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# Experiences with a programming exercise

```On Sat, 15 Sep 2018 17:08:57 +0000, Stefan Ram wrote:

> I gave two different functions:
>
> def triangle():
>     for i in range( 3 ):
>         forward( 99 ); left( 360/3 )
>
> def rectangle()
>     for i in range( 4 ):
>         forward( 99 ); left( 360/4 )
>
>   , and the exercise was to write a single definition for a function
>   ?angle( n )? that can be called with ?3? to paint a triangle and with
>   ?4? to paint a rectangle. Nearly all participants wrote something like
>   this:
>
> def angle( n ):
>     if n == 3:
>         for i in range( 3 ):
>             forward( 99 ); left( 360/3 )
>     if n == 4:
>         for i in range( 4 ):
>             forward( 99 ); left( 360/4 )
>
>   Now I have added the requirement that the solution should be as short
>   as possible!

seems a good exercise & you are breaking the students in step by stem
which is also good
get something that works, then make it better

i would suggest instead of the new requirement to be make it a short as
possible make it work with ANY number of sides.

--
Max told his friend that he'd just as soon not go hiking in the
hills.
Said he, "I'm an anti-climb Max."
[So is that punchline.]

```