Here are some scripts which are small, simple, easy to understand, and
which do something at least mildly interesting. Unless noted otherwise,
they should run on any platform, and don't require any libraries not
included with the standard distribution. (Note to Windows users: run
python from a DOS window; do not use PythonWin.)
Scripts may be run in one of the following ways:
- drop it onto the Python application icon (on a Mac)
- type python scriptname.py (on a command-line
- type import scriptname within the Python
- type scriptname.run() to run the script
- type reload(scriptname) to reload after
changes to the script file
This is a very simple script which calculates your age in dog years. It
demonstrates simple console input/output and the if/elif/else construct.
This script, by Manny Juan, generates random numbers appropriate for the
California lottery. You should be easily able to customize it for your
own favorite money-sink. (No warranty is expressed or implied.)
This script implements a simple guessing game. The computer picks a
random number between 1 and 100, and with each guess (after the first),
it tells you whether you're getting warmer or colder.
Illustrates looping, random numbers, and other basics.
Turn your computer into a super-genius! In this script, you think
of an item, and the computer tries to guess it. When it's wrong,
you teach it about your new item. After a few dozen games, it starts to
get pretty smart! See the sample run to get a
feel for it.
This script is a bit longer than the others, but still fairly easy. It
demonstrates defining a class and some functions. If you're feeling
ambitious, see if you can find a way to save the data and load it back
in so that the program doesn't get amnesia every time you quit.
Pig Latin Translator (piglatin.py)
This module contains two functions: piglatin(s), which
converts a plain English string into Pig Latin, and
depiglatin(s), which attempts to do the opposite
conversion. (Note that computers are terrible language translators, and
some mistakes may be made in translating from Pig Latin to English.) You
can run the script alone for a demo, or call these modules from within
your own Python programs.
A nice extension of this script would take a text file and translate
it entirely to Pig Latin (or vice versa). This might be useful, for
example, in making sense of legal documents.
This script, by Greg McFarlane, implements the Mark
V. Shaney text-generating robot. Given some example text,
Shaney will generate random text in a similar style. When
given a large collection of messages such as a newsgroup or
mailing list digest, it can generate some uncannily lively
As an example, given the text of the
of Independence, Shaney generated
this output. Given a
Trek script, Shaney's version looked like this.
Most text editors on the Mac (and possibly elsewhere) use a tab size
equal to 4 spaces. This is very convenient for editing source code.
But in the Unix world, many editors can only interpret tabs as being
equal to 8 spaces (due to a hardware limitation of the old VT100),
so when I share my code with Unix folks, they sometimes complain that
the comments and such don't line up neatly, or that the lines go off
the edge of the screen after several layers of indentation.
This script is for them! It converts a text file created with 4-space
tabs into one usable with 8-space tabs. The result looks exactly the
same; even numbers of tabs are halved, and odd tabs are replaced with
Letters Logic Game (letters.py)
Here's a logic game coded by Andrew Kuchling
The computer selects a letter. You ask questions -- e.g., how many horizontals
it has (in the capital form) -- to narrow down the possibilities. When you
make a guess, the program checks your logic.
This program demonstrates the use of sockets to create a "chat" server.
Launch it on a networked computer; then any number of people can telnet
to that computer (port 4000) and exchange messages in (almost) real
time. With work, this program could serve as the basis of any multi-user
The server also understands two special commands: quit
to disconnect yourself, and shutdown to shut the server
down and disconnect all users.
This program, by Marcelino
Martins, generates patterns through some kind of one-dimensional
cellular automaton (I think!). Anyway, it's fun to watch. It will ask
you for several parameters; given the default pattern, the following
parameter values give nice results:
|Word Size||Min. Val.||Max. Val|
. . . . . . Joe Strout