Sorting list of IP addresses

I am extremely surprised to not find a standard IP address sorting routine in Delphi. I search high and low
and couldn't find one so I started writing one myself. I found a couple written in Perl, but I'm definately
not THAT much of a geek and they used many built in Perl functions not avail in Delphi. I also found an
insertion sort routine in C that used inet_addr from the winsock library and figured I could do something
like that in Delphi.

Anyway...I came up something but it doesn't work correctly all the time and I can not understand why.

Here is a shortened copy that only compares two IP addresses and returns the larger of the two.

function CompareIPs(IP1, IP2: String):String;
var
  a, b: TInAddr;
begin
  Result := '';
  a.S_addr := inet_addr(PChar(IP1));
  b.S_addr := inet_addr(PChar(IP2));
  if a.S_addr > b.S_addr then
    Result := inet_ntoa(a)
  else
    Result := inet_ntoa(b);
end;

Lable1.Caption := CompareIPs('224.123.161.5', '203.124.162.10');

returns the 203.124.162.10 address. Go figure...

Can someone help me figure out what the hell is going on here and why it is returning
the wrong result, or am I just wrong in assuming that it is returning the wrong result.
LVL 26
Eddie ShipmanAll-around developerAsked:
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raidosCommented:
Inet_addr, breaks ip down and puts it into a 32 bit integer...
my best guess it that it puts it in a byte order that is the opposite of what you would want for your function to work....

this is what i came up with...should work in all cases.. ;P

function CompareIps(IP1, IP2: string): string;
Type
  ByteArr = packed array[1..4] of Byte;
Var
  a, b: TInAddr;
  CompVar: Integer;
Begin
  CompVar := 0;
  a.S_addr := inet_addr(PChar(IP1));
  b.S_Addr := inet_addr(PChar(IP2));
  if ByteArr(a.S_addr)[1] <> ByteArr(b.S_addr)[1] then Begin
    if ByteArr(a.S_addr)[1] < ByteArr(b.S_addr)[1] Then
      Inc(CompVar)
    Else
      Dec(CompVar);
  end else Begin
    if ByteArr(a.S_addr)[2] <> ByteArr(b.S_addr)[2] then Begin
      if ByteArr(a.S_addr)[2] < ByteArr(b.S_addr)[2] Then
        Inc(CompVar)
      Else
        Dec(CompVar);
    end else Begin
       if ByteArr(a.S_addr)[3] <> ByteArr(b.S_addr)[3] then Begin
         if ByteArr(a.S_addr)[3] < ByteArr(b.S_addr)[3] Then
           Inc(CompVar)
         Else
           Dec(CompVar);
       end else Begin
         if ByteArr(a.S_addr)[4] <> ByteArr(b.S_addr)[4] then Begin
           if ByteArr(a.S_addr)[4] < ByteArr(b.S_addr)[4] then
             Inc(CompVar)
           Else
             Dec(CompVar);
         end else begin
           //Do nothing, IP's are the same
         end;
       end;
    end;
  end;
  if CompVar > 0 then
    Result := IP2
  else if CompVar < 0 Then
    Result := IP1
  else
    Result := 'EQUAL';
end;

Regards
//raidos
0

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Eddie ShipmanAll-around developerAuthor Commented:
Thanks for pointing out to me what the byte ordering meant.
0
raidosCommented:
Actually after thinking abit and consulting a colleague i realized that the problem is actually a bug in Winsock.pas where
u_long is defined as longint....

should have been defined as DWord i think otherwise the sign bit will be in play during comparison.

but then again i'm not sure..

what i'm sure of is that my function should work anyway.. ;P

Regards
//raidos
0
Eddie ShipmanAll-around developerAuthor Commented:
Found a much shorter way to do it but I'll let you keep the points anyway...;-)

function CompareIps(IP1, IP2: string): string;
var
  a, b: TInAddr;
begin
  a.S_addr := inet_addr(PChar(IP1));
  b.S_Addr := inet_addr(PChar(IP2));
  if ntohl(a.S_addr) > ntohl(b.S_addr) then
    Result := IP1
  else if ntohl(b.S_addr) > ntohl(a.S_addr) then
    Result := IP2
  else
    Result := 'EQUAL';
end;

The ntohl function reverses the byte ordering for me.
0
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