PFK Errata

20 Feb, 2013

Piotr Słowik writes:

I'm learning how to code from your book. It's great! First time in my life I'm starting to understand how to write code and make it work ;) You're the first person whose teachings make sense to me!

But I have problem with this example:

>>> v = sys.stdin.readline(13) He who laughs last thinks slowest >>> print(v) He who laughs

Whatever I do I get this error:

readline() takes 1 positional argument but 2 were given

I'm using Python 3.3. Please, help.

Thanks for the email Piotr. It looks like you've found the first 'bug' in the book. That example definitely works -- but it doesn't work in the Python Shell. If you try in the Console, you won't get the error.

The reason for the difference is that the Shell does some magic to replace the stdin object with a version of its own -- and its version of the readline function doesn't have a parameter for the maximum number of characters (hence you get an unexpected error message).

I've added this to the errata page accordingly.

Puzzle Updates

12 Feb, 2013

The solution to Programming Puzzle #4 has been posted, and you can also find a new puzzle added here.

The Front Page

31 Jan, 2013 Very cool. The front page of

Officially geeked out.

Stickman Elevators

25 Jan, 2013

Henry Angeles writes:

I'm not a programmer, so when my kid asked me to make an elevator in the stickman game I totally failed. I can get the platform to move up and down, but when the elevator starts going up with the stickman on it, hilarity ensues.

I guess at the end of the day i'm asking how this can be done. Thanks for your time.

I'm not surprised you found it difficult. It caused a fair amount of head scratching until I realised the trick to getting this working. If you used the code for the horizontal platforms in PythonForKidsSolutions.pdf as the basis for your elevator, your stick figure probably slips through the platform as soon as he touches it (or potentially rockets off up the screen depending upon your code). The elevator moves at a different speed to the stick figure, so you need to match that speed when the figure lands on the platform - and you can't rely on the basic collision detection code as it's written in that example.

A new programming puzzle, for this, has been added to the puzzles page - check back in a week or two for the full solution.

Puzzles 2 and 3

21 Jan, 2013

The solution to Programming Puzzle 2 has just been added to the puzzle's page, and challenge number 3 has been posted.