When programming Python, indents matter


The Python programming language is sensitive to indent levels. When you view the source code of an HTML document (like clicking "View Source" in your browser, the code is indented to aid in readability, but not required for functionality. Python on the other hand is sensitive to indentation, it can quite literally change the scope of a code block! 

I am in the process of refactoring the follower script I created to remove unwanted code and streamline the functions (down to under 200 lines of code from the original behemoth that was over 2,200 lines and it outputs the same data!). In this process I had an idea and quickly coded it, not paying attention to where I put the indent level, so it was in the wrong scope and just made the program go into an endless loop. The fix was indenting by one level (4 spaces to be Pythonic, or one tab, if you used the setup options in IDLE (the python built in integrated development environment[IDE]) to make 1 tab = 4 spaces). This was a frustrating bug to squash, but my thick headed persistence paid off again.

Just sharing this for any other would be Python coders out there who may find themselves staring at a screen full of code wandering why it is not functioning as intended.

This code reduction was possible by removing the extra skip follower lines, they added no benefit and mostly just generated noise. Also removed the most recent list weighting, as lottery data is not seasonal (verified by time series analysis using SARIMAX).

Happy Coding!

Entry #240


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