RogerBW's Blog

Perl Weekly Challenge 53: matrix rotation and string expansion 17 April 2020

I’ve been doing the Perl Weekly Challenges. The latest involved a basic Markov chain.

Write a script to rotate the followin matrix by given 90/180/270 degrees clockwise.

[ 1, 2, 3 ] [ 4, 5, 6 ] [ 7, 8, 9 ]

For example, if you rotate by 90 degrees then expected result should be like below

[ 7, 4, 1 ] [ 8, 5, 2 ] [ 9, 6, 3 ]

This is fairly straightforward: a function to do a single rotation, iterated, will handle all of them. The main fiddliness is to work out that each step maps (x,y) to (y,-x).

sub rotate {
  my ($rotations,@in)=@_;
  my $xs=$#in;
  foreach my $ya (@in) {
    if ($#{$ya} != $xs) {
      die "not a square matrix\n";
  my @out=@in;
  foreach (1..$rotations) {
    my @im=@out;
    my @tmp;
    foreach my $x (0..$xs) {
      foreach my $y (0..$xs) {
  return @out;

Perl6 is similar except for syntax.

Write a script to accept an integer 1 <= N <= 5 that would print all possible strings of size N formed by using only vowels (a, e, i, o, u).

The string should follow the following rules:

‘a’ can only be followed by ‘e’ and ‘i’.

‘e’ can only be followed by ‘i’.

‘i’ can only be followed by ‘a’, ‘e’, ‘o’, and ‘u’.

‘o’ can only be followed by ‘a’ and ‘u’.

‘u’ can only be followed by ‘o’ and ‘e’.

For example, if the given integer N = 2 then script should print the following strings:

ae ai ei ia io iu ie oa ou uo ue

I've done things like this before with Markov chains, typically using the two previous elements to generate the next one randomly. In this case it was simply a iterative breadth-first search: given a stem, generate all possible extensions. The obvious data structure for this is a ring buffer, with loop exit when any member of the buffer has reached the target length (which will mean they all have).

my %tree=(
  '' => [qw(a e i o u)],
  a => [qw(e i)],
  e => [qw(i)],
  i => [qw(a e o u)],
  o => [qw(a u)],
  u => [qw(o e)],

print map {"$_\n"} generate(2,\%tree);

sub generate {
  my ($len,$tree)=@_;
  my @list=('');
  while (1) {
    if (length($list[0])==$len) {
    my $r=shift @list;
    my $s=substr($r,-1,1) || '';
    foreach my $extension (@{$tree{$s}}) {
      push @list,$r.$extension;
  return @list;

Perl6 is similar, but it was fiddly to get an array literal into a hash:

my %tree=(
  '' => [<a e i o u>],
  a => [<e i>],
  e => [<i>],
  i => [<a e o u>],
  o => [<a u>],
  u => [<o e>],

and substr no longer takes a negative argument for "end of the string" even though the documentation says it should work as it did in perl5.

    my $s = substr($r,*-1,1) || '';

Perl6 tries to hide references, but eventually it has to give up and admit that they exist.

    for @(%tree{$s}) -> $extension {

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