TL;DR

On with Advent of Code puzzle 13 from 2022: playing with nested lists.

This day’s puzzle has a few interesting traits that stimulated me to learn a bit more about Raku. I still didn’t grasp things… but at least I’ll have something to look back in the future.

A first challenge was reading the inputs, i.e. something like this:

[1,1,3,1,1]
[1,1,5,1,1]

[[1],[2,3,4]]
[[1],4]

[9]
[[8,7,6]]

[[4,4],4,4]
[[4,4],4,4,4]

[7,7,7,7]
[7,7,7]

[]
[3]

[[[]]]
[[]]

[1,[2,[3,[4,[5,6,7]]]],8,9]
[1,[2,[3,[4,[5,6,0]]]],8,9]


As somebody pointed out either in this challenge or in another one, it’s easy to parse each line leveraging any JSON parser. But hey! We’re reinventing wheels here, so I ventured into using grammars.

Here’s what I came up with:

sub parse-expression ($expr) { grammar G { rule TOP { <parenthesized> } rule element { <intvalue> | <parenthesized> } rule intvalue { 0 | <[ 1 .. 9 ]>\d* } rule parenthesized { '[' [<list-of-elements>]? ']' } rule list-of-elements { <element> [ ',' <list-of-elements> ]? } } class Collect { method TOP ($/) { make $<parenthesized>.made } method element ($/) {
make $<intvalue> ??$<intvalue>.made !! $<parenthesized>.made; } method intvalue ($/) { make $/.Int } method parenthesized ($/) {
make $<list-of-elements> ??$<list-of-elements>.made !! $[]; } method list-of-elements ($/) {
my $retval = [$<element>.made ];
$retval.push:$<list-of-elements>.made.Slip if $<list-of-elements>; make$retval;
}
}
return G.parse($expr, actions => Collect.new).made; }  I struggled a bit with the Collect class, but maybe I got the gist of the make/made pair. We’ll see. Another thing that bite me was handling of empty sub-lists, I had to add the $ in $[] to avoid dissolving it in the upper level container. This is a bit counterintuitive to me, because I expect Raku to containerize by default (something I complained about in the past), and yet it does not here. When I needed it! Others used a simpler grammar. As an example, this solution (by s3aker, again) has this interesting shorter grammar: grammar DeepArray { rule TOP { '[' ~ ']' <element>* % ',' } rule element { <number> || <TOP> } token number { \d+ } } class DeepArrayActions { method TOP($/)     { make $<element>».made.Array } method element($/) { make $<number> ??$<number>.made !! $<TOP>.made } method number($/)  { make $/.Int } }  Compared to mine, I can tell that TOP and parenthesized were collapsed into one, list-of-elements is represented in some idiomatic way and there was little fussing about properly representing non-negative integers. I’ll have to dig the usage of ~ in TOP (as I get it, % is for describing lists with a separator) as well as using || instead of | in the alternation for element. The comparison algorithm seemed perfect for coding the same function with different inputs, so I went for multi: multi sub compare (Int$left, Int $right) { return ($right <=> $left).Int } multi sub compare ( @left, Int$right) { return compare(@left, [$right]) } multi sub compare (Int$left,     @right) { return compare([$left], @right) } multi sub compare (@left is copy, @right is copy) { while @left && @right { my$comparison = compare(@left.shift, @right.shift);
return $comparison if$comparison != 0;
}
return @left ?? -1 !! @right ?? 1 !! 0;
}


Part 1 was easy at this point, because the upper-level comparison tells us whether the ordering is correct or not by simply checking that the output value is +1. It was also a good occasion to use gather/take, which I love (albeit I’ve been warned about its inefficiency in the past).

sub part1 ($inputs) { (gather for$inputs.kv -> $i, ($left, $right) { my$is_correct = compare($left,$right) > 0;
take $i + 1 if$is_correct;
}).sum
}


This comparison function allows us to use sort, so it’s just a matter of injecting the two markers and find them out after sorting the whole list of signals:

sub part2 ($inputs) { my$two = [[2],];
my $six = [[6],]; my @all =$two, $six, (gather$inputs.map({.take for @$_})).Slip; my @sorted = @all.sort({ compare($^a, $^b) }).reverse; my %targets = ($two, $six).map({$_.raku}).Set;
return [*] (^@sorted).grep({@sorted[\$_].raku ∈ %targets }).map: * + 1;
}


Stay safe!

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