http://qs321.pair.com?node_id=144477


in reply to sort with fewest moves

If this were homework (but of course it's not), I imagine a teacher would be very impressed if one of their students developed a uniquely Perl solution. Instead of trying to move elements around one at a time, come up with an algorithm to swap at least two elements.

For example, with Perl you could solve this specific problem with the following two statements:

($slots[1], $slots[2]) = ($slots[2], $slots[1]); ($slots[2], $slots[3]) = ($slots[3], $slots[2]);
and, of course, with one statement:
($slots[1], $slots[2], $slots[3]) = ($slots[2], $slots[3], $slots[1]);
Coming up with an algorithm for two in-place swaps shouldn't be too difficult (I've already shown you the Perl idiom), ++ if you can handle more than two elements at a time.

--Jim

Update: Well, that's the algorithm part I alluded to, your list of moves for the 2-element swap would look like this:

Granted trying to notate a 3 at-a-time swap would be difficult, if even possible (thus the ++).

If we'd known that you had to use a one-armed robot to begin with, the replies might have been more useful. ;)