Just because something works does not mean it is useful, good, or right. There are very few people would find a number as a word useful, but an integer is very useful. So making the return of an integer the default might lead to a few people using this little subroutine possibly. I've given an example below of what it does, and to show why it is more useful to return an integer by default.
use Util::Columns; my @list = <DATA>; chomp @list; my $columns = get_columns(7, \@list); # why take another step to get a +n integer? # If you don't add 1 to the result of the division below, # you will get an additional column. my $splicer = (scalar(@list) / $columns) + 1; my $row; push @$row, join("\n", splice(@list, 0, $splicer)) while @list; # then print the row however you like
This is what I got from a list of html elements. If the list had fewer than 49 items, the there would have been 6 columns. (I have been working a lot with html elements lately, so they are on my mind.)
<a> <code> <fieldset> <img> <object> <sect +ion> <tfoot> <abbr> <col> <figcaption> <input> <ol> <sele +ct> <th> <address> <colgroup> <figure> <ins> <optgroup> <shad +ow> <thead> <area> <content> <footer> <kbd> <option> <slot +> <time> <article> <data> <form> <label> <output> <smal +l> <title> <aside> <datalist> <h1> <legend> <p> <sour +ce> <tr> <audio> <dd> <h2> <li> <param> <span +> <track> <b> <del> <h3> <link> <pre> <stro +ng> <u> <base> <details> <h4> <main> <progress> <styl +e> <ul> <bdi> <dfn> <h5> <map> <q> <sub> + <var> <bdo> <dialog> <h6> <mark> <rp> <summ +ary> <video> <blockquote> <div> <head> <menu> <rt> <sup> + <wbr> <br> <dl> <header> <menuitem> <rtc> <tabl +e> <button> <dt> <hgroup> <meta> <ruby> <tbod +y> <canvas> <element> <hr> <meter> <s> <td> <caption> <em> <html> <nav> <samp> <temp +late> <cite> <embed> <i> <noscript> <script> <text +area>