wizard341 has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

Im trying to sort a hash (largest first,then down to smallest) into an array based on some criteria ive specified. I am unable to determine if my sorting method is wrong or if the way im working with it is wrong, so i figure i better ask someone else.
%reversed = reverse %hash; @sorted = sort {sorter($a, $b)} keys %reversed; foreach $key(@sorted) { print $key; print $co->a ( {-href => "/References/$reversed{$key}"},$reversed{$key} ), $co->p; }
thats pretty much how i call the subroutine and what i am doing with it
sub sorter { $a = shift; $b = shift; if($hashYear{$a} < $hashYear{$b}) { return $a; } elsif($hashYear{$a} == $hashYear{$b}) { if($hashMonth{$a} < $hashMonth{$b}) { return $a; } elsif($hashMonth{$a} == $hashMonth{$b}) { if($hashDay{$a} < $hashDay{$b}) { return $a; } } } else { #b is greater than a (or, in a rare case the are completly equal) return $b; } }
And this is my sorting criteria. hashYear,month,and day are just small numbers that kind of sort out which is the newest (based on which is larger). Does anyone see anything that jumps out at them as being wrong?

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Sorting Criteria
by Aristotle (Chancellor) on Aug 05, 2003 at 18:04 UTC
    1. You don't return the elements from the sort block, you return -1, 1 or 0 depending on whether $a or $b was greater or they were equal. See perldoc -f sort.

    2. You don't need to pass $a / $b explicitly that way, they're special globals.

    3. In fact, you even shouldn't, since $a / $b are aliases, and you're reassigning to them a copy of their value at the top of your block. Alternatively, assign them to lexicals named differently from $a / $b. In your case, I'd just drop the shifts, call the function by_date and then say

      @sorted = sort &by_date keys %reversed;

    Makeshifts last the longest.

Re: Sorting Criteria
by Zaxo (Archbishop) on Aug 05, 2003 at 18:24 UTC

    The way to sort first by year, then month, then day,

    sort { $hashYear{$a} <=> $hashYear{$b} or $hashMonth{$a} <=> $hashMonth{$b} or $hashDay{$a} <=> $hashDay{$a} } @unsorted;
    though I haven't seen what the structure of your elements is. That might indicate another approach such as a Schwarzian Transfornm.

    After Compline,

      Thanks alot guys, works perfectly now.
Re: Sorting Criteria
by antirice (Priest) on Aug 05, 2003 at 18:12 UTC

    Aristotle++ has already answered your questions. However, I would like to point out that your code does not return anything when $hashMonth{$a} > $hashMonth{$b} -or- $hashMonth{$a} == $hashMonth{$b} and $hashDay{$a} >= $hashDay{$b}. You can fix this by removing the else block and just replacing it with return $b.

    The first rule of Perl club is - use Perl
    ith rule of Perl club is - follow rule i - 1 for i > 1

Re: Sorting Criteria
by Cine (Friar) on Aug 05, 2003 at 18:09 UTC
    Aristotle already told what was wrong, so here is a suggestion for your sort method:
    sub sorter { "$hashYear{$a}$hashMonth{$a}$hashDay{$a}" <=> "$hashYear{$b}$hashMon +th{$b}$hashDay{$b}" }

    T I M T O W T D I
      That will work if days and months are zero-padded. Otherwise, "1/11" will compare equal to "11/1".
        Yeah, silly me
        sub sorter { sprintf"%04d%02d%02d",$hashYear{$a},$hashMonth{$a},$hashDay{$a} <=> sprintf"%04d%02d%02d",$hashYear{$b},$hashMonth{$b},$hashDay{$b} }

        T I M T O W T D I