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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, Barron Stone works with Python.
Each month, Barron will introduce a new challenge and provide an overview of his solution in Python, 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, PHP, and Ruby. And check back every month for new challenges.
- Hello, and welcome to Code Clinic. My name is Barron Stone. Code Clinic is a monthly course where a unique problem is introduced to a collection of lynda.com authors. In response, each author will create a solution using their programming language of choice. 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, the problem combines two concepts, Recursion and Accessing Data. Recursion means to repeat something in a similar way.
And, in this problem, our program will need to be capable of recursively searching for image files stored in directories inside of other directories inside of other directories, and on and on to an unknown level of depth. JPEG files can contain additional image data stored as EXIF or IPTC. EXIF stands for Exchangeable Image File Format and is a well-documented standard. If you have a digital camera or have taken photos with a newer cell phone camera, the image probably has EXIF data available. Using a Macintosh, you can see this metadata information by opening the image in Preview, opening Tools, Show Inspector, and selecting the EXIF or IPTC tab.
On Windows, you can see metadata by right-clicking an image and selecting Properties and the Details tab. You'll see things like caption, dimensions, camera type, color space, exposure information, and other details. Cell phones will also imbed geographical location data identifying the longitude and latitude at which the picture was taken. The challenge is to look through the example files included with the Code Clinic, find images, extract the caption data from the metadata, and then reorganize those photos into an alphabetical folder structure based on the caption.
As always, you may want to take some time to solve the problem yourself. In the next videos, I'll show you how I solved the challenge.
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