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Do I know anybody here who (a) solves US-style crosswords with some regularity and (b) is at least kind of a programmer?

@xor i know someone who fits this description but they're not here

@nightpool lol then I'm not interested!!!! I want to sort of low-key talk with people who might test some software I've written, but no need to go further than my immediate fediverse

@xor 👋 I do the NYT daily and program ... a fair bit. crossme.herokuapp.com is mine.

@nelhage hey! would you maybe be up for extreeeeme alpha testing some crossword software i've written?

@nelhage ok, thank you thank you! the repo is here: github.com/thisisparker/cursew It should work with python3.4+, but maybe lower too

clone it, run pip install -r requirements.txt, and then ./cursewords.py $PUZFILE should work! I'd love to see screenshots of it in your terminal, and even more I'd love feedback on how the navigation feels (especially when you've got some of the puzzle filled out.) Arrow keys, tab, space, enter, pg-up, pg-down, etc, all work, but I want it to feel intuitive!

@xor do you know of some place with the puz files to try it?

@piggo it's real rough for now so bare with me! But yes, that's the standard-ish puzzle format, and here's one recent one by Brendan Emmet Quigley brendanemmettquigley.com/files

@piggo it definitely won't work in python2, but this is the sort of thing I wanted to find!

@xor i'd have to build 3.6 from source i guess, it updated in the arch repos

@piggo ok, don't worry about it, it's very likely not the problem! I don't know what locale is doing but will look that up

@xor ok so I commented that line in the library file (sudo nano heheh)

it works now. seems quite smooth so far

@piggo ok wow great! I'm going to categorize that as an upstream bug and try to work around it. You said you're on arch?

@xor yeah. but this might've been installed by pip

@piggo I think the locale it's not finding is something in your terminal settings. Stack Overflow suggests that `export LC_ALL=C` might have also addressed it :)

@xor yep that worked. you can add it to your future README.md

@piggo oh good! yeah, I don't really know anything about terminals so this has been a journey

@xor

feedbacks

somewhat inconsistent wrapping after typing the last letter (especially on the edge of the puzzle). sometimes it jumps to the next line, sometimes to the first letter of the word? sometimes next word. idk

was a bit confused that backspace and delete both work like backspace

would like a save/restore function (have a file in ~/.cache/ maybe? based on puzzle filename or path?)

but the biggest obstacle so far was that the sample puzzle is too hard for me xD

@piggo thank you, all noted! I'm trying to do kind of a lot with navigation and so feedback that it doesn't feel natural is really important. I'm doing the puzzle now too and it's kind of hard

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@xor worked for me in Python 3.7, screenshot attached.

Felt fairly intuitive so far, but then I lost all my progress on this puzzle to a stray ESC, which was kind a bummer. More comments as I resume.

@nelhage oh dang, you did a big puzzle too! sorry, I will build in save, and i will eventually not have quit be a single key away

@xor It's cool, I wasn't very far in and it's pretty easy to recreate from memory! I did the WaPo Sunday since that's the next puzzle on my list anyways :)

@xor
- when I tab or finish a word, I expect to go to the first blank in the next word, not the first word
- similarly I expect tab to complete filled-in words by default
- I find the rendering a bit hard to read words in. Maybe play with bolding the letters or fading the grid or something?

@xor overall this is neat! I'm weirdly excited about more people programming crossword things!

@nelhage
- since sending you this I've completely come around to your expectation on tabs and completion
- what do you mean by this one?
- yeah, unfortunately some of that is per-terminal! I'll try bolding, that's a good tip. You can see the squares are a little dimmer than the letters, but not everyone gets that and there's more to do there!

@xor second bullet: whoops, I meant "skip" not "complete"; tab should skip over filled-in words when going to the next clue

@nelhage ah, yes, I was going to say... tab-completion would be nice in a crossword, but probably not fair :)

@xor entertainingly to me, when I first built crossme I barely did crosswords and implemented "don't skip over things" behavior, and have added in that behavior as I got more into crosswords.

@xor so anecdata says everyone comes around but has to be persuaded :)

Many online solvers I've seen also have preferences, though.

@nelhage I'm thinking that word-completion and tab take you to the next blank square, and maybe pg-up/pg-down can navigate word-to-word without considering blanks

@xor I like that idea, I think.

One other feature request: Also printing the clue for the non-selected direction (but de-emphasized somehow) might be useful. Sometimes, especially if I'm speed-solving a Monday, I like to look at both clues as I go.

@nelhage (sorry that I'm responding in real-time! let me know if you want me to stop!)

yes! my original plan was to show a selection of clues in boxes to the right. this was a stop-gap i came to like. My de-emphasis options are, again, a little limited on the terminal, but I will think about it!

@nelhage would you be interested in trying the updated version of this software?

@xor sure! I'm travelling but I'll try to `git pull` before I board a plane tomorrow :)

@nelhage ok! I'm won't push anything broken but I'll keep pushing up through then

@nelhage ok yeah, I think I'm done for the night, and I hope everything works because it's come a long way!

@xor ooh I like the new control-key controls! And puzzle saving 😍

@nelhage yeah, saving the markup was kind of a bear, and I'm still working on the timer, but this is approaching something like a real client for me

@xor btw you seem to have already figured it out just fine but we converted that one old Google code doc on .puz to modern GitHub markdown if that's at all helpful to you: github.com/nelhage/crossme/blo

@nelhage oh this is super great! I'd referred to that Google Code doc extensively but this is much better, thank you.

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@xor me! I've written a variety of crossword-related software over the years.

@jamesvasile would you be interested in maybe poking around a piece of software I've written? Just making sure it runs, and that it roughly works as expected. Very rough for now!

@xor sure thing. Send me a repo link and I will pull it down!

@jamesvasile it's not yet documented at all, but the repo is at github.com/thisisparker/cursew. clone that, run pip install -r requirements.txt, and then run ./cursewords $PUZFILE. if you don't have a .puz lying around I can send you one! python 3.4+, i think

@jamesvasile no rush whatsoever, and any feedback is great! screenshots of your terminal running it are good, and thoughts on the navigation too

@xor It runs fine in my terminal. Cursor keys navigate, letters work, delete removes letters. Nicely done!

@xor my partner and I both fit this description, hello

@aldeka hello!! I've written some crosswords software and it's very early stages and I thiiiink I have the feedback I need for now but I will likely be bugging you about this soon

I sometimes start the crossword in our local paper, and occasionally finish it. I sometimes start a programming project, and occasionally finish it. #cruciverbalist #programmer
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