How to actually write a program?

wes weston wweston at att.net
Sat Sep 4 18:59:45 CEST 2004


Nick Evans wrote:
> Hello there,
> I have been on and off learning to code (with python being the second
> language I have worked on after a bit of BASIC). What I really want to know
> is, if you are going to actually write a program or a project of some sort,
> how do you actually start.
> 
> Picture this, you know what you want the program to do (its features), you
> have a possably rough idea of how the program will work. You have opened an
> empty text file and saved it as 'mykewlprogram.py' and now your sitting in
> front of an empty text file... Now then.... where do I start.
> 
> Any ideas about this problem :-)
> 
> Ta
> Nick
> 
> 
Nick,
    Open another file and write the story of your program;
why you're writing it, what it does, roughly how it does
it, what it operates on, who uses it, what it produces,
special problems, future considerations; a general
description.

    Make another file listing specific things each user
will be able to do; his action and what is produced and
in what form.

    By this time you should have an idea of what the
user interface will look like; gui, command line(both),
menu(s).

    All things move forward together.

    Possibly; code an interface only with all the menus.

    Come up with data structures; empty classes with
only documentation and maybe variable names and empty
methods.

    Put this at the bottom of every py file:
if __name__ == "__main__":
    pass
Most of the time of you do anything to the file, put
a test in and test it here. As new tests are done,
describe them and comment out the last one.

    Pick the most risky processe(s) and design/code.
Risky meaning is it doable and will your current
concept get the job done.

Test.

Iterate.

wes




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