[Tutor] Re: Exercises

Andrei project5 at redrival.net
Mon Aug 30 09:11:32 CEST 2004

noud <nouda <at> freemail.nl> writes:

> Python is my first programe language I'm learing. I've started, I think, 3 
> months ago with reading some tutorials and books about Python. 
> Reading is going fine, but I've a problem... I don't know what to programme. 


You can do something useful or something fun.

Useful: find a repetitive task that you think would be a good candidate for
performing programmatically. This could be something like manipulating ID3 tags
of MP3's, synchronizing two different directories, generate a "News" homepage
based on a plain text file, download all images on a HTML page, make a zipped
backup of certain files or keep track of your grades in school and calculate
statistics based on them. It doesn't have to be something that nobody else has
done before and you might even already have a solution for that particular task,
but you learn from doing it yourself.

Fun: depending on your other hobbies, you could for example solve mathematical
puzzles, simulate evolution, write a trivia quiz about a topic you know
something about (e.g. anime), keep track of your progress in a sport.

Also observe what the people around you could use, like a hangman/guess the
number game for a younger sibling, a program which creates an image gallery for
the internet with digital holiday pictures, a friendly "search the file" program
for when your dad saves a file somewhere on the HD and can't find it anymore
(something less complex than the default Search dialogs found in Windows/Linux),
an application that downloads news every hour from several internet sites and
compiles them in a single HTML page so your mom can read them all in one place, 

> The only thing I do now is reading, I've (not yet) any inspiration about 
> programming somthing.

What to program when you do it as a hobby always depends on your personal
interests and needs. The applications you make don't have to be unique,
innovative or even remotely useful to anyone but you - and even to you they
don't have to be useful :). Given enough time and programs written for personal
use, you'll probably end up writing something that turns out to be useful for
other people as well. Then you'll be managing your own sourceforge project and
your users will give you ideas on what to do - probably more than you need :).

> Do you guys know some good exercises, or thinks like that? Something with 
> directory programming, Mayby a bit Tkinter stuff, Somthing about Sockets?

I'd suggest you think about the application you need first, then about the
technology you need for the application. It's easy to slap technology on top
of any program (even a tool which doesn't interact with the user can use a
Tkinter-based configuration dialog or an internet update/alert function or 
just about anything else you feel like putting into it - it is sometimes 
said that no application is complete until it can be used to send e-mail 



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