# Print diamond of any size

I'm trying to print a diamond of asterisks of an arbitrary size. I'm new to F#, so I'm interested in virtually any feedback, but especially adherence to idioms, convention, and functional orientation.

module Diamond
open System

let rangeWithInverse (max) =
List.zip [ 1 .. max ] [ max .. -1 .. 1]

let listAscDesc (list) =
list @ (list |> List.rev |> List.skip 1)

let starsAndSpacesString (stars: int, spaces: int): string =
String.replicate spaces " " + String.replicate ((stars * 2) - 1) "*"

let diamond =
rangeWithInverse 18
|> listAscDesc
|> Seq.map starsAndSpacesString
|> Seq.reduce (fun a b -> a + "\n" + b)

[<EntryPoint>]
let main argv =
diamond |> printfn "%s"
0

• Doesn't look half bad, but: given just the code, how do I know what it is supposed to accomplish? (An alternative approach might start n blanks, chop one blank and add two stars per line 'til "all stars" and go back.) Oct 27, 2016 at 5:02
• Well I don't see any <- operators so it's probably pretty close to functional. Oct 27, 2016 at 5:25

It's hard to comment on it. It seems OK to me - maybe a little to much list manipulation. I'm not sure if string concat with + is acceptable practice in F# but in general it's not. For fun I've tried with my own version with use of recursion:

let newDiamond n =
let rec print nn f =
if nn <= n && nn > 0 then
let spaces = String.replicate ((n - nn) / 2) " "
sprintf "%s%s%s\n%s" spaces (String.replicate nn "*") spaces (print (f nn) f)
else
""
let add x = x + 2
let subt x = x - 2
let dn = if n % 2 = 0 then 3 else 2
sprintf "%s%s" (print 1 add) (print (n - dn) subt)

[<EntryPoint>]
let main argv =
newDiamond 36 |> printfn "%s"
0


Version with pattern match instead of if:

let newDiamond n =
let rec print nn f =
match nn with
| x when x <= 0 || x >= n + 1 -> ""
| _ -> let spaces = String.replicate ((n - nn) / 2) " "
sprintf "%s%s%s\n%s" spaces (String.replicate nn "*") spaces (print (f nn) f)

let add x = x + 2
let subt x = x - 2
let dn = if n % 2 = 0 then 3 else 2
sprintf "%s%s" (print 1 add) (print (n - dn) subt)


It's possible but does it add any good?

EDIT:

A condensed solution could be:

let newDiamond n =
let topNs = [1..2..n]
let diamondNs = List.append topNs (topNs |> List.rev |> List.tail)

let createLine x =
sprintf "%s%s" (String.replicate ((n - x) / 2) " ") (String.replicate x "*")

(diamondNs |> Seq.mapFold (fun strs x -> ("", sprintf "%s\n%s" strs (createLine x))) "") |> snd


However none of the solutions are very performant if diamond size is increased (> 2000) due to the concatenation of strings. In that respect a good old iterative solution is preferable:

let newDiamond n =
let createLine = (fun x -> sprintf "%s%s" (String.replicate ((n - x) / 2) " ") (String.replicate x "*"))
let topHalf = [ 1..2..n ]
let indices = topHalf @ (topHalf |> List.rev |> List.tail)
seq { for ln in indices do
yield createLine ln } |> Seq.iter (printfn "%s")


A gentle "refactoring" of BadHeuristics code:

let rangeWithInverse max =
List.zip [ 1 .. max ] [ max .. -1 .. 1]

let listAscDesc list =
list @ (list |> List.rev |> List.tail) // tail instead of skip 1

let starsAndSpacesString (stars, spaces) =
sprintf "%s%s" (String.replicate spaces " ") (String.replicate ((stars * 2) - 1) "*") // sprintf instead of ""+""

let diamond n =
rangeWithInverse (n / 2)
|> listAscDesc
|> Seq.map starsAndSpacesString
|> Seq.reduce (fun a b -> sprintf "%s\n%s" a b) // sprintf instead of ""+""

• That's an interesting alt solution. Could pattern matching be used instead of if/else here? Does the preference between the two depend on the situation? RE: the string concat, it smelled a bit fishy, but using String.Format instead never occurred to me. Oct 27, 2016 at 11:17
• @BadHeuristics: about if/else and pattern matching: I think there are religions about that question, but I use if/else for two opts and match for more if it makes sense.
– user73941
Oct 27, 2016 at 11:37
• not sure this is a better solution. The code is not the obvious
– user110704
Oct 27, 2016 at 12:03
• I suggested this option . Although it is only comments to the code, not the algorithm.
– user110704
Oct 27, 2016 at 12:05
• well, I'd use sprintf instead of String.Format
– user110704
Oct 27, 2016 at 12:08