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Section 43

How to Design Programs: An Introduction to Programming and Computing

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How to Design Programs: An Introduction to Computing and Programming [Go to first , previous , next page; contents ; index ] Section 43 Changing Structures, Vectors, and Objects This section introduces several small projects on programming with mutable structures. The ordering of the subsections roughly matches the outline of the book, proceeding from simple classes of data to complicated ones and from structural recursion to generative recursion with backtracking and accumulators. 43.1 More Practice with Vectors Programming with mutable vectors is hardly ever needed in the kinds of programs that we encountered. Still, because it is far more prevalent in conventional languages, it is an important skill and deserves more practice than section 41.2 suggests. This section covers sorting with vectors, but its goal is to practice reasoning about intervals when processing vectors. We encountered the idea of sorting as early as section 12.2 , where we designed the sort function. It consumes a list of numbers and produces a list of numbers with the same items in sorted (ascending or descending) order. An analogous function for vectors consumes a vector and produces a new vector. But, using vector mutation, we can also design a function that changes the vector so that it contains the same items as before, in a sorted order. Such a function is called an IN - PLACE SORT because it leaves all the items inside the existing vector. An in-place-sort function relies exclusively on effects on its input vector to accomplish its task: ;; in-place-sort : (vectorof number) -> void ;; effect: to modify V such that it contains the same items ;; as before but in ascending order (define (in-place-sort V) ...) Examples must demonstrate the effect: (local ((define v1 (vector 7 3 0 4 1))) (begin (in-place-sort v1) (equal? v1 (vector 0 1 3 4 7)))) Of course, given that in-place-sort consumes a vector, the true problem is to design the auxiliary function that works on specific segments of the vector. The standard template for a vector-processing function uses an auxiliary function: (define (in-place-sort V) file:///C|/Documents%20and%20Settings/Linda%20Graue...How%20to%20Design%20Programs/curriculum-Z-H-53.html (1 of 28) [2/5/2008 5:00:14 PM]

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