RogerBW's Blog

Perl Weekly Challenge 95: Palindrome Stack 14 January 2021

I’ve been doing the Perl Weekly Challenges. The latest involved testing for palindromic numbers and building a stack class. (Note that this is open until 17 January 2021.)

TASK #1 › Palindrome Number

You are given a number $N.

Write a script to figure out if the given number is Palindrome. Print 1 if true otherwise 0.

In Perl this is basically trivial, because a number is a string is a number. (Possibly I use the trinary operator ?: more than is ideal, but I think this is a good place for it.)

sub pn {
  my $n=shift;
  return (join('',reverse split '',$n) eq $n)?1:0;

Raku is pretty much the same thing except you can put the methods in a more sensible order.

sub pn($n) {
  if ($n.comb.reverse.join('') eq $n) {
    return 1;
  } else {
    return 0;

For the other languages, I explicitly converted the number to a string (ns) first, and the main difference is in how to reverse the string. (I find the Python approach needlessly obscurantist, especially as they're happy to pollute the language's root namespace with things like len() so the cost of a reverse() would seem to be relatively low.)

def pn(n):
    if (nr == ns):
        return 1
        return 0

Ruby, to be fair, doesn't care about its root namespace.

def pn(n)
  if ns==ns.reverse() then
    return 1
    return 0

And in Rust, as in Python, you can't directly reverse a string (which is basically a list of chars), but you can reverse a list of chars…

fn pn(n: i64) -> u8 {
    let ns=n.to_string();
    let nr: String=ns.chars().rev().collect();
    if nr == ns {
        return 1;
    } else {
        return 0;

TASK #2 › Demo Stack

Write a script to demonstrate Stack operations like below: push($n) - add $n to the stack pop() - remove the top element top() - get the top element min() - return the minimum element

Which is a bit fuzzy, but I managed to get some test cases out of the examples. In Perl and Raku a test is just an assertion and doesn't get parallelised or anything, so the test setup looked like

my $stack=Local::Stack->new;
is($stack->pop,0,'test 1');
is($stack->top,-1,'test 2');
is($stack->min,-1,'test 3');

OO Perl is trivial enough, if ugly:

package Local::Stack;

sub new {
  my $class=shift;
  my $self=[];
  bless $self,$class;

sub push {
  my $self=shift;
  my $op=shift;
  push @{$self},$op;


The designers of Raku apparently don't object to the main thing non-Perl people dislike about Perl, the way it looks like a parity error on your serial line:

#! /usr/bin/perl6

class Local::Stack {
  has @!stack;

  method push($op) {


but basically it works the same way; the @! just indicates an instance variable.

In Python I wrap the function definitions in a class, in just the same way, with more self-references:

class Stack:

    def __init__(self):

    def push(self,op):


but the testing wants separate functions, so I end up going over the setup multiple times (as also in Ruby and Rust):

    def test_ex1(self):
        self.assertEqual(stack.pop(),0,'example 1')

    def test_ex2(self):
        self.assertEqual(,-1,'example 2')


Ruby has the cleanest syntax I looked at, since it assumes that a method defined in a class is a method to be used on an instance of that class and makes the rarer option (a method to be used on the class directly) use the more fiddly code. No mucking about with self here.

class Stack

  def initialize

  def push(op)


Meanwhile Rust doesn't really want to encapsulate things at all; the class and instance methods are in a completely separate block from the instance variables.

pub struct Stack {
    stack: Vec<i64>

impl Stack {

    pub fn new() -> Stack {
        Stack { stack: Vec::new() }

    pub fn push(&mut self,op: i64) {

etc., and for every method I have to name self explicitly both as a parameter and when I'm referring to instance variables. I mean, it works and it's explicit about what you're up to, but I find it verbose and noisy.

Full code on github.

  1. Posted by RogerBW at 05:32pm on 18 January 2021

    Looking at others' answers:

    In part 1, they mostly look the same, though I like the idea of making the input a list, shifting and popping first and last characters, and returning false if they don't match. (But shifting an array won't gain much over reversing it, I think; Python or Rust VecDeque might be better for this.) It seems that Raku has a flip operator to do direct string reversal.

    For part 2, pretty much any modern language has stack-like handling of lists already, so it's mostly a matter of making the OO interface look pretty.

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