January 27, 2023

Python's Counter

The problem Python has a Counter object – it’s found in the collections module – and I’ve become convinced that it’s… a bit weird? The basic idea is fine: it’s a dictionary but the keys are things you want to count, and the values are the amount of the thing you have counted. The neat thing is if you initialise a counter with an iterable like a string or a list, it’ll give you the counts for the number of times each element appears. Read more

January 13, 2023

Subclass Like a Boss

I had this idea for a project I could do, but I thought “maybe I should do this other thing first to get to grips with the API”. I was doing something for that project, and got distracted doing a simpler project to learn about the technologies and tools involved. I got distracted from that project by some weird behaviour of a class in the python standard library (I’ll post about that later). Read more

January 7, 2023

Miscellaneous Python Bits

In a previous post I said I would come back to explain a few somewhat opaque lines in my matrix-based solution to Advent of Code 2022, day 2. This is what I’m going to do here. There’s three smallish things I thought it was worth pointing out. None is going to surprise veteran python coders, but they might be of interest to some. Building matrices So the first line I want to look at is: Read more

December 29, 2022

Rock Paper Scissors With Matrices

I had a go at the first couple of weeks of problems from Advent of Code this year. I’ve posted my answers over here. I stopped after day 13 because the problems were getting harder but the time I had to devote to them could not increase. I hope to come back to them at some point. But today I wanted to point out something interesting about the day 2 puzzle. Read more

December 15, 2022

Randomness Factory

As part of a job application process I was asked to write a short explainer article on something technical, and I decided to write a little bit about how testing for randomness works. The brief was to write something playful and friendly, hence the weird framing of this piece. I didn’t get the job, but I did learn a bit about randomness Since I’ve written the damn thing, I thought I’d share it, and International RNG Day seems like the perfect opportunity to do so! Read more

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