CS377: Database Design - File I/O (100 Points)

Assignment Goals

The goals of this assignment are:
  1. To use file I/O to read and process records in a flat file format

Background Reading and References

Please refer to the following readings and examples offering templates to help get you started:

The Assignment

In this lab, you will create a class to represent a data model of some type (your movie collection, people you work with, etc). This can be anything you’d like, but each class should have at least three fields in it. Your class should have a method that returns a dict structure whose keys are the name of the field and whose values are the corresponding values of that object (you can use the .__dict__ attribute of your object to return this dictionary automatically, or you may create the dict structure yourself).

Create a second class that writes a dict structure to a comma-separated value. The first line of this file (and only the first line) should be the header row, containing the columns of the data within. The desired filename should be a parameter. For safety, if the file already exists, append to it by opening the file in 'a' mode. If the parameter is not a dict, your program should fail gracefully (in other words, it should continue execution beyond the point of the error, and not simply quit!).

In your main function, instantiate at least three of these objects and write them to a file that you specify with a parameter.

Unit Testing

Explore the Unit Testing framework that Python provides to automatically test your lab. Create a test class at least three test cases that write to a file. You can read the file and inspect its contents as your test validation.

Exporting your Project for Submission

When you’re done, write a README for your project, and save all your files, before exporting your project to ZIP. In your README, answer any bolded questions presented on this page.


In your submission, please include answers to any questions asked on the assignment page in your README file. If you wrote code as part of this assignment, please describe your design, approach, and implementation in your README file as well. Finally, include answers to the following questions:
  • If collaboration with a buddy was permitted, did you work with a buddy on this assignment? If so, who? If not, do you certify that this submission represents your own original work?
  • Please identify any and all portions of your submission that were not originally written by you (for example, code originally written by your buddy, or anything taken or adapted from a non-classroom resource). It is always OK to use your textbook and instructor notes; however, you are certifying that any portions not designated as coming from an outside person or source are your own original work.
  • Approximately how many hours it took you to finish this assignment (I will not judge you for this at all...I am simply using it to gauge if the assignments are too easy or hard)?
  • Your overall impression of the assignment. Did you love it, hate it, or were you neutral? One word answers are fine, but if you have any suggestions for the future let me know.
  • Any other concerns that you have. For instance, if you have a bug that you were unable to solve but you made progress, write that here. The more you articulate the problem the more partial credit you will receive (it is fine to leave this blank).

Assignment Rubric

Description Pre-Emerging (< 50%) Beginning (50%) Progressing (85%) Proficient (100%)
Algorithm Implementation (60%) The algorithm fails on the test inputs due to major issues, or the program fails to compile and/or run The algorithm fails on the test inputs due to one or more minor issues The algorithm is implemented to solve the problem correctly according to given test inputs, but would fail if executed in a general case due to a minor issue or omission in the algorithm design or implementation A reasonable algorithm is implemented to solve the problem which correctly solves the problem according to the given test inputs, and would be reasonably expected to solve the problem in the general case
Code Quality and Documentation (30%) Code commenting and structure are absent, or code structure departs significantly from best practice, and/or the code departs significantly from the style guide Code commenting and structure is limited in ways that reduce the readability of the program, and/or there are minor departures from the style guide Code documentation is present that re-states the explicit code definitions, and/or code is written that mostly adheres to the style guide Code is documented at non-trivial points in a manner that enhances the readability of the program, and code is written according to the style guide
Writeup and Submission (10%) An incomplete submission is provided The program is submitted, but not according to the directions in one or more ways (for example, because it is lacking a readme writeup or missing answers to written questions) The program is submitted according to the directions with a minor omission or correction needed, including a readme writeup describing the solution and answering nearly all questions posed in the instructions The program is submitted according to the directions, including a readme writeup describing the solution and answering all questions posed in the instructions

Please refer to the Style Guide for code quality examples and guidelines.