Sorting numbers and letters using Comparator with Collections.sort

Posted on 2009-12-17
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-22
I am trying to sort an ArrayList so that a list of values from a Hashtable are sorted by value, which includes numbers sorted in numerical order and before Characters.

Script below...

Hashtable danHT = new Hashtable();
        danHT.put("15", "15a");
        danHT.put("1", "1a");
        danHT.put("4", "da");
        danHT.put("7", "7a");
        danHT.put("77", "77a");
        danHT.put("2", "2a");
        danHT.put("737", "aaa");
        danHT.put("87", "AAA");
        danHT.put("11", "11a");
        danHT.put("23", "BB23");

        ArrayList myArrayList=new ArrayList(danHT.entrySet());
        Collections.sort(myArrayList, new StringNumberComparator());

        Iterator itr=myArrayList.iterator();
        String key="";
        String value="";
        int cnt=0;
            Map.Entry e=(Map.Entry)itr.next();
            key = (String)e.getKey();
            value = ((String)e.getValue()).toString();
            System.out.println("Value = " + value + "                         Key: " + key);


    static class MyComparator implements Comparator
        public int compare(Object obj1, Object obj2)
            int result=0;Map.Entry e1 = (Map.Entry)obj1 ;
            Map.Entry e2 = (Map.Entry)obj2 ;//Sort based on values.
            String value1 = (String)e1.getValue();
            String value2 = (String)e2.getValue();
            String word1=(String)e1.getKey();
            String word2=(String)e2.getKey();
        } else {
                //Sort values in a descending order
                result=value2.compareTo( value1 );
            return result;

However the Values that get sorted are..
Value = 1a                         Key: 1
Value = 2a                         Key: 2
Value = da                         Key: 4
Value = 7a                         Key: 7
Value = 11a                         Key: 11
Value = 15a                         Key: 15
Value = BB23                         Key: 23
Value = 77a                         Key: 77
Value = AAA                         Key: 87
Value = aaa                         Key: 737

It seems to have sorted based upon the Keys?? But I'm not sure why it would be doing this?

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Question by:kineticexpert
LVL 92

Accepted Solution

objects earned 2000 total points
ID: 26077358
>         Collections.sort(myArrayList, new StringNumberComparator());

>     static class MyComparator implements Comparator

thats not the comparator being used
LVL 92

Expert Comment

ID: 26077362
the comparator you have posted never actually compares the keys, only the values
LVL 20

Expert Comment

ID: 26077674
Change -   Collections.sort(myArrayList, new MyComparator());

Author Comment

ID: 26093417
Oh yes, my mistake. I had tried a few different Comparators that I had found online. The StringNumber one is below..
// This file is
// (c) Copyright Bent Dalager <bcd@pvv.org> 2004 - 2005
// All rights reserved.
// The file may be distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public
// License version 2.
// A copy of that license should be included in the distribution where you
// found this file. It can also be found at
// http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.txt
// If you are unable to locate the full text of the GNU General Public License
// version 2 then you may not assume any rights to this file beyond that
// afforded to you by relevant copyright legislation.

package code_list_sorting;

import java.math.BigInteger;

public class StringNumberComparator <T>
   implements java.util.Comparator <T>
   public StringNumberComparator()

   public int compare(T a, T b)
      if (a == null && b == null) return 0;
      if (a == null) return -1;
      if (b == null) return 1;
      StringBuffer sba = new StringBuffer(a.toString());
      StringBuffer sbb = new StringBuffer(b.toString());
      if (sba.length() == 0 && sbb.length() == 0) return 0;
      if (sba.length() == 0) return -1;
      if (sbb.length() == 0) return 1;

      int offsa = 0;
      int lena = 0;
      int offsb = 0;
      int lenb = 0;
      int result;
         lena = calcLength(sba, offsa);
         lenb = calcLength(sbb, offsb);
         if ((result = compareRegions(sba, offsa, lena, sbb, offsb, lenb)) != 0)
            return result;
         offsa += lena;
         offsb += lenb;
      while((offsa < sba.length()) && (offsb < sbb.length()));
      return new Integer(sba.length()).compareTo(new Integer(sbb.length()));

   protected int calcLength(StringBuffer buff, int fromOffset)
      boolean areDigits = Character.isDigit(buff.charAt(fromOffset));
      int retval = 0;
      while (
         fromOffset + retval < buff.length() &&
         Character.isDigit(buff.charAt(fromOffset + retval)) == areDigits);
      return retval;

   protected int compareRegions(
      StringBuffer buff1,
      int offset1,
      int length1,
      StringBuffer buff2,
      int offset2,
      int length2)
      boolean isDigit1 = Character.isDigit(buff1.charAt(offset1));
      boolean isDigit2 = Character.isDigit(buff2.charAt(offset1));
      if (isDigit1 != isDigit2)
         return isDigit1 ? -1 : 1;
      String str1 = buff1.substring(offset1, offset1 + length1);
      String str2 = buff2.substring(offset2, offset2 + length2);
      if (isDigit1)
            return new BigInteger(str1).compareTo(new BigInteger(str2));
         catch (NumberFormatException ex)
            return 0;
      return str1.compareTo(str2);


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Expert Comment

ID: 26283170
     First change your your code---Collections.sort(myArrayList, new MyComparator());
like this.......

Then here  ---> ArrayList myArrayList=new ArrayList(danHT.entrySet());  
If you make change like this....It will sort based upon values.....


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