How do they do this? Can python?

Jarno J Virtanen jajvirta at
Thu Aug 8 09:04:28 CEST 2002

Wed, 7 Aug 2002 09:11:32 GMT Michael Hudson wrote:

> This is the same Rob Pike who wrote "The Practice Of Programming" with
> Kernigan?
> I'm pretty sure there's a text dissociator as an example in that
> book...

Indeed there was. See
for more information. Here is my rough translation of the algorithm
in Python based on
the Perl version. 

The main difference in my Python implementation and their Perl
implementation being that I couldn't (and perhaps shouldn't) translate
the extremely non-verbose statement in Perl, namely

    push(@{$statetab{$w1}{$w2}}, $_);

as verbatim to Python. Scripting language versions differ
substantially of those in C, C++ and Java, because of the use of lists
and dictionaries. C++ with use of the standard template library comes
quite close, though. Quite interesting case study comparing handful
of languages, though one shouldn't make too broad conclusions just
from one example. ;-)

(Btw -- it was perhaps only a typo -- but it is spelled "Kernighan" ;-)

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