RogerBW's Blog

Perl Weekly Challenge 17 24 July 2019

I've been doing the Perl Weekly Challenges. This one was to implement the Ackermann function and parse URLs.

The Ackermann function is famously prone to huge numbers, so I restricted my demonstration to the useful values. Even so, let's pretend we can do it properly:

use Memoize;
use Math::BigInt;

sub ackermann {
  no warnings 'recursion';
  my ($m,$n)=@_;
  if ($m==0) {
    return $n+1;
  } elsif ($n==0) {
    return ackermann($m-1,1);
  } else {
    return ackermann($m-1,ackermann($m,$n-1));

As a programming exercise, this is mostly a case of "be careful what you wish for". I didn't dig into further optimisations, because the results aren't actually useful for anything…

For the URL parser I decided to use named captures, since I haven't done much with them before.

sub urlparse {
  my ($url)=@_;
  my %match;

Most, but not all, URLs have a // to set off scheme from other content. I'm trying to be universal, so let's parse them first. Path, query and fragment are kept back unparsed for later consideration.

Note the double-parenthesising: an outer non-capturing pattern with the set-off characters (like the @ after userinfo), and an inner capturing pattern to catch the actual useful bits.

Note also that I have to catch the named patterns %+ into a normal hash before %+ goes out of scope at the end of the block.

  if ($url =~ m!//!) {
    $url =~ m!^(?<scheme>.*?)://(?:(?:(?<userinfo>.*)@)?(?<host>[-_a-z0-9]+)(?::(?<port>[0-9]+))?)?(?<pqf>.*)!;
    map {$match{$_}=$+{$_}} keys %+;

If there's no //, break on the last colon: everything before is scheme, everything after is path/query/fragment. (I didn't even know this was valid, but apparently so.)

  } else {
    $url =~ m!^(?<scheme>.*):(?<pqf>[^:]*)!;
    map {$match{$_}=$+{$_}} keys %+;

Then take the path-query-fragment, parse it into its component bits, and delete the raw data.

  $match{pqf} =~ m!(?<path>[^?#]*)(?:\?(?<query>[^#]*))?(?:\#(?<fragment>.*))?$!;
  map {$match{$_}=$+{$_}} keys %+;
  delete $match{pqf};
  return \%match;

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