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Sudoku Mania

SudokuBan ScreenshotMy wife and I were in Barnes and Noble last night. Of course, the first place I go is the magazine rack to pick up the latest Linux Format issue, then over to the prgramming section to get a new computer book. I was completely torn between a number of different computer books, but finally settled on Wicked Cool Shell Scripts by Dave Taylor. You just can't get enough of shell scripting, even if it is in csh and not bash.

Anyway, while browsing around, I couldn't help but notice Sudoku books everywhere! Gads, they were on tables, end-caps, at the cash register- literally everywhere. All different kinds of books too. In fact, while at the cash register, paying for our books, Barnes and Noble was even selling a Sudoku game!

Now mind you, I am not foreign to the game by any means of the word. I have Sudoku books at home, and a page-a-day Sudoku calendar at work. Now you can't open a newspaper without seeing Sudoku puzzles. Which is fine I guess. For me, I got into this game about 7-8 months ago, before all the craze and hype. But here's what's funny: I open my newly purchased Linux Format magazine, and what is on page 98, but a review of 3 Sudoku solvers for Linux. It's a global takeover. Resistance is futile.

So, I read the article. Linux Format was offering 500 to whomever could program the best Sudoku solvers, with 300 going to 1st place, 150 to 2nd place, and 50 to 3rd place. Heck, if I would've read the article last month, or at least paid attention to it, I could've submitted a solver in Python. Apparently, the 1st place winner SudokuBan, beat me to it. Because it is written in Python, it is completely platform independant.

Well, I went ahead, and downloaded SudokuBan, and began playing. It is a very polished program! Looking at the code (yes, it is OSS), it's clean and can be easily maintained, even if it isn't commented (which is a bit bothersome). Launching the program just means firing up the Python interpreter, and off you go! I made a shortcut in my games menu. The command for launching the program is



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