## PREP 2014 Question Authoring - Archived

### Does \{$a->ans_rule()\} associate$a with the answer blank? ### Re: Does \{$a->ans_rule()\} associate$a with the answer blank?

by Davide Cervone -
Number of replies: 0
Your $a[$m] = [$m,$m] uses the array @a, so you still have to make that into an array reference. You are almost there, but you want
    $X->{test_points} = [@a];  using @ not $a. The difference is that @a and $a is a scalar (and generally are two different variables, even though they have the same letter). So why is $a[$m] rather than @a[$m]? Because the entry in the array is a scalar, so you need to use a dollar sign, indicating a scalar value, rather than an at sign (which would indicate an array).

Another reason is that you get a slice of an array using the @ form: @a[1,3,5] would be a new array made from the first, third, and fifth element of @a. So technically @a[$m] should be an array with one element, but because many people get this wrong (and I think it used to be the correct way to do it in very early versions of Perl), Perl handles @a[$m] as a scalar anyway.

Alternatively, you could use

    $P = []; for ($m=0; $m <$N; $m++) {$P->[$m] = [$m,$m]; }$X->{test_points} = $P;  to make $P a reference to an array, and $P->[$m] to access the entries in the array.

Another approach would be to assign to the test points directly:

    $X->{tet_points} = []; for ($m=0; $m <$N; $m++) {$X->{test_points}[$m] = [$m,$m]; }  Here, you could also do $X->{test_points}->[$m], but once you de-reference the first time (using ->), Perl assumes the remaining de-references when you use braces or brackets. Finally, a very compact form: $X->{test_points} = [map { [$_,$_] } (0..$N-1)];  This uses the array of integers from 0 to $N-1 and maps them through code that returns an array reference with two elements, both equal to the integer from the original array. The resulting array of references is put into [...] so produce a reference to the array.