Monday, April 23, 2012

Channeling Lincoln

I found this on reddit. The post says to consider the first part of the Gettysburg address:

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal
How long do you think it would take you to manually break the address up into 13 character lines, breaking those lines at appropriate spaces?
I'm not so concerned with the estimation process. This is a fun problem for a beginning Python coder. My solution is below, but please try it yourself first. And yes, I was pleased with my time, but I've done this before. How to handle the beginning and the end is the key. I just make them special cases.

[ UPDATE: You could also just look for the right function in the standard library! ]

> python script.py 
10 Four score
 9 and seven
13 years ago our
 7 fathers
13 brought forth
 9 upon this
11 continent a
11 new nation,
12 conceived in
11 liberty and
12 dedicated to
 3 the
11 proposition
12 that all men
11 are created
 5 equal

FH = open('data.txt','r')
data = FH.read().strip().split()
FH.close()

pL = list()
N = 13
for word in data:
    assert len(word) <= N
tL = [data.pop(0)]

for word in data:
    n = len(' '.join(tL)) 
    n += 1 + len(word)
    if n > N:
        pL.append(' '.join(tL))
        tL = [word]
    else:
        tL.append(word)

pL.append(word)

for line in pL:
    print "%2d" % len(line), line

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