Best data utility

Szabolcs Borsanyi
Theoretische Physik
Gaussstraße 20
42097 Wuppertal

Judges' comments:

To build:

make borsanyi

To run:

./borsanyi < some_data_file


./borsanyi < data.1
./borsanyi < data.2
./borsanyi < data.3

Selected Judges Remarks:

This is a nice quick histogram plotter. A useful utility when you need to look at the distribution of some data.

Here are some challenges:

You can modify the number of histogram bins and the scaling of the histogram by editing the source. Try to find them!

If you look at the source you will notice that the usual array of histogram bins is missing. The source contains no arrays and it does not use malloc or alloca. How does it build the histogram?

While the input does not need to be sorted, the histogram output is sorted. How does it put the data into buckets? Why does it fork 22 times?

Author’s comments:

This small piece of program is meant to be a useful tool, when there are some data around and you need a quick glance at the histogram. I am all too often logged in to a remote machine with slow X connection, and a terminal-based program would be of great help.



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