I have been programming for about ~2 years, and mostly wrote OOP and structural code. Recently, I have decided to pick up a functional programming language, and Haskell being too alien for me, looked to Racket (since it is high time I learned a LISP anyways) and am loving it. Since this is a new area of programming for me, I would appreciate any feedback you could give me on this program. It is the solution to the first Project Euler program.

;If we list all the natural numbers below 10 that are multiples of 3 or 5, we get 3, 5, 6 and 9. The sum of these multiples is 23.
;Find the sum of all the multiples of 3 or 5 below 1000.

#lang racket

(define max 1000)

(define (multiple_of base test)
    (equal? (remainder test base) 0))

(define (primes current total)
    (if (< current max)
            (+ current 1)
            (+ total (if
                (or (multiple_of 5 current) (multiple_of 3 current)) current 0)))

(primes 1 0)

; Output: 233168
; Success

2 Answers 2

  1. In Scheme, we use hyphens to separate words, not underscores. Also boolean-returning procedures should end in ?. So it should be multiple-of?
  2. Instead of (equal? x 0), use (zero? x).
  3. Instead of a recursive loop, you can use for comprehensions:

    (for/sum ((i (in-range 1000))
              #:when (or (multiple-of? 5 i)
                         (multiple-of? 3 i)))

    Surely, that's much more readable. In my humble opinion. :-)

  4. Notwithstanding the last comment, your formatting for your primes procedure is not ideal. Here's a more proper formatting:

    (define (primes current total)
      (if (< current max)
          (primes (add1 current)
                  (+ total (if (or (multiple-of? 5 current)
                                   (multiple-of? 3 current))
  • \$\begingroup\$ Why do you start at 1? \$\endgroup\$
    – itsbruce
    Jan 23, 2015 at 11:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ thank you! Especially about 1 and 2. I wasn't aware of those tips. About number 3, I haven't learned for loops in racket yet, which is the only reason why i went with recursion, but you are right: That looks more readable. As to number 4, do you have a guide documenting this that you can link to? \$\endgroup\$
    – DTSCode
    Jan 23, 2015 at 17:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DTSCode You're welcome! for "looks like" a loop but is actually a comprehension (if you've ever played with such things in Python or the like). As for style guide, look at mumble.net/~campbell/scheme/style.txt \$\endgroup\$ Jan 23, 2015 at 18:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ alright! thanks a ton! my python is a bit rusty, but I'm sure if I google list comprehension python Ill get it \$\endgroup\$
    – DTSCode
    Jan 23, 2015 at 19:13

The Scheme code is quite reasonable. However, this is a very naive solution to the problem. You are wasting processing time by testing each number to see if it is a multiple. Even with this naive solution, why do you start at 1, not 3?.

Think. If you do start at 1 (which you know fails the test), you can create all the multiples there are by working forward.

Don´t forget you need to avoid generating numbers which are multiples of both 5 and 3 more than once.


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