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Assignment 3
Overview
The objective of this assignment is to research how generic programing works in different
programing languages.
The general idea of generics (or polymorphism as it is sometimes called in a functional
programing context) is to reuse the same code with different types.
Homework 3
1. Read about “Generic programming”:
Start with https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generic_programming
2. Review Lab Assignment 1. Remember that the sort functions in C and Haskell had different
types: In C we sorted arrays of integers, in Haskell we sorted lists of arbitrary elements that
had some notion of order. Why do you think did we restrict the type of the C sort functions in
this way?
Lab Assignment 3
1. In this lab, you will use 5 different programming languages to solve the same problem: Write
and use a generic sort function. This function should be able to sort values of any type that
has some notion of order. The values to sort could be
Assignment 3
Overview
The objective of this assignment is to research how generic programing works in different
programing languages.
The general idea of generics (or polymorphism as it is sometimes called in a functional
programing context) is to reuse the same code with different types.
Homework 3
1. Read about “Generic programming”:
Start with https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generic_programming
2. Review Lab Assignment 1. Remember that the sort functions in C and Haskell had different
types: In C we sorted arrays of integers, in Haskell we sorted lists of arbitrary elements that
had some notion of order. Why do you think did we restrict the type of the C sort functions in
this way?
Lab Assignment 3
1. In this lab, you will use 5 different programming languages to solve the same problem: Write
and use a generic sort function. This function should be able to sort values of any type that
has some notion of order. The values to sort could be integers, floating point numbers,
strings, pairs of values (say a string and a number), etc.
2. Write a console application in each of these 5 languages: C, C++, C#, Python and Haskell.
3. Each application has to use the following data:
The sequence of floating point numbers:
645.32, 37.40, 76.30, 5.40, -34.23, 1.11, -34.94, 23.37, 635.46, -876.22, 467.73, 62.26
The following sequence of people with name and age of each person. The name is a string
and the age an integer:
Hal, 20; Susann, 31; Dwight, 19; Kassandra, 21; Lawrence, 25; Cindy, 22; Cory, 27;
Mac, 19; Romana, 27; Doretha, 32; Danna, 20; Zara, 23; Rosalyn, 26; Risa, 24; Benny,
28; Juan, 33; Natalie, 25
Use appropriate data structures to represent the data above in each of the 5 languages and
define the variables numbers and people, respectively.
1 of 2
4. Find generic sort functions for each of the 5 languages.
(i) The objective of this assignment is to understand generics (not sorting). You can use the
sort functions from Lab Assignment 1 or just use a sort function provided in some
standard library for the respective language.
(ii) C doesn’t really provide generics. However, a void* can be used to point to any value.
(iii) One way to specify an order on a type is to define a comparison function that compares
two values. This comparison function could be an argument to your sort function. Some
languages might provide predefined comparison functions.
(iv) Try to use everything we learned about these different programing languages, e.g.,
Python uses duck-typing, Haskell uses the type-class Ord to express order on a type,
LINQ in C# includes the orderby operator, etc.
5. Use the generic sort functions to
(i) sort numbers ascending by numerical value,
(ii) sort people alphabetically (lexicographically) by name, and to
(iii) sort people descending by age, where people of the same age should be sorted
alphabetically (lexicographically).
6. The point here is to reuse as much code as possible to perform all 3 different sort
operations. Try to isolate the specific code that is needed for each of the three tasks.
7. Write a main function in each of the 5 languages to test your code by writing the sort results
to the console.integers, floating point numbers,
strings, pairs of values (say a string and a number), etc.
2. Write a console application in each of these 5 languages: C, C++, C#, Python and Haskell.
3. Each application has to use the following data:
The sequence of floating point numbers:
645.32, 37.40, 76.30, 5.40, -34.23, 1.11, -34.94, 23.37, 635.46, -876.22, 467.73, 62.26
The following sequence of people with name and age of each person. The name is a string
and the age an integer:
Hal, 20; Susann, 31; Dwight, 19; Kassandra, 21; Lawrence, 25; Cindy, 22; Cory, 27;
Mac, 19; Romana, 27; Doretha, 32; Danna, 20; Zara, 23; Rosalyn, 26; Risa, 24; Benny,
28; Juan, 33; Natalie, 25
Use appropriate data structures to represent the data above in each of the 5 languages and
define the variables numbers and people, respectively.
1 of 2
4. Find generic sort functions for each of the 5 languages.
(i) The objective of this assignment is to understand generics (not sorting). You can use the
sort functions from Lab Assignment 1 or just use a sort function provided in some
standard library for the respective language.
(ii) C doesn’t really provide generics. However, a void* can be used to point to any value.
(iii) One way to specify an order on a type is to define a comparison function that compares
two values. This comparison function could be an argument to your sort function. Some
languages might provide predefined comparison functions.
(iv) Try to use everything we learned about these different programing languages, e.g.,
Python uses duck-typing, Haskell uses the type-class Ord to express order on a type,
LINQ in C# includes the orderby operator, etc.
5. Use the generic sort functions to
(i) sort numbers ascending by numerical value,
(ii) sort people alphabetically (lexicographically) by name, and to
(iii) sort people descending by age, where people of the same age should be sorted
alphabetically (lexicographically).
6. The point here is to reuse as much code as possible to perform all 3 different sort
operations. Try to isolate the specific code that is needed for each of the three tasks.
7. Write a main function in each of the 5 languages to test your code by writing the sort results
to the console.

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