Step-by-step solution for Simple Symbols
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This challenge requires you to determine if every alphabetic character in a string has a plus (+) symbol on the left and right side of itself. For example: the string "+a+b+c+" is good but the string "===+3+f=+b+" is not because the "f" does not have a plus symbol to its right. A very simple way to solve this challenge is to create a loop that every time it gets to an alphabetic character, it checks to see if it is surrounded by + symbols.

function SimpleSymbols(str) { 

  // pad the strings so that if a character exists at the beginning
  // of the string for example, we don't get on out-of-bounds error by
  // trying to get the character before it
  var str = '=' + str + '=';

  // loop through entire string
  for (var i = 0; i < str.length; i++) {
    
    // check to see if current character is an alphabetic character  
    // by using a simple case-insensitive regex pattern 
    if (str[i].match(/[a-z]/i) !== null) {

      // check to see if a + symbol is to the left and right
      // if not, then we know this string is not valid
      if (str[i-1] !== '+' || str[i+1] !== '+') { 
        return false;
      }

    }
 
  }

  return true;
  
}
   
SimpleSymbols("+d+=3=+s+");                                                                                                
def SimpleSymbols(str): 
  
  # pad the strings so that if a character exists at the beginning
  # of the string for example, we don't get on out-of-bounds error by
  # trying to get the character before it
  str = '=' + str + '='

  # loop through the entire string
  for i in range(0, len(str)):
    
    # check to see if current character is an alphabetic character  
    if str[i].isalpha():

      # check to see if a + symbol is to the left and right
      # if not, then we know this string is not valid
      if str[i-1] != '+' or str[i+1] != '+':
        return 'false'

  return 'true'

print SimpleSymbols("+d+=3=+s+")             
def SimpleSymbols(str)

  # pad the strings so that if a character exists at the beginning
  # of the string for example, we don't get on out-of-bounds error by
  # trying to get the character before it
  str = '=' + str + '='
  
  # loop through the entire string
  (0..str.length - 1).each do |i|

    # check to see if current character is an alphabetic character 
    if str[i] =~ /[A-Za-z]/

      # check to see if a + symbol is to the left and right
      # if not, then we know this string is not valid
      if str[i - 1] != '+' || str[i + 1] != '+'
        return 'false'
      end

    end

  end
  
  return 'true'
         
end
    
puts SimpleSymbols(STDIN.gets)              
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