Programming challenge

Steve smorrey at
Thu Sep 27 15:52:25 MDT 2007

Welcome back Sasha!
I missed these.

On 9/27/07, Sasha Pachev <sasha at> wrote:
> Ok, enough of philosophical discussions about computer science, lets
> see how good we are at solving practical problems. This is the one I
> had to solve yesterday, by the way.
> Problem:
> Given a string that could contain arithmetic expressions, with the
> addition that numeric constants could be potentially expressed as
> times, e.g 1:36 for 96 seconds, or 2:10:08 for 2 hours 10 minutes and
> 8 seconds, also decimal fractions after seconds are allowed, e.g
> 3:45.6 or 3:40:50.67, replace all the time values with their
> equivalent number of seconds.
> Solution language: Anything you want.
> Extra credit: minimum development time, minimum execution time, do it
> in one pass of the string (looking at each character no more than
> once, related to minimum execution time), do it in one nasty Perl
> statement (can this be done at all?), do it in Javascript (to offload
> the web server, desktops have lots CPU cycles that the user absolutely
> does not care about, good response time for the user, less load on the
> web server)
> Reward: public exposure of your skills, increased pool of references
> when trying to get a hot job, possibly a good job offer from somebody
> on the PLUG.
> --
> Sasha Pachev
> AskSasha Linux Consulting
> /*
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