Exercise 2-4

January 20, 2017

Scheme makes is possible to write both versions of squeeze in a single function:

(define (squeeze str c-or-s)
  (let ((dels (if (char? c-or-s)
                  (list c-or-s)
                  (string->list c-or-s))))
      (filter (lambda (c) (not (member c dels)))
              (string->list str)))))

The second argument may be either a character or a string; the let builds a list of characters to be deleted. Then the target string is converted to a list of characters, each is filtered according to the list of characters to be deleted, and the remaining characters are converted back to a string. The for is typical of C, the higher-order function filter is typical of Scheme. I’m biased, but I think the Scheme version is simpler because it doesn’t require the auxiliary variables i and j, which can both be a source of error. Here’s the function in action, both ways:

> (squeeze "Programming Praxis" #\P)
"rogramming raxis"
> (squeeze "Programming Praxis" "aeiou")
"Prgrmmng Prxs"

You can run the program at http://ideone.com/pCg02E.


Pages: 1 2

9 Responses to “Exercise 2-4”

  1. As a perl user I would do this a perl way…

    sub squeeze {
      my $r = quotemeta $_[1];
      return my $y = $_[0] =~ s/[$r]//gr
    print squeeze(@ARGV),"\n";
  2. Perl golf would get it down to

    sub squeeze{return$_[0]=~s/[@{[quotemeta$_[1]]}]//gr}
  3. matthew said

    Here’s some C++:

    #include <stdio.h>
    template <typename T, typename PRED>
    void filter(T *p, PRED pred) {
       for (T *q = p; *q != T(0); q++) {
          if (!pred(*q)) *p++ = *q;
       *p = 0;
    template <typename T>
    bool member(T a, T *p) {
       for ( ; *p != T(0); p++) {
          if (a == *p) return true;
       return false;
    void squeeze(char *s, char *t) {
       filter(s,[=](char c) { return member(c,t); });
    int main(int argc, char *argv[]) {
       printf("%s\n", argv[1]);
  4. matthew said

    Or some more traditional C:

    #include <stdio.h>
    #include <stdbool.h>
    void f(char *s, const char *t) {
       int i = 0, j = 0, k = 0;
       while (true) {
          if (t[i] == 0) {
             i = 0; s[k++] = s[j++];
          } else if (s[j] == 0) {
             s[k++] = 0; break;
          } else if (t[i] == s[j]) {
             i = 0; j++;
          } else {
    int main(int argc, char *argv[]) {
       printf("%s\n", argv[1]);
       return 0;
  5. Guile:

    (define (squeeze str chars) (string-delete (string->char-set chars) str))

  6. Jussi Piitulainen said

    Python strings have translation-table methods.

    >>> x = str.maketrans('','','aeiouyäö')
    >>> 'Pidä pää kylmänä ja lopeta twiittailu'.translate(x)
    'Pd p klmn j lpt twttl'
  7. Globules said

    Here’s a Haskell version. It also works on any list whose elements support equality testing.

    -- Return a list consisting only of elements not contained in the first
    -- argument.
    squeeze2 :: Eq a => [a] -> [a] -> [a]
    squeeze2 del = filter (`notElem` del)
    main :: IO ()
    main = do
      putStrLn $ squeeze2 "pM" "Mississippi"
      print $ squeeze2 [2, 4] [1..5]
    $ ./squeeze 
  8. matthew said

    @Globules: I was going to suggest

    import Control.Monad
    squeeze :: (Eq a, MonadPlus m) => [a] -> m a -> m a
    squeeze t = join . fmap nullset where
      nullset c
        | c `elem` t = mzero
        | otherwise = return c
    main = print $ squeeze "ace" "abcde"

    but really that is just your solution with mfilter instead of filter.

  9. Globules said

    @matthew Your MonadPlus suggestion made me wonder what was the “most general” type I could give it. But then I got lost in a maze of twisty little typeclasses (Foldable, Alternative, etc.) and now I will just go to bed… :-)

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