Standard Forth versus Python: a case study

Fredrik Lundh fredrik at
Thu Oct 12 02:23:50 EDT 2006

Paul Rubin wrote:

>> Ok, I'll bite.  How do you compute the median of a list using just a single 
>> temp var?
> Well there's an obvious quadratic-time method...

that does it without modifying the list?

if you can modify the list, there are plenty of algorithms that does it 
in expected O(n) or better, but I cannot think of a one that doesn't use 
at least a few variables (e.g. two list indexes and a pivot).

but I haven't had enough coffee yet, so I'm probably missing something 
simple here.


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