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Thilko Richter

I am a software craftsman with a passion for clean code and continuous learning.

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During my parental leave I started to have a look at elixir, a functional language on the erlang VM. It is inspired by ruby and comes with constructs like actors for parallel programming.

Katas are a great way to learn languages so I used the diamond kata to dive a bit deeper into elixir. I worked the iterative way through the kata, with a long period of thinking since I didn´t know to start. Then I decided to start calculating the tip, the middle blanks and finally the diamond.

Random thoughts:

  • It´s important to be able to calculate the positions of the letters
  • I used the codepoint of the letters - and avoided therefore the declaration of all existing letters
  • I´ve created the upper part of the diamond and mirrored it afterwards
  • The middle whitespaces are always the same regardless of the size of the diamond
  • Code on GitHub
defmodule DiamondTest do
use ExUnit.Case
doctest ElixirPlayground
test "calculate the tip" do
assert tip("A") == "A"
assert tip("B") == " A "
assert tip("C") == " A "
def test "middle_blanks" do
assert middle_blanks("B") == 1
assert middle_blanks("C") == 3
assert middle_blanks("D") == 5
test "position" do
assert line_for("A", "C") == " A "
assert line_for("B", "C") == " B B "
assert line_for("B", "D") == " B B "
assert line_for("C", "D") == " C C "
assert line_for("C", "E") == " C C "
assert line_for("C", "F") == " C C "
assert line_for("F", "F") == "F F"
test "half" do
assert half("B") == [" A ", "B B"]
assert half("C") == [" A ", " B B ", "C C"]
assert half("D") == [" A ", " B B ", " C C ", "D D"]
test "diamond" do
assert diamond("C") == " A \n B B \nC C\n B B \n A "
assert diamond("D") == " A \n B B \n C C \nD D\n C C \n B B \n A "
def diamond(letter) do
upper_part = half(letter)
lower_part = List.delete_at(Enum.reverse(half(letter)),0)
Enum.join(upper_part ++ lower_part, "\n")
def half(diamond_letter) do
the_list = Enum.to_list((int_codepoint("A")..int_codepoint(diamond_letter))), &(line_for(<<&1 :: utf8>>, diamond_letter)))
def line_for("A", diamond_letter) do
def line_for(current_letter, diamond_letter) do
border = border_blanks(current_letter, diamond_letter)
middle = middle_blanks(current_letter)
border <> current_letter <> middle <> current_letter <> border
def int_codepoint(letter) do
<<codepoint, 0>> = letter <> <<0>>
def border_blanks(current_letter, diamond_letter)do
current = int_codepoint(current_letter)
diamond = int_codepoint(diamond_letter)
blank(diamond - current)
def middle_blanks(letter) do
start = int_codepoint("A")
current = int_codepoint(letter)
blank((current - start) * 2 - 1)
def blank(number) do
String.duplicate(" ", number)
defp tip(diamond_letter) do
<<x,0, y>> = diamond_letter <> <<0>> <> "A"
padding = String.duplicate(" ", x - y)
padding <> "A" <> padding