I am trying to figure an elegant way of implementing the distribution of an amount into a given set of slots in python.
7 oranges distributed onto 4 plates would return:
[2, 2, 2, 1]
Conceptually, what you want to do is compute
7 // 4 = 1 and
7 % 4 = 3. This means that all the plates get 1 whole orange. The remainder of 3 tells you that three of the plates get an extra orange.
divmod builtin is a shortcut for getting both quantities simultaneously:
def distribute(oranges, plates): base, extra = divmod(oranges, plates) return [base + (i < extra) for i in range(plates)]
With your example:
>>> distribute(oranges=7, plates=4) [2, 2, 2, 1]
For completeness, you'd probably want to check that
oranges is non-negative and
plates is positive. Given those conditions, here are some additional test cases:
>>> distribute(oranges=7, plates=1)  >>> distribute(oranges=0, plates=4) [0, 0, 0, 0] >>> distribute(oranges=20, plates=2) [10, 10] >>> distribute(oranges=19, plates=4) [5, 5, 5, 4] >>> distribute(oranges=10, plates=4) [3, 3, 2, 2]