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?
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!
@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 http://www.brendanemmettquigley.com/files/1129TalesofHighCrimes.puz
@piggo hm, do you have 3.6 handy?
@piggo it definitely won't work in python2, but this is the sort of thing I wanted to find!
@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
@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?
@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 :)
@piggo oh good! yeah, I don't really know anything about terminals so this has been a journey
@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
@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 :)
- 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!
- 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!
@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 er, ./cursewords.py $PUZFILE, that should read
@xor I will check it out!
@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
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