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Can someone help me write a program?


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#1 Olliepm   Members   -  Reputation: 260

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 05:17 PM

I'm very new to programming; I basically understand the concepts of how it works, but don't know the methods or the languages.

 

I'm wondering how advanced I would have to become at programming to create a program which could read text files, but display letters in defined colours. For example: The program would load a text file that says "Hello world" and display the words "Hello world" with every letter 'o' being blue, and every letter 'l' being red.  I picked those colours at random for the example, but the idea would be that the program would allow you to select the colour to letter relationships yourself.  Having to actually edit the code to change those relationships wouldn't bother me if I knew how to do it though.

 

From what I've read about programming, I can't imagine this would be an incredibly complex task.  

 

Any advice on the subject?  Know of an existing program that does this already?  I need your help!


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#2 ChaosEngine   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2499

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 05:30 PM

You wouldn't need to be very advanced to do this.

 

But no-one here will write it for you. You need to put in the effort.

 

Let's start with a few basics. What are you going to run this on (windows, linux, mac, etc)? Do you want a command line program or a GUI? How are you going to store the users letter/colour choices?

 

Once you decided what you want, break the problem down into steps. At each step, google will be your friend.

As a starter, the first thing you need to do is read your text file. Google "how to read a text file in your-language-choice-here".

 

This might sound a little bit callous, but learning how to break a problem down into manageable chunks and then research solutions is pretty the core skill of programming.

 

If you're looking for advice on languages, etc, I would recommend Python as a good place to start.


if you think programming is like sex, you probably haven't done much of either.-------------- - capn_midnight

#3 Bacterius   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 9263

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 06:07 PM

If you use Python and the terminal you can use the colorama library for coloring the different letters, which also happens to be cross-platform. For C# this functionality is built into the Console class, for C and C++ you can use rlutil, there's probably a library for it in Java, etc... if using a graphical window, color should be something very easy to add. Hopefully this helps you set up a prototype, remember to start small: first hardcode the colors for each letter, then think on how you could make them editable, and keep iterating.


The slowsort algorithm is a perfect illustration of the multiply and surrender paradigm, which is perhaps the single most important paradigm in the development of reluctant algorithms. The basic multiply and surrender strategy consists in replacing the problem at hand by two or more subproblems, each slightly simpler than the original, and continue multiplying subproblems and subsubproblems recursively in this fashion as long as possible. At some point the subproblems will all become so simple that their solution can no longer be postponed, and we will have to surrender. Experience shows that, in most cases, by the time this point is reached the total work will be substantially higher than what could have been wasted by a more direct approach.

 

- Pessimal Algorithms and Simplexity Analysis


#4 Olliepm   Members   -  Reputation: 260

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 06:20 PM

 I have a friend helping me too, so I should be fine to work on it myself.

I would like to run it on Windows.  The display format of the text output doesn't matter as long as it can be read, and that the colour relationships can be editied.

Well, here are what I think would be the steps:

The relationships between colours and letters are defined

A process is written for outputting a coloured version of the input letter

The program scans the full text input letter by letter

 

The program outputs the the new text, letter by letter.

  

 

** As I wrote the above, my friend actually just offered to write the program quickly and leave comments that would help me understand it.  I appreciate your help, and I still intend to follow up on what you said though.  That 'core skill of programming part'  actually makes a lot of sense.

Thanks!

 

 


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#5 Olliepm   Members   -  Reputation: 260

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 06:41 PM

Thanks Bacterius!


My sound design: (Under construction!)

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#6 RaoulJWZ   Members   -  Reputation: 695

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 10:55 AM

I should say go with Python to. It's not that hard to learn for a beginner, if you just go for it and you can do many thinks with it.

 

If you ever want to learn the basics and make some simple games on the way there's a really good tutorial: http://inventwithpython.com/

It's free and a very good book. 

I hope it helped some and good luck with your program!


Edited by RaoulJWZ, 30 June 2014 - 12:54 PM.


#7 Olliepm   Members   -  Reputation: 260

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 12:09 PM


If you ever want to learn the basics and make some simple games on the way there's a really good tutorial: 


Thanks for the help.  It seems like you tried to post a link to this tutorial, but it's not displaying (at least for me).

My sound design: (Under construction!)

My music: https://soundcloud.com/echo-gecko

Contactolliepm@googlemail.com


#8 RaoulJWZ   Members   -  Reputation: 695

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 12:55 PM

Yeah i see it to, i edited it sorry btw :)



#9 Tutorial Doctor   Members   -  Reputation: 1688

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 06:11 PM

There is an app (which is quickly becoming my favorite app ever) called Editorial.

It's for ipad and iPhone.

I made an extension to this app which does the very thing you are describing.

I had to learn about regular expressions. And I used a bit of HTML and CSS also.

For any type of complex searching, regular expressions are very useful.

I attached a photo.

I'm not too advanced myself, and have made a small tutorial on regular expressions also.

It's a great app for learning python also, as well as UI design, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Attached Thumbnails

  • image.jpg

They call me the Tutorial Doctor.


#10 tp9   Members   -  Reputation: 533

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 06:23 PM

Something that's portable and cross-platform is good ol' Javascript and HTML. It's more complicated than using the command line and a Python library, but anyone with a web browser could load it without having to install anything. Just another suggestion.



#11 Tutorial Doctor   Members   -  Reputation: 1688

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 06:26 PM

The file looks something like this once I run my extension:

What it does is find every occurrence of a user-specified word and wraps it in an HTML "bold" tag. Then it styles the word with a color attribute.

The app I used made the process easier before I knew how to do regular expressions (learned regular expressions in a day). But with regular expressions I was able to do a more complex task, like comb a document for all emails, sort them alphabetically, and replace all text in the document with only the emails, in a list.

Attached Thumbnails

  • image.jpg

They call me the Tutorial Doctor.





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