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Many successful programmers know more than just a computer language. They also know how to think about solving problems. They use "computational thinking": breaking a problem down into segments that lend themselves to technical solutions. Code Clinic is a series of six courses where lynda.com authors solve the same problems using different programming languages. Here, David Powers works with PHP.
Each month, David will introduce a new challenge and provide an overview of his solution in PHP, explaining how he broke the problem up into logical components, and revealing the difficulties he encountered. Challenges will include topics such as statistical analysis, searching directories for images, and accessing peripheral devices.
Visit other courses in the series to see how to solve the exact same challenge in languages like C#, C++, Java, Python, and Ruby. And check back every month for new challenges.
- Hello and welcome to Code Clinic. My name is David Powers. Code Clinic is a monthly course where a unique problem is introduced to a collection of lynda.com authors. In response, each author creates a solution using their programming language of choice. Mine is PHP. You can learn several things from Code Clinic: different approaches to solving a problem, the pros and cons of different languages, and some tips and tricks to incorporate into your own coding practices. This month we're working on a classic computer programming problem called "The Eight Queens".
This famous problem is often used during interviews or to demonstrate the utility of a computer language. It requires an understanding of recursion and algorithm design. And can be quite useful as an exercise in learning to program solutions for complex problems. This problem was proposed by Max Bezzel in 1848 and solved by Franz Nauck in 1850. The problem is simple. Start with a chess board and eight queens. Then set up the board so that no two queens can attack each other.
There's more than one solution. Find them all. We already know there are 92 possible solutions. And we already have examples of the solutions in several computer languages. If you've never played chess you'll need to understand that a queen can attack by moving an unlimited number of spaces in three directions: horizontally, vertically, and diagonally. This means that no two queens can share a row or column. Nor can they be located diagonally from each other.
In the following videos I'll show you how to solve the "Eight Queens" problem using PHP. I'd encourage you to look also at the solutions from other authors in the lynda.com library. You'll be able to compare different author styles and different languages.
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