# Can you give me half?

**Challenge idea taken from:** Eliseo D'Annunzio

# Task

Provide code that evaluates to 0.5 numerically, i.e. the output must be recognized by your chosen language as a numeric value (Number, float, double, etc), not as a string.

The catch, the characters 0 through to 9 cannot be used.

One example that fits the brief would be the following:

`((++[[]][[~~""]]<<++[[]][[~~""]]))**((--[[]][[~~""]]))`

which works out to 0.5 in JavaScript.

# Scoring

This is a code challenge, where scoring is done in terms of number of unique characters used in the submission. Ties are broken by lowest bytecount.

dc, 3 unique bytes, 138 bytes …

1y ago

Embed ESCR, 6 unique character …

1y ago

Clojure - 15 characters total, …

1y ago

[C (gcc)], 8 7 unique c …

11mo ago

Perl, 3 distinct, 12 bytes …

1y ago

Ruby, 7 unique, 12 bytes `$ …

1y ago

J, 4 3 distinct, 6 bytes `` …

1y ago

[Python 3], 7 distinct charact …

1y ago

Lua 5.4, 3 unique characters …

1y ago

[Python 3], 5 unique bytes, 28 …

1y ago

[Julia 1.0], 16 bytes …

1y ago

Ruby, 10 distinct, 35 chars ` …

1y ago

Raku (also Perl polyglot), 5 u …

1y ago

Scala, 15 bytes ```scala '#' …

1y ago

Japt, 1 byte ½ Test …

1y ago

Javascript, 5 Distinct charact …

1y ago

JS, 15 bytes `!![]/(-[]-[]) …

1y ago

MATL, 3 distinct, 3 total ``` …

1y ago

J, 4 unique, 4 char ``` -: …

1y ago

Golfscript, 8 6 bytes, 5 uniqu …

7mo ago

Vyxal, 1 byte ``` . ``` Tr …

7mo ago

Fig, 2 unique, 2 total ``` H …

7mo ago

## 22 answers

# dc, 3 unique bytes, 138 bytes

This challenge is pretty easy if you aim for just 4 unique bytes. For example, you could push the stack depth repeatedly to get ascending integers, set the precision to something positive, divide and then print.

```
zzzzk/p
```

And surely it can't go any lower, right? After all, we have to increase the precision (`k`

), print (`p`

, `n`

, `f`

), do a floating-point operation (`v`

, `^`

, `/`

, `.`

), and still get a number from somewhere...

Luckily though, there is actually a narrow path forward thanks to `a`

and `x`

. `a`

pops a number off the stack, casts it to a `long`

, and pushes its LSB back as a single-character string. Using `x`

we can then execute that string as a command. This leaves us to choose a third command which should give us some helpful numbers that we can feed into `a`

. The only options that can give us a range of numbers are `z`

as well as the hex digits `A`

through `F`

. I haven't found a way to tame `z`

, since it buries every intermediate result you get, so let's just see what useful characters we can get if we choose one of the hex digits.

Program | Resulting character |
---|---|

`AAa` |
`n` |

`AAAAa` |
`f` |

`AAAAAAa` |
`F` |

`CCCa` |
`4` |

`DDDDa` |
`k` |

`FFFFFFa` |
`i` |

At first, this might not look too promising, but if we choose `F`

as our third command, we can use the `i`

to change the input base to 15 and basically get a reroll on our commands. 🤞

Program | Resulting character |
---|---|

`FxFFFFFFaxFFFFFa` |
`/` |

`FxFFFFFFaxFFFFFFFa` |
`?` |

The `?`

doesn't help us, since we don't get any input, the `/`

however is game-changing. By carefully placing the right constants on the stack before and after the base change we can later use `/`

to efficiently calculate the ASCII value of any command. We use this to first set the precision to 15 and then sum, divide and print three pre-placed `F`

s (as in `F k F F F + / n`

) to do the actual calculation.

Finally, here is an annotated version of the complete program:

```
F F F # three 15s for calculating 0.5
FFFFFFFFFFFFF # "+" numerator
FFFFFF # "+" denominator 1
F # argument for k
FFFFFFFFFFF # "k" numerator
FFFFF # "k" denominator 1
F # argument for i
FFFFFFax # execute "i" to switch base
FFFFFax # "k" division 1
F # "k" denominator 2
FFFFFax # "k" division 2
ax # execute "k" to set precedence
FFFFFax # "+" division 1
F # "+" denominator 2
FFFFFax # "+" division 2
ax # execute "+" to add two 15s
FFFFFax # divide 15 by 30
FFFFFFFFFFFF # "n" numerator 1
FFF # "n" denominator 1
FFFFFax # "n" division 1
FFFF # "n" denominator 2
FFFFFax # "n" division 2
ax # execute "n" to print the result
```

We can get rid of any whitespace by placing `x`

s between constants since they act as no-ops on numbers.

```
FxFxFxFFFFFFFFFFFFFxFFFFFFxFxFFFFFFFFFFFxFFFFFxFxFFFFFFaxFFFFFaxFxFFFFFaxaxFFFFFaxFxFFFFFaxaxFFFFFaxFFFFFFFFFFFFxFFFxFFFFFaxFFFFxFFFFFaxax
```

#### 0 comment threads

## Embed ESCR, 6 unique characters, 19 bytes

[/ [*] [+ [*] [*]]]

Each [] pair of brackets encloses an in-line function. The first token in a function is the function name, and subsequent tokens, if any, the parameters. Functions can be nested.

The * function multiplies a series of numbers. The product is initialized to 1 before the first term. A side-effect is that just "*" without any parameter returns 1. The "+" function adds two 1s to make 2. The "/" function divides the first parameter by the second, so 1 divided by 2. The result is 1/2.

The spaces are enforced for readability, and to simplify the parsing rules. This NOT a golfing language.

#
J, ~~4~~ 3 distinct, 6 bytes

```
-:_-:_
```

Half of `_ -: _`

which is asks if infinity matches infinity. Thanks to @xash in the APL farm discord for saving the 3 unique bytes and orthoplex for catching my blunder.

## Perl, 3 distinct, 12 bytes

```
s//yy//y/y//
```

Prepends `yy`

to the start of `$_`

, and then transliterates them, dividing the count of each.

#### 0 comment threads

#
C (gcc), ~~8~~ 7 unique

`cos(cos-cos)/(cos(cos-cos)-(-cos(cos-cos)))`

-1 unique character thanks to @orthoplex

## Clojure - 15 characters total, 5 unique

Inspired by the `Embed ESCR`

solution above, I realized I could do something very similar in Clojure:

```
(/(*)(+(*)(*)))
```

This returns 1/2, which is a Ratio in Clojure.

(*) - `*`

with no arguments returns 1.

(+...) - `+`

returns the sum of its arguments

(/...) - `/`

divides the first argument by the second, returning a Ratio.

#### 0 comment threads

# Python 3, 5 unique bytes, 28 total

```
(()==())/((()==())+(()==()))
```

`(`

, `)`

, `=`

, `/`

, `+`

Uses `(()==())`

to get `True`

with only 3 unique characters, as well as making the later grouping of `(...+...)`

free.

#### 0 comment threads

# Scala, 15 bytes

```
'#'.toFloat/'F'
```

Characters in Scala kinda get casted to integers. This is usually annoying, but it's useful when golfing. `#`

is 35 and `F`

is 70, and the `.toFloat`

prevents it from doing integer division and truncating to 0.

#### 0 comment threads

# Japt, 1 byte

```
½
```

# Jelly, Vyxal, 1 byte

```
.
```

Yeah, golf langs still kind of kill this challenge.

# Lua 5.4, 3 unique characters

```
#'#'/#'##'
```

[...]scoring is done in terms of number ofunique charactersused in the submission.

- Hashtag
**#** - Single quote
**'** - Slash
**/**

## 0 comment threads