Appalling Farrago

A blog about stuff

Word Squares

01 Dec 2013

So the second week of thoughtbot’s learn prime study group is coming to an end and we were assigned the problem of writing a ruby application that generates word squares. A word square is like a crossword on steroids. Every column and row of said square needs to contain a valid word. Now this isn’t too tough for 3x3 or 4x4 squares but there was an added challenge to post your fastest time for a 6x6 square. I decided to wrap mine in rails (my reasoning was that some in the study group mentioning wanting to experience more rails apps) and you can find it here on github. One of the imaginary constraints I put on myself when writing this was I wanted every available word square to be just as likely to be found as any other word square. This made it important that picking words were random. I then pulled in the algorithms gem to gain access to a new data object called a trie. I then used this to try a optimize lookup of words from a dictionary.

I also test drove this project. It’s fun! It allowed me to very quickly re factor my code which was a new experience for me. The second part of this exercise is we should review each others code and make a suggestion on someone’s code on how to improve it. I’m looking forward to seeing what the others in Blue Group have come up with.

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