python coding contest

Tim Hochberg tim.hochberg at
Sun Dec 25 19:42:50 CET 2005

Christian Tismer wrote:
> Simon Hengel wrote:
>>Hash: SHA1
>>>I'm envisioning lots of convoluted one-liners which
>>>are more suitable to a different P-language... :-)
>>I feel that python is more beautiful and readable, even if you write
>>short programs.
>>>How about """best compromize between shortness and readibility
>>>plus elegance of design"""?
>>I would love to choose those criteria for future events. But I'm not
>>aware of any algorithm that is capable of creating a ranking upon them.
>>Maybe we can come up with a solution. Any ideas?
> Me neither :-)
> Maybe a compromize proposal could be like this:
> - Squeezing many lines into one using semicola does not help,
>    the program will be expanded to use one statement per line
> - blank lines are allowed and not counted if they are not
>    needed as part of the code

These two would be easy to acomplish using something like:

def countchars(text):
     n = 0
     for line in text.split('\n'):
	n += len(line.strip())
     return n

This would ignore leading and trailing white space as well as blank lines.

Also makes

     a=5; b=10

measure as one character longer than

     a = 5
     b = 10

which can only be good.

> - the length of names does not count, unless the code depends on it.

Probably too hard.

> Some harmonization procedure might be applied to every solution
> before counting lines, in order to avoid spectacular cryptic stuff.

I thought the metric was characters, not lines. At least that's what the 
'about' page says. You still get hit by leading whitespace on multiple 
line programs though.


> I have no idea whether I'm serious about this.
> Having this said, I'm trashing my one-liner :-))
> if-it-doesn't-look-like-Python-it-is-not-Python - ly y'rs -- chris

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