This is part 1 of 2 (maybe 3) of a series, but each piece builds upon the last so the next one won't be posted for some time.

Given: a word, and an 'alphabet' string (and to be exact about this latter part, each character in the word and the alphabet can be represented in 7 bits, eg the printable ASCII set).

Find the perl golf solution that returns the base pattern for the word, that is, the leftmost character in the word is represented by the first character in the alphabet at all positions; the next leftmost distinct character by the second character from the alphabet, and so forth. For example, given "google", and the alphabet a-z, the subroutine should give back "abbacd".

While the characters in the word may not be in the alphabet, the number of distinct characters in the word will always be less than or equal to the size of the alphabet. (for example, I could use the alphabet "123456789" for encoding words with no more than 9 distinct characters).

An example of a non-golfed solution follows:

#!/usr/bin/perl -w my @strings = qw( google mississippi that people ); my $alphabet = join "", ( 'a'..'z' ); foreach ( @strings ) { print c( $_, $alphabet ), "\n"; } sub c { my ( $string, $alpha ) = @_; my @letters = split //, $string; my @alphabet = split //, $alpha; my %hash; my @result; my $i = 0; foreach ( @letters ) { if (!defined( $hash{ $_ } )) { $hash{ $_ } = $alphabet[ $i++ ]; } push @result, $hash{ $_ }; } return join "", @result; } # Prints out: #abbacd #abccbccbddb #abca #abcadb

Dr. Michael K. Neylon - || "You've left the lens cap of your mind on again, Pinky" - The Brain

In reply to (Golf) Cryptographer's Tool #1 by Masem

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