pukes all over you. To fix this, pick one type (hint: integers),
and use that consistently. I'll show you how to do that below (although
it's not exactly hard).

Oh, and i'm a picky git, so i'm going to point out some other flaws in the
code!

> At present my code is as follows...
>
> import random
> import bisect
>
> class HiScores:
> def __init__(self,hiScores):
> self.hiScores=[entry for entry in hiScores]


One bug and one wart here.

The wart is the way you initialise self.hiScores - you use a list
comprehension when you can just call the list builtin:

self.hiScores = list(hiScores)

The bug is that you don't sort the list. If you're certain that the
initial set of high scores will always come sorted, that's okay, but i'd
say it was good practice to sort them, just in case.

In fact, i'd punt the addition to addScore:

def __init__(self, hiScores):
self.hiScores = []
for score, name in hiScores:
self.addScore(score, name)

This is the 'Once And Only Once' principle in action; the knowledge about
how to keep the list sorted is expressed once and only once, in addScore;
if any other parts of the code need to add items, they call that. This
means there's only one piece of code you have to check to make sure it's
going to get this right.

> def showScores(self):
> for score,name in self.hiScores:
> score=str(score).zfill(5)
> print "%s - %s" % name,score


As has been pointed out, you need to wrap parens round "name, score" to
make it into a tuple.

Apart from that, i'd skip the string interpolation and just write:

for score, name in self.hiScores:
print name, "-", str(score).zfill(5)

If you insist on the string interpolation, i'd still elide the
intermediate variable and write:

for score, name in self.hiScores:
print "%s - %05i" % (name, score)

The %05i in the format string means 'an integer, zero-filled to five
digits'. Good, eh?

> def addScore(self,score,name):
> score.zfill(5)
> bisect.insort(self.hiScores,(score,name))
> if len(self.hiScores)==6:
> self.hiScores.pop()


Two problems there. Well, two and a half.

Firstly, the type confusion - are scores strings or integers? the zfill
indicates that you're thinking in terms of strings here. You should be
using integers, so you can just drop that line.

And if you were working with strings, the zfill would still be wrong (this
is the half problem!) - zfill doesn't affect the string it's called on
(strings are immutable), it makes a new zero-filled string and returns it.
You're not doing anything with the return value of that call, so the
zero-filled string would just evaporate into thin air.

Secondly, bisect.insort sorts the list so that the highest scores are at
the tail end of the list; list.pop takes things off that same end, so
you're popping the highest scores, not the lowest! You need to say pop(0)
to specify that the item should be popped off the head (ie the low end) of
the list.

Also, i'd be tempted to program defensively and change the test guarding
the pop to "while (len(self.hiScores > 6):".

All in all, that makes my version:

def addScore(self, score, name):
bisect.insort(self.hiScores, (int(score), name))
while(len(self.hiScores) > 6):
self.hiScores.pop(0)

> def lastScore(self):
> return self.hiScores[-1][0]


This will return the top score; you want self.hiScores[0][0].

> def main():
>
> hiScores=[('10000','Alpha'),('07500','Beta'),('05000','Gamma '),('02500','Delta'),('00000','Epsilon')]


Here you've got scores as strings, and this is the root of the problem.
Change this to:

hiScores=[(10000,'Alpha'),(7500,'Beta'),(5000,'Gamma'),(2500 ,'Delta'),(0,'Epsilon')]

Note that i've taken the leading zeroes off - leading zeroes on integers
in python are a magic signal that the number is octal (yes, base eight!),
which is not what you want at all.

> a=HiScores(hiScores)
> print "Original Scores\n---------------"
> a.showScores()
>
> while 1:


"while True:" is preferred here.

> newScore=str(random.randint(0,10000))


Take out the str().

> if newScore > a.lastScore():
> print "Congratulations, you scored %s " % newScore


Make that a %i (or a %05i).

> name=raw_input("Please enter your name :")
> a.addScore(newScore,name)
> a.showScores()
>
> if __name__=="__main__":
> main()


Works like a charm!

> The final part that's simply not working correctly is that the entire program
> isn't sorting the data.
>
> If I run the program and get a score of, say, 6789, then when I add my name,
> nothing is entered. I have changed the clause that deletes (pops) the last
> array if the array count is 6 and seen what figures are being entered into
> the array.
>
> Sure enough they are going in the array, and they are being sorted, but they
> are only being sorted AFTER the 00000 of the initial array creation.
>
> I'm pretty sure it's to do with comparing a string against an integer
> but can't for the life of me see where to force the comparrison to check
> against two integers.


Simple - you just make sure the scores are all integers in the first
place!

tom

--
double mashed, future mashed, millennium mashed; man it was mashed
 
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Jason
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      09-25-2005
Tom, best explanation yet! Entertaining as well as educational.

The "%05i" trick is very neat, must remember that one!

Everything working a charm apart from the viewScores is still returning
the results from the lowest score (at the top) to the highest score.

What I'd like to know is do you think it would be better to sort the
list in memory, or print it out sorted? If the latter, then naturally
I'd need to change the showScores section to show the list in a reverse
order. But, would sorting the list in memory be more effective?

 
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George Sakkis
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      09-26-2005
"Jason" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> What I'd like to know is do you think it would be better to sort the
> list in memory, or print it out sorted? If the latter, then naturally
> I'd need to change the showScores section to show the list in a reverse
> order. But, would sorting the list in memory be more effective?


The list *is* sorted; the thing is that it is in ascending order (from lowest to highest) but you
would rather have it in descending. There are (at least) two alternatives:

1. Keep the list as it is now in ascending order and print it in reverse. In python 2.4, this is as
elegant and efficient as it can, using the reversed() builtin function. Just replace in showScores
"for score,name in self.hiScores" with "for score,name in reversed(self.hiScores)". reversed()
returns an iterator over the sequence, not a new list, so the memory overhead is minimal.

2. Instead of storing (score,name) pairs, store (-score,name). When a list of the latter is in
ascending order, the former is in descending. In this case of course, you have to make sure that
showScores() and lastScore() return the actual (positive) score, not the stored (negative) one.

I would go for the first alternative but YMMV.

George


 
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Jason
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      09-26-2005
George Sakkis wrote:
> "Jason" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>> What I'd like to know is do you think it would be better to sort the
>> list in memory, or print it out sorted? If the latter, then naturally
>> I'd need to change the showScores section to show the list in a reverse
>> order. But, would sorting the list in memory be more effective?

>
> The list *is* sorted; the thing is that it is in ascending order (from lowest to highest) but you
> would rather have it in descending. There are (at least) two alternatives:
>
> 1. Keep the list as it is now in ascending order and print it in reverse. In python 2.4, this is as
> elegant and efficient as it can, using the reversed() builtin function. Just replace in showScores
> "for score,name in self.hiScores" with "for score,name in reversed(self.hiScores)". reversed()
> returns an iterator over the sequence, not a new list, so the memory overhead is minimal.
>
> 2. Instead of storing (score,name) pairs, store (-score,name). When a list of the latter is in
> ascending order, the former is in descending. In this case of course, you have to make sure that
> showScores() and lastScore() return the actual (positive) score, not the stored (negative) one.
>
> I would go for the first alternative but YMMV.
>
> George
>
>

Thanks George, I've learned a lot tonight.

 
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