Thursday, May 19, 2016

i18nify any word with this Python utility

By Vasudev Ram


While I was browsing some web pages, reading a word triggered a chain of thoughts. The word had to do with internationalization (often shortened to i18n by developers, because there are 18 letters between the first i and the last n). That's how I thought of writing this small program that "i18nifies" a given word - not in the original sense, but in the way shown below - making a numeronym out of the word.

Here is
from __future__ import print_function
Utility to "i18nify" any word given as argument.

You Heard It Here First (TM):
"i18nify" signifies making a numeronym of the given word, in the 
same manner that "i18n" is a numeronym for "internationalization" 
- because there are 18 letters between the starting "i" and the 
ending "n". Another example is "l10n" for "localization".
Also see a16z.

Author: Vasudev Ram
Copyright 2016 Vasudev Ram -

def i18nify(word):
    # If word is too short, don't bother, return as is.
    if len(word) < 4:
        return word
    # Return (the first letter) plus (the string form of the 
    # number of intervening letters) plus (the last letter).
    return word[0] + str(len(word) - 2) + word[-1]

def get_words():
    for words in [ \
        ['a', 'bc', 'def', 'ghij', 'klmno', 'pqrstu', 'vwxyz'], \
        ['the', 'quick', 'brown', 'fox', 'jumped', 'over', 'the', \
        'lazy', 'dog'], \
        ['all', 'that', 'glitters', 'is', 'not', 'gold'], \
        ['often', 'have', 'you', 'heard', 'that', 'told'], \
        ['jack', 'and', 'jill', 'went', 'up', 'the', 'hill', \
        'to', 'fetch', 'a', 'pail', 'of', 'water'],
        yield words

def test_i18nify(words):
    print(' '.join(words))
    print(' '.join([i18nify(word) for word in words]))

def main():
    for words in get_words():

if __name__ == "__main__":
Running it with:
$ python
gives this output:
a bc def ghij klmno pqrstu vwxyz
a bc def g2j k3o p4u v3z

the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog
the q3k b3n fox j4d o2r the l2y dog

all that glitters is not gold
all t2t g6s is not g2d

often have you heard that told
o3n h2e you h3d t2t t2d

jack and jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water
j2k and j2l w2t up the h2l to f3h a p2l of w3r


- The use of yield makes function get_words a generator function. It is not strictly needed, but I left it in there. I could have used "return words" instead of "yield words".

- Speaking of generators, also see this post: Python generators are pluggable.

- The article on numeronyms (link near top of post) reminded me of run-length encoding

Anyway, e3y :)

- Vasudev Ram - Online Python training and consulting

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Mahmoud Hashemi said...

Nice! I had a similar need earlier, so you can find it all versions of boltons:

Vasudev Ram said...

Thanks! I've seen boltons briefly earlier and will check it out in more detail.