RPCFN: Cycle Tracks - 12

Ruby Programming Challenge For Newbies

RPCFN: Cycle Tracks (#12)

– By David Griffiths

Today, we complete one year of Ruby Programming Challenge for Newbies. RubyLearning is grateful to all the Ruby experts and participants who have actively helped make these challenges interesting and popular.

About David Griffiths

David Griffiths In David’s own words: “I’m an agile developer, writer and trainer based in the UK. I used to write a monthly Java development column and I’ve used and taught agile methods to companies around the UK. But I’ve been writing code since I was 12 years old. I worked with Java from the alpha release in the 90s. A lot of things on the client side as well as a lot of enterprise stuff. But everything changed for me when I got an early copy of Bruce Tate’s Up and Running with Ruby on Rails. I found myself in Boston for 3 days with nothing else to do. And anyone who’s been to Boston knows that it’s famous for two things: coffee and book shops. So I got a copy of Tate’s book and a laptop and spent three days burying myself deep into Rails and consuming more caffeine than was probably wise. It was incredible. Here was a way of doing things with a few simple commands, that would have taken 19 classes, an enterprise container and 3-400 lines of XML in Java. An old professor once told me “The profound is always simple” – and Rails was the living embodiment of that. I was hooked. It really hasn’t been the same since.”


  • The participant with the best Ruby solution (if there is a tie between answers, then the one who posted first will be the winner) will be awarded any one of PeepCode’s Ruby on Rails screencasts.
  • From the remaining working Ruby solutions, three participants would be selected randomly and each one would be awarded any one of Pragmatic’s The Ruby Object Model and Metaprogramming screencasts.

The four persons who win, can’t win again in the next immediate challenge but can still participate.

The Ruby Challenge


The Challenge

The entire challenge details are available here.

Ensure that you submit both the solutions – see pages 2 and 3.

How to Enter the Challenge

Read the Challenge Rules. By participating in this challenge, you agree to be bound by these Challenge Rules. It’s free and registration is optional. You can enter the challenge just by posting the following as a comment to this blog post:

  1. Your name:
  2. Country of Residence:
  3. GIST URL of your Solution (i.e. Ruby code) with explanation and / or test cases:
  4. Code works with Ruby 1.8 / 1.9 / Both:
  5. Email address (will not be published):
  6. Brief description of what you do (will not be published):


  • As soon as we receive your GIST URL, we will fork your submission. This means that your solution is frozen and accepted. Please be sure that is the solution you want, as it is now recorded in time and is the version that will be evaluated.
  • All solutions posted would be hidden to allow participants to come up with their own solutions.
  • You should post your entries before midnight of 29th Aug. 2010 (Indian Standard Time). No new solutions will be accepted from 30th Aug. onwards.
  • On 30th Aug. 2010 all the solutions will be thrown open for everyone to see and comment upon.
  • The winning entries will be announced on this blog before 5th Sept.
    1. The winners will be sent their prizes by email.

More details on the RPCFN?

Please refer to the RPCFN FAQ for answers to the following questions:


RPCFN is entirely financed by RubyLearning and sometimes sponsors, so if you enjoy solving Ruby problems and would like to give something back by helping with the running costs then any donations are gratefully received.

Click here to lend your support to: Support RubyLearning With Some
Love and make a donation at www.pledgie.com


Special thanks to:

  • David Griffiths.
  • GitHub, for giving us access to a private repository on GitHub to store all the submitted solutions.
  • The RubyLearning team.


Contact Satish Talim at satish [dot] talim [at] gmail.com OR if you have any doubts / questions about the challenge (the current problem statement), please post them as comments to this post and the author will reply asap.

The Participants

There are two categories of participants. Some are vying for the prizes and some are participating for the fun of it.

In the competition

  1. Alex Chateau, Latvia
  2. Kirill Shchepelin, Russia
  3. Sebastian Rabuini, Argentina
  4. Santosh Wadghule, India
  5. Juan Gomez, USA
  6. Julio C. Villasante, Cuba
  7. Paul McKibbin, UK
  8. Viktor Nemes, Hungary

Just for Fun

  1. Dmytrii Nagirniak, Australia
  2. Benoit Daloze, Belgium
  3. Cary Swoveland, Canada

The Winners


Congratulations to the winners of this Ruby Challenge. They are:

Previous Challenge

RPCFN: The Game of Life (#11) by Elise Huard.

Note: All the previous challenges, sponsors and winners can be seen on the Ruby Programming Challenge for Newbies page.


  • This challenge is now closed.
  • The (#13) challenge by Bruce Scharlau, U.K. is scheduled for Sept. 2010.
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