The next aspect of this problem set is, I feel, the most difficult task I was yet presented with.  The third problem asks for you to create a computer player.  More specifically, it wants you to create the ‘support’ for a computer player.  There are many different tasks throughout this problem, so I’m going to chop my explanation up into multiple entries.  Here are the first couple of functions it asks for me to create.

The first function it asks you to create is one called pick_best_hand().  This function is to take in the hand and points_dict variables and return the highest scoring word from points_dict that can be made with the given hand.  If no words can be made with the given hand, then it is to return ‘.’.  This is the end function I was to create, however there were several different steps I had to write before pick_best_hand() could be made.  One of the first steps to doing so was to create a helping function called get_words_to_points().  It is shown below.

 def get_words_to_points(word_list):    points_dict = {}    for word in word_list:        points_dict[word] = get_word_score(word,n)    return points_dict points_dict = get_words_to_points(word_list)

This function was to take in the word_list (a list of all possible words to be created, based on a scrabble dictionary), and produce a dictionary that would have the word as the key and it’s total points as the value attached to it.  Thereby creating a dictionary to use, when determining the highest scoring word possible.

To begin with I needed to define a new dictionary within my function, that would be returned once filled and completed.  I named this points_dict = {}.  Then I simply used a for loop and went through each word in the word_list.  For each word I simply ran that word against a former function I created, the get_word_score(word,n) function.  This function simply takes any provided word and spits out it’s point value.

To make the code more easy to read I went ahead and assigned each word I processed and it’s value (get_word_score(word,n)) to the dictionary as the for loop continued to process information.  Once the word_list was entirely processed, all point values would have been attached to their appropriate word, and the new dictionary point_dict would be finished.  The only additional step this part asked, was to assign the end value of the get_words_to_points() function to a variable that could later be called upon.  This variable name was points_dict.

Difficulties? Not really, as this was a basic for loop problem with the addition of creating a dictionary along the way.  Learning how to write this code simplistically will make future such problems much easier to read.

Problem Set 5 - a correction to a previously made function called update_hand()