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Daily Challenge #2 - String Diamond

thepracticaldev profile image dev.to staff ・1 min read

Welcome to Day 2 of our challenge series. Today, you’ll be using some clean and polished code to create a clean and polished diamond.

Our challenge comes from user @jayeshcp on CodeWars.

Your task is to return a string that displays a diamond shape on the screen using asterisk (“*”) characters.

The shape that the print method will return should resemble a diamond. A number provided as input will represent the number of asterisks printed on the middle line. The line above and below will be centered and will have two less asterisks than the middle line. This reduction will continue for each line until a line with a single asterisk is printed at the top and bottom of the figure.

Return null if input is an even number or a negative number.

Note: JS and Python students must implement diamond() method and return None (Py) or null(JS) for invalid input.

Bonus points awarded for experimenting with any extra features.

Good luck!


Thank you to CodeWars, who has licensed redistribution of this challenge under the 2-Clause BSD License!

Want to propose a challenge for a future post? Email yo+challenge@dev.to with your suggestions!

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Editor guide
 

CSS

.diamond {
  --stars: 11;
  width: calc(var(--stars) * 10px);
  height: calc(var(--stars) * 15px);
  background-image: url('data:image/svg+xml;utf8,<svg xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" width="10px" height="15px" viewBox="0 0 10 15"><text x="1.125" y="15" fill="black">*</text></svg>');
  clip-path: polygon(50% 0, 100% 50%, 50% 100%, 0 50%);
}

Some people will claim that I am cheating with this one; and they are probably right... but it was fun to develop and it kind of works (although only with odd numbers 😭). The idea is:

  • Create a SVG image that shows an asterisk with text.
  • Put that SVG as an inline background image for an element.
  • Clip the element to only show a diamond shape (using clip-path).
  • Define a CSS variable to specify the number of stars in the middle of the diamond.
  • Knowing the size of the SVG image, use the CSS variable to calculate the height and width of the element.

Here there is a working demo on Codepen:

 

Wow amazing one again! I don't think it's cheating at all, just a creative solution to the problem!

 

Thanks!
Yesterday's solution was definitely more cheating than this one.

 

Good job! :)

 

Amazing! You are a CSS master!

 

After @andrewbrown shamed us all yesterday for not having test cases, I decided I needed to step up my game and went full TDD with this one!

Rust Solution:

fn concat_char(c: char, n: i32) -> String {
    (0..n).map(|_x| c).collect()
}

fn diamond_line(number_of_asteriks: i32, number_of_padding_spaces: i32) -> String {
    let spaces = concat_char(' ', number_of_padding_spaces);
    let asteriks = concat_char('*', number_of_asteriks);
    format!("{}{}{}\n", spaces, asteriks, spaces)
}

pub fn diamond(size: i32) -> Option<String> {
    if size <= 0 {
        None
    } else if size % 2 == 0 {
        None
    } else {
        let midpoint_index = (size - 1) / 2;

        let output: String = (0..size)
            .map(|line_number| {
                let number_of_padding_spaces = (line_number - midpoint_index).abs();
                let number_of_asteriks = size - number_of_padding_spaces * 2;

                diamond_line(number_of_asteriks, number_of_padding_spaces)
            })
            .collect();
        Some(output)
    }
}

#[cfg(test)]
mod tests {
    use crate::diamond;

    #[test]
    fn it_works_for_even_inputs() {
        assert_eq!(diamond(2), None);
        assert_eq!(diamond(4), None);
        assert_eq!(diamond(60), None);
    }

    #[test]
    fn it_works_for_negative_inputs() {
        assert_eq!(diamond(-2), None);
        assert_eq!(diamond(-5), None);
        assert_eq!(diamond(-11), None);
    }

    #[test]
    fn it_works_for_zero() {
        // This is not defined in the spec
        assert_eq!(diamond(0), None);
    }

    #[test]
    fn a_single_asterik_is_a_basic_diamond() {
        let expected_output = "*\n".to_string();
        assert_eq!(diamond(1), Some(expected_output));
    }

    #[test]
    fn it_works_with_a_small_diamond() {
        let expected_output = " * \n***\n * \n".to_string();
        assert_eq!(diamond(3), Some(expected_output));
    }

    #[test]
    fn it_works_with_a_large_diamond() {
        let expected_output = "     *     \n    ***    \n   *****   \n  *******  \n ********* \n***********\n ********* \n  *******  \n   *****   \n    ***    \n     *     \n".to_string();
        assert_eq!(diamond(11), Some(expected_output));
    }
}

 
 
 

Hey! Also JavaScript

function diamond(n){
  if (n <= 0 || n % 2 === 0) {
    return null;
  }

  const repeater = ch => n => ch.repeat(n)
  const spacer = repeater(' ')
  const asterixer = repeater('*')

  let diam = ''
  for (let row = 1; row <= n; row++) {
    const spaces = Math.abs(n - ((2*row) - 1))
    const stars = n - spaces
    diam += `${spacer(spaces / 2)}${asterixer(stars)}\n`
  }

  return diam
}
 

This is my favorite JS answer to this challenge 👍 I like how you used the repeater, keeps things clean & compact.

 

Haskell!

import Data.Maybe

diamond :: Int -> Maybe [Char]
diamond n
  | n < 1     = Nothing
  | even n    = Nothing
  | otherwise = Just (concat $ map line rows)
  where
    line stars = replicate (div (n - stars) 2) ' ' ++ replicate stars '*' ++ "\n"
    rows = filter odd ([1..n] ++ reverse [1..(n - 2)])
 

Go (with bonus diamond of diamonds) playground link


func diamond(center int) (string, error) {
    if (center & 1) == 0 {
        return "", errors.New("center row must be an odd number")
    }
    return strings.Join(makeDiamond(center), "\n"), nil
}

func diamondOfDiamonds(center int) (string, error) {
    if (center & 1) == 0 {
        return "", errors.New("center row must be an odd number")
    }
    dmd := makeDiamond(center)
    outBuf := make([]string, center)
    row := strings.Repeat(" ", center)
    for i := 0; i <= center/2; i++ {
        rowBuf := make([]string, center)
        for j := range rowBuf {
            rowBuf[j] = strings.Repeat(row, center/2-i) + strings.Repeat(dmd[j], 2*i+1) + strings.Repeat(row, center/2-i)
        }
        outBuf[i], outBuf[center-i-1] = strings.Join(rowBuf, "\n"), strings.Join(rowBuf, "\n")
    }
    return strings.Join(outBuf, "\n"), nil
}

func makeDiamond(center int) []string {
    outBuf := make([]string, center)
    row := bytes.Repeat([]byte{' '}, center)
    for l, r := (center / 2), (center / 2); l >= 0; l, r = l-1, r+1 {
        row[l], row[r] = '*', '*'
        outBuf[center/2-l], outBuf[center/2+l] = string(row), string(row)
    }
    return outBuf
}
 

Woah that's cool! I wanted to see what your diamond of diamonds looked like!

Thought I'd paste in the medium sized one, and let people go to the playground for the big one!

            *            
           ***           
          *****          
           ***           
            *            
       *    *    *       
      ***  ***  ***      
     ***************     
      ***  ***  ***      
       *    *    *       
  *    *    *    *    *  
 ***  ***  ***  ***  *** 
*************************
 ***  ***  ***  ***  *** 
  *    *    *    *    *  
       *    *    *       
      ***  ***  ***      
     ***************     
      ***  ***  ***      
       *    *    *       
            *            
           ***           
          *****          
           ***           
            *            

 

JS ❤️

const diamontLayersStructure = (base) => {
    let diamontLayer = '';
    for (let baseIdx = 0; baseIdx < base; baseIdx++) {
        diamontLayer += '*';
    }
    return diamontLayer;
}

const diamont = base => {
    if (base % 2 === 0) {
        return null;
    }
    let diamontLayers = diamontLayersStructure(base);
    let diamontSpacement  = '';
    while (base !== 1) {
        base -= 2;
        diamontSpacement += ' ';
        let diamontNextLayer = diamontLayersStructure(base);
        diamontLayers = `${diamontSpacement}${diamontNextLayer}\n${diamontLayers}`;
        diamontLayers += `\n${diamontSpacement}${diamontNextLayer}`;
    }
    return console.log(diamontLayers);
}
diamont(10); //= null
diamont(11); //= diamont
 

BASH

drawAsteriks () {
  local n=${2};
  local row=${1};
  local numberOfSpaces=$(( (${n}-${row}-(${row}-1))/2 ));
  local numberOfchars=$(( ${n} - ${numberOfSpaces#-}*2 ));
  local spaces=$(printf '%*s' ${numberOfSpaces} '');
  local chars=$(printf '%*s' ${numberOfchars} '' | tr ' ' '+');
  local result=${spaces}${chars}${spaces};
  echo "${result}";
}

if [[ $((${1} % 2 )) = 0 ]]; then
  echo "the argument is even: ${1}";
else 
  for (( i = 1; i <= ${1}; i++ )); do
    drawAsteriks ${i} ${1};
  done;
fi
echo'';
 

Python

def diamond():

    num = 9

    for i in range(1, num+1):
      i = i - (num//2 +1)
      if i < 0:
        i = -i
      print(" " * i + "*" * (num - i*2) + " "*i)
diamond()
 

Refactored slightly, used range function on the initial passed in value, instead of adding 1, but I came across your solution which both checked for negative numbers and how to elegantly print the row in one line. I also through in a check for even values at the beginning.

def diamond(width):
    if width % 2 == 0:
        print("width needs to be odd")
        return
    for num in range(width):
        num = num - (width//2)
        if num < 0:
            num = -num
        print(' ' * num + '*' * (width - num *2) + ' ' * num)
diamond(15)
diamond(10)

 

I would like to add:
1) Making str.center do some of the dirty work
2) Using ranges (and chain) to iterate up and down instead of keeping a state on num


from itertools import chain

def diamond(n): 
    if n <=0 or n % 2 == 0:
        raise ValueError('n must be odd and positive') 
    for i in chain(range(1, n + 1, 2), reversed(range(1, n, 2))): 
        print(('*' * i).center(n)) 

diamond(1)
diamond(3)
diamond(5)

It might be more readable to have two loops instead of using chain but I like chaining more because I don't need to repeat the print

I wouldn't worry about it too much, since print requires IO, it is by far the bottleneck.

For the rest of the utilities that I used: range, chain, and str.center: they are all implemented in C if you are using the standard CPython (should be fast).

To avoid the IO, let's compare the two functions as generators of strings (I replaced the print with yield (('*' * i).center(n)) for both my implementation and Nicks:

In [39]: %timeit tuple(my_diamond(11))                                                                                                                                                                                 
3.59 µs ± 37.6 ns per loop (mean ± std. dev. of 7 runs, 100000 loops each)

In [40]: %timeit tuple(nicks_diamond(11))                                                                                                                                                                           
4.66 µs ± 69.9 ns per loop (mean ± std. dev. of 7 runs, 100000 loops each)

Seems like mine is slower than Nicks.
However, on my machine, a single print statement takes about 4.17us, which is almost as long as diamond(11) takes without any prints!

 
 

The shortest one by far

 
 

Ruby solution

require "minitest/autorun"

class DiamondGenerator
  def initialize width
    @width = width
  end

  def generate
    return nil if invalid_width?

    number_of_asterisks.map { |n| number_to_asterisks(n) }.join("\n")
  end

  private

    def invalid_width?
      @width.even? or @width.negative?
    end

    def number_to_asterisks number
      ("*" * number).center(@width).rstrip
    end

    def number_of_asterisks
      steps = (1...@width).step(2).to_a
      steps + [@width] + steps.reverse
    end
end

class DiamondGeneratorTest < MiniTest::Test
  def test_valid_diamond
    expected_diamond = <<~DIAMOND.chomp
         *
        ***
       *****
      *******
     *********
    ***********
     *********
      *******
       *****
        ***
         *
    DIAMOND

    assert_equal expected_diamond, DiamondGenerator.new(11).generate
  end

  def test_diamond_with_even_width
    assert_nil DiamondGenerator.new(6).generate
  end

  def test_diamond_with_negative_width
    assert_nil DiamondGenerator.new(-2).generate
  end
end

 

Ruby

def diamond(apex_size)
  shape_array = (1..apex_size).to_a + (1..apex_size -1).to_a.reverse
  shape_array.each { |num| puts diamond_row(apex_size, num) }
end

def diamond_row(apex_size, num)
  "#{" " * (apex_size - num)} #{"*" * ((num * 2 - 1))}"
end
 

I didn’t follow the fine print so I’m not sure this totally fits the spec now that I’m reading more carefully.

I’ll be more careful tomorrow 😄

 

ReasonML / OCaml

Runnable example: sketch.sh/s/RvRBbbn6iqnEIumBYs7UwE/

type parity =
  | Even
  | Odd;

let testEven = value => value mod 2 == 0 ? Even : Odd;

let rec createDiamond = (~middleStars, ~shape=[], ~i=1, ()) => {
  switch (testEven(middleStars)) {
  | Even => None
  | Odd =>
    switch (middleStars - i) {
    | 0 =>
      Some(
        [List.rev(shape), [String.make(middleStars, '*')], shape]
        |> List.flatten
        |> String.concat("\n"),
      )
    | _ =>
      let padding = (middleStars - i) / 2;
      let row = Bytes.make(middleStars, ' ');

      Bytes.fill(row, padding, i, '*');
      let shape = [Bytes.to_string(row), ...shape];

      createDiamond(~middleStars, ~i=i + 2, ~shape, ());
    }
  };
};

switch (createDiamond(~middleStars=11, ())) {
| None => ()
| Some(d) => print_string(d)
};

 

My solution for Swift :

func diamond(size: Int, character: Character) {

    guard size > 2 else { return }

    var elements = [String]()
    var subsize = size

    while subsize > 2 {
        subsize -= 2
        elements.append(String(repeating: " ", count: (size - subsize) / 2) + String(repeating: character, count: subsize))
    }
    [elements.reversed(),[String(repeating: character, count: size)],elements].forEach { (tab) in
        tab.forEach { (string) in
            print(string)
        }
    }
}
 

Dirty Nim, planning to rewriting. :)

import math

proc diamond(num: int): string =
  if num < 0:
    return ""

  let midPoint = floorDiv(num, 2)

  for row in 0..num:
    let distanceFromMid = abs(row - midPoint)
    let starsInRow = num - distanceFromMid * 2

    for col in 0..num:
      if col >= distanceFromMid + starsInRow or col <= distanceFromMid:
        result &= " "
      else:
        result &= "*"

    result &= "\n"

if isMainModule:
  const num = 30

  echo diamond(num)
 

Javascript

function diamond(input) {
    const blank = " "
    const full = "*"
    let output = ""

    if (input%2 === 0) {return null;}

    for (let i=1;i<input;i+=2) {
        spacing = blank.repeat((input-i)/2)
        output += spacing + full.repeat(i) + spacing + "\n"
        }

    output += full.repeat(input) + output.split("").reverse().join("")

    console.log(output)
    }

You can change the characters which are considered blank and full to create different effects.

normal output -

   *   
  ***  
 ***** 
*******
 ***** 
  ***  
   *   

with blank="*" and full="@" -

***@***
**@@@**
*@@@@@*
@@@@@@@
*@@@@@*
**@@@**
***@***
 

If you mess with the fill/blank values, you get some nice art -

________shaurya________
_______shauryashauryashaurya_______
______shauryashauryashauryashauryashaurya______
_____shauryashauryashauryashauryashauryashauryashaurya_____
____shauryashauryashauryashauryashauryashauryashauryashauryashaurya____
___shauryashauryashauryashauryashauryashauryashauryashauryashauryashauryashaurya___
__shauryashauryashauryashauryashauryashauryashauryashauryashauryashauryashauryashauryashaurya__
_shauryashauryashauryashauryashauryashauryashauryashauryashauryashauryashauryashauryashauryashauryashaurya_
shauryashauryashauryashauryashauryashauryashauryashauryashauryashauryashauryashauryashauryashauryashauryashauryashaurya
_ayruahsayruahsayruahsayruahsayruahsayruahsayruahsayruahsayruahsayruahsayruahsayruahsayruahsayruahsayruahs_
__ayruahsayruahsayruahsayruahsayruahsayruahsayruahsayruahsayruahsayruahsayruahsayruahsayruahs__
___ayruahsayruahsayruahsayruahsayruahsayruahsayruahsayruahsayruahsayruahsayruahs___
____ayruahsayruahsayruahsayruahsayruahsayruahsayruahsayruahsayruahs____
_____ayruahsayruahsayruahsayruahsayruahsayruahsayruahs_____
______ayruahsayruahsayruahsayruahsayruahs______
_______ayruahsayruahsayruahs_______
________ayruahs________
        11        
       111111       
      1111111111      
     11111111111111     
    111111111111111111    
   1111111111111111111111   
  11111111111111111111111111  
 111111111111111111111111111111 
1111111111111111111111111111111111
 111111111111111111111111111111 
  11111111111111111111111111  
   1111111111111111111111   
    111111111111111111    
     11111111111111     
      1111111111      
       111111       
        11        
        >>>>        
       >>>>>>>>>>>>       
      >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>      
     >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>     
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>    
   >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>   
  >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>  
 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 
  >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>  
   >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>   
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>    
     >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>     
      >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>      
       >>>>>>>>>>>>       
        >>>>        
        -->        
       -->-->-->       
      -->-->-->-->-->      
     -->-->-->-->-->-->-->     
    -->-->-->-->-->-->-->-->-->    
   -->-->-->-->-->-->-->-->-->-->-->   
  -->-->-->-->-->-->-->-->-->-->-->-->-->  
 -->-->-->-->-->-->-->-->-->-->-->-->-->-->--> 
-->-->-->-->-->-->-->-->-->-->-->-->-->-->-->-->-->
 >-->-->-->-->-->-->-->-->-->-->-->-->-->-->-- 
  >-->-->-->-->-->-->-->-->-->-->-->-->--  
   >-->-->-->-->-->-->-->-->-->-->--   
    >-->-->-->-->-->-->-->-->--    
     >-->-->-->-->-->-->--     
      >-->-->-->-->--      
       >-->-->--       
        >--        
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa-aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
aaaaaaaaaaaaaa---aaaaaaaaaaaaaa
aaaaaaaaaaaa-----aaaaaaaaaaaa
aaaaaaaaaa-------aaaaaaaaaa
aaaaaaaa---------aaaaaaaa
aaaaaa-----------aaaaaa
aaaa-------------aaaa
aa---------------aa
-----------------
aa---------------aa
aaaa-------------aaaa
aaaaaa-----------aaaaaa
aaaaaaaa---------aaaaaaaa
aaaaaaaaaa-------aaaaaaaaaa
aaaaaaaaaaaa-----aaaaaaaaaaaa
aaaaaaaaaaaaaa---aaaaaaaaaaaaaa
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa-aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
*********************   *********************
******************     ******************
***************       ***************
************         ************
*********           *********
******             ******
***               ***

***               ***
******             ******
*********           *********
************         ************
***************       ***************
******************     ******************
*********************   *********************
************************ ************************
lallallallallallallallal lallallallallallallallal
lallallallallallallal   lallallallallallallal
lallallallallallal     lallallallallallal
lallallallallal       lallallallallal
lallallallal         lallallallal
lallallal           lallallal
lallal             lallal
lal               lal

lal               lal
lallal             lallal
lallallal           lallallal
lallallallal         lallallallal
lallallallallal       lallallallallal
lallallallallallal     lallallallallallal
lallallallallallallal   lallallallallallallal
lallallallallallallallal lallallallallallallallal
lalallalallalallalallalallalallalallalal lalallalallalallalallalallalallalallalal
lalallalallalallalallalallalallalal   lalallalallalallalallalallalallalal
lalallalallalallalallalallalal     lalallalallalallalallalallalal
lalallalallalallalallalal       lalallalallalallalallalal
lalallalallalallalal         lalallalallalallalal
lalallalallalal           lalallalallalal
lalallalal             lalallalal
lalal               lalal

lalal               lalal
lalallalal             lalallalal
lalallalallalal           lalallalallalal
lalallalallalallalal         lalallalallalallalal
lalallalallalallalallalal       lalallalallalallalallalal
lalallalallalallalallalallalal     lalallalallalallalallalallalal
lalallalallalallalallalallalallalal   lalallalallalallalallalallalallalal
lalallalallalallalallalallalallalallalal lalallalallalallalallalallalallalallalal
 

Did this in rust too:

fn main() {
    let diamond_size = 17;

    println!("{}", gen_diamond(diamond_size));
}

fn gen_diamond(size: u8) -> String {
    if size % 2 == 0 || size < 3 {
        return "i i\nn n\nv p\na u\nl t\ni\nd".to_string();
    }

    let fill = "*";
    let blank = " ";

    let mut output = String::from("");

    let mut i = 1;
    while i <= (size - 2) {
        let blank_space = blank.repeat(usize::from((size - i) / 2));
        let filled_space = fill.repeat(usize::from(i));
        let line = format!("{0}{1}{2}\n", &blank_space, &filled_space, &blank_space);
        output.push_str(&line);
        i += 2
    }
    output = format!(
        "{0}{1}{2}",
        &output,
        fill.repeat(usize::from(size)),
        &output.chars().rev().collect::<String>()
    );

    output.to_string()
}

On invalid input, it returns -

i i
n n
v p
a u
l t
i
d
 

PHP

function make_diamond(int $width) {
    if ($width < 0 || $width % 2 == 0) {
        return null;
    }
    for ($i = 1; $i < $width; $i += 2) {
        echo str_repeat(' ', $width - $i / 2) . str_repeat('*', $i) . PHP_EOL;
    }
    for ($j = $width; $j > 0; $j -= 2) {
        echo str_repeat(' ', $width - $j / 2) . str_repeat('*', $j) . PHP_EOL;
    }
}
 

Too late but here it is anyway...

PHP:


function drawDiamond($diameter){
    if($diameter <= 2){
        trigger_error("provide more than 2 in diameter at least ! ", E_USER_WARNING);
    }else{
        $code = "<pre style='text-align: center; font-size: 22px;'>";
        for($i = 1; $i < $diameter; $i+=2){
            $code .= str_repeat("*", $i) . "<br>";
        }
        for($i = $diameter; $i >= 1; $i -= 2){
            $code .= str_repeat("*", $i) . "<br>";
        }
        $code .= "</pre>";
        return $code;
    }
}
echo drawDiamond(11);

 
const diamond = num => console.log(
    (isNaN(num) || num < 0 || num % 2 === 0) ? null
    : Object.keys(Array(Number(num)).fill(1))
        .map(i => [
            Math.abs(Number(num) - (2*i + 1))/2,
            Number(num) - Math.abs(Number(num) - (2*i + 1))
        ])
        .map(([spaces, asterisks]) => [
            ...Array(spaces).fill(' '),
            ...Array(asterisks).fill('*'),
            ...Array(spaces).fill(' '),
        ])
        .map(line => line.join(''))
        .join('\n')
);
 

Erlang

-module(devto2).
-export([diamond/1]).

diamond(Max) when (Max > 2) and (Max rem 2 /= 0) ->
    print_stars(build_array(Max, 1, up, []));
diamond(_) ->
    error.


build_array(_, -1, down, Accum) ->
    Accum;
build_array(Max, Max, up, Accum) ->
    build_array(Max, Max - 2, down, Accum ++ [cur_line(Max, Max)]);
build_array(Max, Cur, up, Accum) ->
    build_array(Max, Cur + 2, up, Accum ++ [cur_line(Max, Cur)]);
build_array(Max, Cur, down, Accum) ->
    build_array(Max, Cur - 2, down, Accum ++ [cur_line(Max, Cur)]).


spaces(Max, Cur) ->
    lists:flatten(lists:duplicate(((Max - Cur) div 2), " ")).

stars(Cur) ->
    lists:flatten(lists:duplicate(Cur, "*")).

cur_line(Max, Cur) ->
    Spaces = spaces(Max, Cur),
    Stars = stars(Cur),
    lists:flatten([Spaces, Stars]).

print_stars([Cur | StarArray]) ->
    io:format("~s~n", [Cur]),
    print_stars(StarArray);
print_stars([]) -> 
    ok.
 

Just submitted my kata. <3 codewars.
Start from the middle, and go on appending stars to the top and bottom respectively.

Python:

def is_negative(n):
  return n <= 0

def is_even(n):
  return n % 2 == 0

def stars_with_spaces(num_stars, num_spaces):
  return num_spaces * ' ' + num_stars * '*' + '\n'

def diamond(n):
  if (is_negative(n) or is_even(n)):
    return None

  res = [None] * n
  mid_point = int((n - 1) / 2)

  num_stars = n
  num_spaces = 0

  for i in range(mid_point + 1)[::-1]:
    stars = stars_with_spaces(num_stars, num_spaces)

    res[mid_point - num_spaces] = stars
    res[mid_point + num_spaces] = stars

    num_spaces += 1 
    num_stars -= 2

  return ('').join(res)
 

Gave it a try in Python. Not exactly as required since the diamond is printed on-the-fly, but I think it shows the main idea to create every line one after the other. Could also be stored in a string and then returned...

import sys

def diamond(width):
    padding = width//2

    while padding > -width//2:
        print(" " * abs(padding) + "*" * (width - abs(padding) * 2))
        padding -= 1

if (len(sys.argv) < 2 or int(sys.argv[1]) < 1 or int(sys.argv[1]) % 2 == 0):
    print("Invalid parameter")
else:
    diamond(int(sys.argv[1]))
 

Rust

fn print_star(n: usize, i:usize) {
    println!("{}{}", " ".repeat(n - i), "*".repeat(i * 2 + 1))
}

fn main() {
    let n = 5;
    for i in 0..n {
        print_star(n, i);
    }

    for i in (0..n).rev() {
        print_star(n, i);
    }
}
 

Here is my simple diamond solution with Python:

def diamond(n):
    # Make some diamonds!
    if n % 2 == 0 or n <= 0:
        return None
    if n == 1:
        return "*\n"

    array = list(range(1, n+1))
    result = ""
    white_space_count = list(range(1, int((n - (n % 2)) / 2)+1))
    white_space_count.reverse()
    white_space_index = 0
    for count in array:
        if count % 2 == 0:
            continue
        if white_space_index != len(white_space_count):
            result += (" " * white_space_count[white_space_index])
            white_space_index += 1
        result += ("*" * count) + "\n"

    array.reverse()
    array = array[1:]
    white_space_count.reverse()
    white_space_index = 0

    for count in array:
        if count % 2 == 0:
            continue
        if white_space_index != len(white_space_count):
            result += (" " * white_space_count[white_space_index])
            white_space_index += 1
        result += ("*" * count) + "\n"

    return result
 

Sorry for that (JS)

function diamond(int) {
  if (int < 0 || !(int % 2)) {
    return null;
  }
  write = (i,j) => ' '.repeat(j) + '*'.repeat(i) + '\n';
  let ret = '';
  for (let i = 1, j = Math.floor(int / 2); j >= 0; j--, i += 2) {
    ret += write(i,j);
  }
  for (let i = int - 2, j = 1; j < int && i > 0; j++, i -= 2) {
    ret += write(i,j);
  }
  return ret;
}
 
print((lambda maxStars = int(input("Star Count: ")) : "Can't be a star =(" if not maxStars % 2 else "".join(map(lambda i: "".join([" "]*(int((maxStars - ((i+1) * 2 - 1 if (i+1) * 2 - 1 <= maxStars else (maxStars-(i+1) + 1)*2 -1))/2)) + ["*"]*((i+1) * 2 - 1 if (i+1) * 2 - 1 <= maxStars else (maxStars-(i+1) + 1)*2 -1)) +"\n", range(maxStars))))())

one line functional python, why I dunno.

 
// Will print a diamond with n stars in the middle line
function printDiamond(n) {

  // validate input
  if (n % 2 === 0)
    throw new Error("can't have middle row size of an even number");
  if (n < 0)
    throw new Error('input must be a positive number');

  const numLines = n;
  let spaces = n - 1; 
  let stars = 1;
  const middleLine = Math.floor(numLines/2);

  for(let i = 0; i < numLines; i++) {
    console.log(buildLine(stars, spaces));
    // before the middle line we will increment the number of stars by 2
    if(i < middleLine) {
      stars += 2;
      spaces -= 2;
    }
    // after the middle line we decrement the number of stars by 2
    else {
      stars -= 2;
      spaces += 2;
    }
  }
}

// will build a line with the correct number of stars and spaces
// ie given 3 stars and 2 spaces
// will build ' *** '
function buildLine(stars, spaces) {
  let line = '';
  const lineSize = stars+spaces;

  // the first index in the line with a star.
  const starIndex = Math.floor((lineSize-stars)/2);

  for(let i = 0; i < lineSize; i++) {
    // starts building stars
    if(i >= starIndex && stars > 0) {
      line += '*';
      stars--;
    }
    else
      line += ' ';
  }

  return line;
}

deviated from the spec in one specific way where I don't return null if a an even number or negative number is provided but instead throw an error.
I feel however this gives more information to the user.

 

Another 🚀

Python

def challenge2(n):
    pad = n//2
    D = ""
    while pad > -n//2:
        D = " " * abs(pad) + "*" * (n - abs(pad) *2) + "\n" + D
        pad -= 1
    return D
 

Haskell

import Data.List

diamond :: Int -> Maybe String
diamond n
  | even n || n < 0 = Nothing
  | otherwise       = Just diamondLines
  where
    makeLine k = replicate (div (n - k) 2) ' ' ++ replicate k '*'
    diamondLines = unlines $ map makeLine ([1, 3 .. n] ++ [n - 2, n - 4 .. 1])
 

Let's go functional in Perl! (Tests included).

#!/usr/bin/perl
use warnings;
use strict;

use Test::More;

sub diamond {
    my ($n) = @_;
    return if $n < 1 or 0 == $n % 2;

    return join "\n",
           map { ' ' x (($n - $_) / 2) . '*' x $_ }
           grep $_ % 2,
           1 .. $n, reverse 1 .. $n - 1
}

is diamond(0), undef;
is diamond(1), "*";
is diamond(2), undef;
is diamond(3), " *\n***\n *";
is diamond(5), "  *\n ***\n*****\n ***\n  *";

done_testing();
 

Playing with StringBuilder on C#

string Diamond(int i)
{
    if (i < 0 || i % 2 == 0) return null;
    var sb = new StringBuilder().Append(Environment.NewLine).Append('*', i).Append(Environment.NewLine);
    for (int x = i; i >= 1; --x)
    {
        sb.Append(' ', x - i).Append('*', i).Append(Environment.NewLine).Insert(0, "*", i).Insert(0, " ", x - i).Insert(0, Environment.NewLine);
        i -= 2;
    }
    return sb.ToString();
}

And Visual Basic.NET

Private Function Diamond(ByVal i As Integer) As String
    If i < 0 OrElse i Mod 2 = 0 Then Return Nothing
    Dim sb = New StringBuilder().Append(Environment.NewLine).Append("*"c, i).Append(Environment.NewLine)
    Dim x = i
    i -= 2

    While i >= 1
        x -= 1
        sb.Append(" "c, x - i).Append("*"c, i).Append(Environment.NewLine).Insert(0, "*", i).Insert(0, " ", x - i).Insert(0, Environment.NewLine)
        i -= 2
    End While

    Return sb.ToString()
End Function
 

JS

function print_stars(num) {
    if (num % 2 == 0) {
        return null;
    }
    let i = 1;
    let space = parseInt(num / 2);
    while (i < num) {
        console.log(`${" ".repeat(space)}${"*".repeat(i)}${" ".repeat(space)}`);
        i += 2
        space -= 1
    }
    while (i > 0) {
        console.log(`${" ".repeat(space)}${"*".repeat(i)}${" ".repeat(space)}`);
        i -= 2;
        space += 1;
    }
}

try {
    print_stars(parseInt(process.argv[2]))
}
catch (err) {
    console.error(err);
}