So the python homework do this Wednesday has been the toughest python assignment so far. While it was the hardest, I think it was the most useful to implement, and I think learning how to write our own protocol and such was a useful exercise to do. I found the dictReader and dictWriter functions to be very helpful when working on this assignment as they allowed me to read in data and immediately put it into a dictionary with no parsing and work needed on my part. It even took the first line as field keys for the dictionary. Writing the dictionary back to the file was just as easy as reading from it was, and, after learning how to do this, the rest of the assignment wasn’t too bad. I did have some trouble getting the delete command to delete multiple items in the list but with list comprehension this proved to be a fairly easy task. I wasn’t however able to get the sort by quantity to sort by integers rather than strings. I couldn’t figure out how to set types for the dictionary values by the way that I was creating the dictionary from the data read from the file. Nevertheless, I think I got all the necessary pieces of the code working as they should.
As for ECE3574, we had our easiest homework so far which required recursively moving through directories and determining the sizes of those directories. Qt has some very nice classes to help with this task such as QDir and QFileInfo. QDir allowed me to pull everything was in a current directory into a list of QFileInfo objects. QFileInfo has very helpful functions to determine whether the object is a directory or a file, and the size of whatever object it contains. After figuring these things out, it was only a matter of setting up the recursive routine properly. Parsing the arguments passed wasn’t too bad either, although this is a time where I would have liked to use the argparser in Python. For whatever reason QtCreator did not like the -v argument passed on the command line, and would run nothing when it was passed. I’m still not sure why this is the case. Besides that though the homework was fairly easy.
Had my first issue with Ubuntu today, I guess moreso with the VirtualBox which crashed for the first time. Luckily managed to recover everything. Still having issues getting it to have the correct resolution within VirtualBox though, I don’t remember how I got it into widescreen form last time.
Python proved to be more difficult than last weeks assignment. Getting the parser to work along with the fileinput was more challenging than it originally seemed. At first I had a hard time figuring out how to handle each optional argument in the parser. Eventually figured out you can literally say if argument… and handle it. A lot more intuitive than I thought it would be. After getting that, it still wasn’t working because the optional arguments had dashes within them like –ignore-blanks. Turns out Python converts these dashes to understrikes so the statement became if “ignore_blanks”. Then the fileinput tried to take these optional arguments as files which caused more issues. Finally got all of that working and then learned about the shebang too.
ECE3574 continues to have an overwhelming amount of work. Project 2 is some exercises out of the book that are extremely annoying. The exercises require you to implement the functions listed in the book, and you have to figure out what the book wants you to do with each function and what they want you to do with the parameters passed to each function. One of the exercises you have to use some of the source code given and it’s extremely hard implementing classes and functions that you didn’t design. It would be a lot easier just to write everything on my own rather than trying to figure out how their stuff works and then incorporating it. Gunna have to go see the TA just to understand what the book expects you to do in certain parts. Sure hope there won’t be any more assigments out of the book.
Just finished Homework 2 in Python and figured it was time to write another post. I have discovered that I do not like Python very much, while syntactically i like that you don’t need squiggly brackets, and you simply do tab which is what you would normally do any other language anyway; I do not like having a debugger to step through the code. It’s really hard to figure out where an error occurred and which line is causing something to do go wrong. Also not being able to step through and watch the values of variables makes it hard to tell what’s going on. Doing the homework took me quite a while longer than I thought it would, 1. because there is no debugger, and 2. because all the documentation I have found for Python isn’t very useful. While I was trying to look up some of the functions to use they are not very clear how they work. For one function it said it returned a “tuple” which I understood to be three different parts, but I had no idea how to access those three different parts it created…what does it store those parts into? With no useful examples I merely had to search for another way to solve the problem. That’s my work with python so far, but I’ll go ahead and explain a little bit about the qt programming I have been doing in ubuntu as well.
So QtCreator turned out to be more useful than the text editor for python, but its still not nearly as helpful as visual studio. It took me probably a little over an hour just to get things working properly. First off I had to change run settings to output the run to the terminal rather than the rather useful output at the bottom of the screen that takes in no arguments. After figuring out how to pass arguments from the command line to the terminal within QtCreator, I tried to debug it and realized that the debugger had some sort of error which I believe has something to do with outputting to the terminal. After googling some solutions for another half hour, I eventually got it working after modifying a couple files. Once that was out of the way, I was able to get to the heart of the programming and I found that Qt has some nice member function for its types. the QDate type was particularly useful for this assignment which was to create a birthday reminder program. One function which saved me a lot of time was the function for QDate isvalid(). That actually checks the date to see if its an actual date that exists and it saved me a ton of time by not having to write something like that myself. Overall the program turned out to be a little easier than I thought it would be, but it still took a really long time to complete. And that’s about all for this week.