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Scrabble Score
Scrabble Score in C

scrabble_score.h

#ifndef SCRABBLE_SCORE_H
#define SCRABBLE_SCORE_H

unsigned int score(const char *word);

#endif

scrabble_score.c

#include "scrabble_score.h"
#include <ctype.h>
#include <stddef.h>

typedef struct score_pair {
   unsigned int score;
   char *letters;
} score_pair;

static const score_pair compressed_scores[] = {
   { 1, "aeioulnrst" }, { 2, "dg" }, { 3, "bcmp" }, { 4, "fhvwy" },
   { 5, "k" },          { 8, "jx" }, { 10, "qz" }
};

static unsigned int scores[26] = { 0 };
static int scoresInitialized = 0;

static void initialize_scores()
{
   if (scoresInitialized)
      return;
   for (int compressedPos = 0; compressedPos < 7; compressedPos++) {
      score_pair pair = compressed_scores[compressedPos];
      char *ltrs = pair.letters;
      for (; *ltrs; ltrs++) {
         scores[*ltrs - 'a'] = pair.score;
      }
   }
   scoresInitialized = 1;
}

unsigned int score(const char *word)
{
   if (word == NULL)
      return 0;
   initialize_scores();
   unsigned int total_score = 0;
   for (; *word; word++)
      total_score += scores[tolower(*word) - 'a'];
   return total_score;
}

This approach starts by defining a struct which holds a score and a string of letters. An array of that struct type is defined, with each element being that struct with a score and a string of its related letters.

Next is defined an array to hold the score for each of the 26 letters of the English alphabet. A variable is defined with a value of false to indicate if the score array has been initialized yet.

The initialize_scores function first checks if scoresInitialized is true. If so, it immediately returns. Otherwise, it sets up a for loop to iterate the array of structs.

Inside the outer for loop, an inner for loop is set up to iterate the string of letters for the current struct. The conditional statement will iterate the inner loop as long as the ltrs pointer is not pointing to a null character ('\0'). The inner loop increments the ltrs pointer. Since the ltrs pointer is being incremented directly, there is no counter variable needed to be defined and incremented.

Inside the inner for loop, the element in the scores array for the current letter has its score set from score field of the current struct. The corresponding elements of the scores array relate to the position of the letter in the English alphabet. So a is at index 0, b is at index 1, up through z which is at index 25. Subtracting the current char by a subtracts the ASCII value of the current char by the ASCII value of a.

  • For example, a subtracted by a would be 97 minus 97 for 0.
  • b subtracted by a would be 98 minus 97 for 1.
  • z subtracted by a would be 122 minus 97 for 25.

After the loops are done, the scoresInitialized variable is set to 1.

The score function takes a pointer to the word being scored. It checks if the pointer is NULL. If so, then the function returns 0.

Note

There is a difference between a NULL pointer and a valid pointer pointing to a null character ('\0').

The initialize_scores function is called. If the scores array has already been initialized, the function will return immediately.

The variable to keep track of the accumulated score is initialized to 0.

The for loop begins with no initialization statement. The reason the total_score variable is not initialized in the for loop is because its scope would be confined to the loop and it would be destroyed at the end of the loop.

The conditional statement will iterate the loop as long as the word pointer is not pointing to a null character ('\0'). The loop increments the word pointer. Since the word pointer is being incremented directly, there is no counter variable needed to be defined and incremented.

Inside the loop, the tolower function is used on the character at the dereferenced pointer before subtracting it by a as the index into the scores array. The total_score variable is added to from the result of getting the value from the score array at that index.

The loop will stop when the word pointer is pointing at a null character.

The value of the total_score variable is returned.

29th May 2024 · Found it useful?