Ruby Quiz - Degree of Difficulty

Hi all,

Whilst on a Uni break I thought I’d try and attack some of the Ruby
quizzes. There’s no way I’d be able to do the latest quiz but what I
thought I’d do is go over some of the previous ones and see how I’d go.
I
could then peak at the answers if I get stumped.

What I’d like though is some indication of which are the ‘easier’ ones.

Are there any? :wink:

This is probably directed towards James, but if you’re a (semi) newbie
and
you’ve attempted some of the quizzes which did you find easiest?

cheers,

http://rubyquiz.com/quiz68.html

is a nice easy one that lets you have some fun with web APIs. Well;
doing it with zipcodes is dead easy. Doing it by country is a little
more challenging. Basically, you can make the challenge harder as you
go.

http://rubyquiz.com/quiz76.html

is nice too, and there are LOADS of ways to approach it, some more
rubyish than others.

I say these two, because I can definitely do both of them, and I’m not
the greatest programmer at all.

Also: in general, the more solutions a quiz has, the easier it is.
That’s not always true, but it’s a good rule of thumb.

On 10/17/06, Mark W. [email protected] wrote:

Whilst on a Uni break I thought I’d try and attack some of the Ruby
quizzes. There’s no way I’d be able to do the latest quiz but what I
thought I’d do is go over some of the previous ones and see how I’d go. I
could then peak at the answers if I get stumped.

What I’d like though is some indication of which are the ‘easier’ ones.

These are probably not easy, but most enlightening of all.

http://www.rubyquiz.com/quiz67.html
Metaprogramming koans. Not that hard, very useful.

http://onestepback.org/articles/callcc/throw_catch/continuation_koans_rb.html
callcc koans. This one is seriously not easy, but you cannot achieve
higher states of awareness if you don’t do it :slight_smile:

What I’d like though is some indication of which are the ‘easier’ ones.

A good indication is the number of quiz-solutions. The ‘easier’ ones are
usually more popular.

Off the top of my head I remember ‘Text munger (76)’ as something that
may
be fitting. Also, I found ‘Markov Chains (74)’ very entertaining as well
as an informative an fun intro to Markov. My favorite so far was the
poker-game, it learned me about how to build my own enumerable,
something
that has proven very handy.

http://onestepback.org/articles/callcc/throw_catch/continuation_koans_rb.html
callcc koans. This one is seriously not easy, but you cannot achieve
higher states of awareness if you don’t do it :slight_smile:

It is, of course, vitally important to achieve enlightenment, for only
then will you realise that it is beyond your grasp. And become a
Python programmer.

Martin

On Oct 17, 2006, at 7:46 AM, Tom A. wrote:

Also: in general, the more solutions a quiz has, the easier it is.
That’s not always true, but it’s a good rule of thumb.

Exactly.

Here are some of the quizzes I think are easy:

http://www.rubyquiz.com/quiz14.html

http://www.rubyquiz.com/quiz61.html

http://www.rubyquiz.com/quiz78.html

Just do the check option for the problem above, unless you want a bit
more of a challenge.

http://www.rubyquiz.com/quiz84.html

There’s a movie of me solving the about, linked from the FAQ. I look
real dumb in it, so it’s a confidence booster. :wink:

http://www.rubyquiz.com/quiz93.html

James Edward G. II

Hi James,

On Tue, 17 Oct 2006 22:23:40 +0900, James Edward G. II wrote:

real dumb in it, so it’s a confidence booster. :wink:
I’m watching it as we speak ;-)(just paused it to write this).
I’ll start with that I think as it’s also in your book.

http://www.rubyquiz.com/quiz93.html

James Edward G. II

PS - Textmate looks impressive!!

cheers,

On 10/17/06, Jon Egil S. [email protected] wrote:

A good indication is the number of quiz-solutions. The ‘easier’ ones are
usually more popular.

I agree. This is probably a pretty good starting metric.
Consequently, be sure to check out the quiz for pretty printing
pascal’s triangle (#84). If I recall correctly, that problem was the
most popular quiz to date.

On Oct 17, 2006, at 8:35 AM, Mark W. wrote:

On Tue, 17 Oct 2006 22:23:40 +0900, James Edward G. II wrote:

http://www.rubyquiz.com/quiz84.html

There’s a movie of me solving the about, linked from the FAQ. I look
real dumb in it, so it’s a confidence booster. :wink:

I’m watching it as we speak ;-)(just paused it to write this).
I’ll start with that I think as it’s also in your book.

I didn’t understand that last sentence 100%, but just to be clear pp
Pascal is not in the Ruby Q. book. :frowning: It came too late.

However, since we’re talking about the book, I tried to rearrange the
quizzes in there from easiest to hardest. Obviously that’s pretty
subjective, but the quizzes at the front of the book shouldn’t be too
tough.

James Edward G. II

James Edward G. II [email protected] wrote:

http://www.rubyquiz.com/quiz84.html

There’s a movie of me solving the about, linked from the FAQ. I look
real dumb in it, so it’s a confidence booster. :wink:

http://www.rubyquiz.com/quiz93.html

You do not look “real dumb” in it and it’s a wonderful movie - three
thumbs up. The unit-test driven approach is brilliant. The fact that you
make some slips, discover them thru the unit tests, and figure them out
and fix them in real time, is exactly what makes the movie so good
(otherwise it would have had no plot and no tension, only two thumbs up
in that case). The explanations are crystal-clear. Also I’ve recommended
this movie to several doubters as an ad for TextMate; about every 10
seconds there’s some jaw-droppingly cool shortcut. m.

Hi James,

On Tue, 17 Oct 2006 22:51:26 +0900, James Edward G. II wrote:

I’ll start with that I think as it’s also in your book.

I didn’t understand that last sentence 100%, but just to be clear pp
Pascal is not in the Ruby Q. book. :frowning: It came too late.

No it’s not :wink: Sorry for the confusion.

However, since we’re talking about the book, I tried to rearrange the
quizzes in there from easiest to hardest. Obviously that’s pretty
subjective, but the quizzes at the front of the book shouldn’t be too
tough.

Want a bet :wink:

Just as an aside I noticed you started with Unit Tests in the video. I
think I know the answer to this but I’ll ask anyway. Should I do this
for
all quizzes? ie is it a good habit to get into? Not unit testing per
se
but building the test(s) first?

James Edward G. II

thanks again,

On Oct 17, 2006, at 9:15 AM, Mark W. wrote:

Just as an aside I noticed you started with Unit Tests in the video. I
think I know the answer to this but I’ll ask anyway. Should I do
this for
all quizzes? ie is it a good habit to get into? Not unit testing
per se
but building the test(s) first?

It sure helps me think my way through a problem. It’s always easier
for me to decide how I want to use something, and then create it.

James Edward G. II

Mark W. wrote:

There’s a movie of me solving the about, linked from the FAQ. I look
subjective, but the quizzes at the front of the book shouldn’t be too
tough.

Want a bet :wink:

Just as an aside I noticed you started with Unit Tests in the video. I
think I know the answer to this but I’ll ask anyway. Should I do this for
all quizzes? ie is it a good habit to get into? Not unit testing per se
but building the test(s) first?
From my perspective, there are very few better habits to get into at
all

On Oct 17, 2006, at 9:15 AM, matt neuburg wrote:

thumbs up. The unit-test driven approach is brilliant. The fact
that you
make some slips, discover them thru the unit tests, and figure them
out
and fix them in real time, is exactly what makes the movie so good
(otherwise it would have had no plot and no tension, only two
thumbs up
in that case). The explanations are crystal-clear. Also I’ve
recommended
this movie to several doubters as an ad for TextMate; about every 10
seconds there’s some jaw-droppingly cool shortcut. m.

Thanks so much. This single post has almost given me the courage to
do another one! :wink:

James Edward G. II

On 10/17/06, James Edward G. II [email protected] wrote:

On Oct 17, 2006, at 9:15 AM, matt neuburg wrote:

[good stuff deleted]

Thanks so much. This single post has almost given me the courage to
do another one! :wink:

Please, do. (And, BTW, you were using Ruby – that makes you
look smart in and of itself!)

Please, do. (And, BTW, you were using Ruby – that makes you
look smart in and of itself!)

Not as smart as doing it in Befunge.

Martin

On Tue, 2006-10-17 at 23:15 +0900, Mark W. wrote:

Just as an aside I noticed you started with Unit Tests in the video. I
think I know the answer to this but I’ll ask anyway. Should I do this for
all quizzes? ie is it a good habit to get into? Not unit testing per se
but building the test(s) first?

I was a bit of a late convert to the full test-driven development thing,
but I do have to say that it very quickly showed it’s worth and IMHO
it’s the only way to write any code of consequence (i.e. anything more
than a quick and dirty script for some specific task). I’ve lost count
of the number of times I’ve totally misunderstood a problem going in,
but managed to refine my understanding as I write some tests.

“Louis J Scoras” [email protected] writes:

On 10/17/06, Jon Egil S. [email protected] wrote:

A good indication is the number of quiz-solutions. The ‘easier’ ones are
usually more popular.

I agree. This is probably a pretty good starting metric.
Consequently, be sure to check out the quiz for pretty printing
pascal’s triangle (#84). If I recall correctly, that problem was the
most popular quiz to date.

Just don’t expect that all of the solutions to a solution-heavy quiz
will be on the easier-to-understand side. Especially on something
like pp pascal, some of the solvers got silly and decided to show off
(e.g. Kelly Norton’s solution, or my third, de-optimized solution)

On Tue, 17 Oct 2006 22:14:16 +1000, Mark W. wrote:

This is probably directed towards James, but if you’re a (semi) newbie and
you’ve attempted some of the quizzes which did you find easiest?

cheers,

thanks all, lots of good stuff here.

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