Day 12 of the Anvil Advent Calendar

Build a web app every day until Christmas, with nothing but Python!

A good game with bad impressions

Everyone enjoys a good game of charades at Christmas, it’s the reason we all get to witness a bad Elvis impression once a year!

Instead of spending time writing down the same phrases year after year, I thought I could build a quick app to skip the setup and therefore, spend more time laughing at my Dad’s Beyonce single ladies dance.

Choosing a random phrase

Choosing a random phrase from the application’s database was simple with Anvil’s Data Tables service and Python’s random module.

I created a getter function in the apps server module, which gets all phrases from the apps data table and then uses the choice() function to choose a random phrase.

from random import randint

def get_phrase():
  # Return a random phrase from the phrases data table
  return choice(['phrase']

On the client side, I created the get_phrase() function which runs every time someone clicks the Show me a phrase button.

def show_phrase_button_click(self, **event_args):
    """This method is called when the button is clicked"""
    self.phrase_label.text ='get_phrase')

Then I edited my phrases table in the Anvil IDE and added the phrases I wanted for the game.

Building a timer

Charades is better with a timer, it adds an additional challenge to the game.

To make the app more useful, I thought it would be good to build a simple timer into the app.

First, I created a variable to store the number of seconds for the countdown timer. Then I created an event handler that would update the countdown variable whenever a user edits the timer textbox.

def __init__(self, **properties):
    # Set Form properties and Data Bindings.

    # Init the default countdown for the form
    self.countdown = 60  
def countdown_textbox_change(self, **event_args):
  """This method is called when the text in the countdown text box is edited"""
  # Set the forms countdown to whatever number is entered by the user
  self.countdown = self.countdown_textbox.text

Once I had a default variable that could be updated by the user, I just needed to create functions for when the start timer and reset timer buttons were clicked.

I started by importing the time module at the top of my form.

Then, I created my start_timer_click() function which contained a while loop which checks the countdown is still above one. Each iteration uses the time.sleep() function to pause for one second and then minus one from the countdown. Once the countdown hits zero, the timer is reset and an alert is triggered to inform the user.

The reset_timer_button_click() simply breaks the while loop in start_timer_click() by setting the countdown variable to minus one. I used minus one so that when the reset button is clicked, it doesn’t also trigger an alert.

Finally, I created a simple function to swap the start and reset buttons visibility each time they’re clicked.

def start_timer_click(self, **event_args):
  """This method is called when the start button is clicked"""
  # Change buttons from start to reset
  # Countdown
  while self.countdown > 0:
    self.countdown_textbox.text = self.countdown = self.countdown - 1
  # Send an alert if the time runs out
  if self.countdown == 0:
    anvil.alert(anvil.Label(text="Time's up!", align="center",font_size=30))
  # Reset buttons and timer field
  self.countdown = 60
  self.countdown_textbox.text = None

def reset_timer_button_click(self, **event_args):
  """This method is called when the reset button is clicked"""
  # Stop the timer by tripping the 'while self.countdown > 0' in start_timer_clock()
  self.countdown = -1

def change_timer_buttons(self):
  """This method swaps the visibility of the start and reset timer buttons"""
  self.reset_timer_button.visible = not self.reset_timer_button.visible 
  self.start_timer_button.visible = not self.start_timer_button.visible

That’s it, a simple timer written all in client side Python.

Go ahead and use it

The app is published at - go ahead and use it to for your charades game this year!

Want to check out the source code or add phrases of your own?

Simply clone the app:

Give the Gift of Python

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