Perl Weekly Challenge 107

3 minute read

I wrote this week’s answers several days ago, but forgot to commit them. I ended up getting a new laptop and had to rewrite them. I think they ended up the same, but I guess no one knows for sure!

Task 1: Self-descriptive Numbers

Write a script to display the first three self-descriptive numbers. As per wikipedia, the definition of “self-descriptive number” is:

In mathematics, a self-descriptive number is an integer m that in a given base b is b digits long in which each digit d at position n (the most significant digit being at position 0, and the least significant at position b−1) counts how many instances of digit n are in m.

For example:

 1210 is a four-digit self-descriptive number:

    Position 0 has value 1 i.e. there is only one 0 in the number
    Position 1 has value 2 i.e. there are two 1 in the number
    Position 2 has value 1 i.e. there is only one 2 in the number
    Position 3 has value 0 i.e. there is no 3 in the number

Expected output:

1210, 2020, 21200


GitHub Link

See below for explanation and any implementation-specific comments.

sub challenge(Int $n) returns Str { # [1]
    my @output;
    for (^∞) -> $i {                # [2][3]
        my @digits = $i.comb;
        my $valid = True;
        for @digits.kv -> $index, $value {
            $valid = @digits.grep($index).elems == $value;
            last unless $valid;     # [4]
        @output.push($i) if $valid; # [5]
        last if @output.elems == $n;
    @output.join(', ');

sub MAIN(Int $n = 3) {
    say challenge($n);

This program runs as such:

$ raku ch-1.raku
1210, 2020, 21200


We begin by defining a list to hold our output, then kick of an infinite loop starting at 0. For each number, we convert it to a list of digits (.comb). For each index, value pair, we check if the input number has $value number of $index digits. So for 1210 we would check if it had 1 zero, 2 ones, 1 two, and 0 threes. If it meets the conditions, we add it to @output. Finally, if we have found all 3 that we are looking for, we break out of the infinite loop and return.

Specific comments

  1. We make this generic by accepting the argument $n, but the fourth self-describing number is 3,211,000, and the fifth is 42,101,000, so this method would get slow very quickly.
  2. We could have said loop to start an infinite loop, but then we wouldn’t have access to $i.
  3. When using this method, we always have to use the carrot (^) to say we are not including infinity. This is because it is impossible to be inclusive of infinity.
  4. unless is just the opposite of if. I feel this reads better than last if !$valid.
  5. I find the post-fix way of using conditionals to read better a lot of the time in Raku, as seen here.

Task 2: List Methods

Write a script to list methods of a package/class.


Class definition:

package Calc;

use strict;
use warnings;

sub new { bless {}, shift; }
sub add { }
sub mul { }
sub div { }


Expected output:



GitHub Link

See below for explanation and any implementation-specific comments.

# Used for testing
class Calc {      # [1]
    method add {}
    method mul {}
    method div {}

sub challenge(Any $class) returns Str {     # [2]
    $class.^*.gist).join("\n"); # [3][4]

sub MAIN {
    say challenge(;

This program runs as such:

$ raku ch-2.raku


The example shows a class definition in Perl, but we are using Raku, so we can just define our class using the class keyword as shown. Additionally, we have a BUILDALL method instead of BEGIN.

Raku gives us the ^methods meta method to introspect an object’s methods, so we just have to utilize that on the input object!

Specific Comments

  1. In Perl, we have to define classes in their own file, but in Raku we can just use the class keyword.
  2. All objects inherit from Any, so we are just saying we accept any class here.
  3. Raku provides us a nice introspection method, ^methods, which returns a list of defined methods and BUILDALL. We can also pass in the flag :local meaning “only show us methods defined in Calc and not super classes,” or we could pass in :all meaning “show us all methods that can act on this class.”
  4. The returned type is List[Method], so to cast everything to a string, we need to call each method’s gist method.

Final Thoughts

Once again, Raku makes these challenges super easy. Looking forward to something tougher in the future!