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How to "flatten" a Ruby array

 
Garrett Rowe
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Ok so I'm trying to learn Ruby. My plan was to get a feel for the syntax by trying to work through Ninety-Nine Lisp Problems in Ruby. However I got stuck on Problem 7.


My test code looks like:


And my "my_flatten" method looks like:

But my code fails at my first assertion (Expected [] but was [[]]),

and if I comment that out it fails on my third assertion too:

Expected [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] but was [1, [2, 3], 4, 5].

Can any of you guys give me a nudge int the right direction?
[ February 18, 2008: Message edited by: Garrett Rowe ]
 
Jim Yingst
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It looks like your my_flatten will create a new array every time it's invoked - that's the first line, after all. But is that really what you want? A flattened array should have just one array, no matter how many times the method recurses, yes? In many cases you want to append new elements to an existing array, not create a new one. Can you think of a way to do that?
 
Ed de Almeida
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This recursive code below will pass all your tests:

def flatten_array(arr)
  narr = Array.new
  arr.each do |elem|
    if (elem.class == 'Array') then
      narr.push(flatten_array(elem))
    else
      narr.push(elem)
    end
  end
  narr
end

 
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