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# How do I sort items within an ArrayList or GenericList using custom compare and sort criteria?

Posted on 2010-08-16
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I wanted to find out if there is a way to sort an ArrayList or Generic List (either will work) by different criteria within the same list using either Linq or ICompare type code.

Example:  Imagine that someone wants to display a list of people in a sort order that can take two criteria into account when doing the sort, like an explicit integer based sort order then a default fall-back order for any items that do not have an explicit ordering.

If you have a list of these three people:
John Doe (Name = John Doe, Result Count = 5, Sort Order = 2)
Jane Doe (Name = Jane Doe, Result Count = 75, Sort Order = 3)
Jimmy Joe (Name = Jimmy Joe, Result Count = 15, Sort Order = 1)
Jolene Joe (Name = Jolene Joe, Result Count = 10, Sort Order = 0)

How could you define a sort on the list (using either an arraylist or generic list) that can do the following?

Sort the list first by Sort Order (in ascending)
Then if the Sort Order of an item is 0 or null (assume it can be a Nullable integer), sort the items that fall into this category under the others using an Alphabetical sort (in ascending order)

Or

Sort the list first by Sort Order (in ascending)
Then if the Sort Order of an item is 0 or null (assume it can be a Nullable integer), sort the items that fall into this category under the others using a sort of Result Count (in descending order)

Class Example

Person Class
Name (String)
ResultCount (Int)
SortOrder(Int)
0
Question by:endrec
• 2

LVL 2

Expert Comment

class Person
{
public string Name;
public int ResultCount;
public int SortOrder;
}

class PersonComparer : IComparer<Person>
{
public int Compare(Person x, Person y)
{
if (x.SortOrder == 0 && y.SortOrder == 0)
return x.Name.CompareTo(y.Name);
if (x.SortOrder == 0)
return 1;
if (y.SortOrder == 0)
return -1;
return x.SortOrder.CompareTo(y.SortOrder);
}
}
....
List<Person> list = new List<Person>();
list.Add(new Person() { Name = "zzz", SortOrder = 0 });
list.Add(new Person() { Name = "bbb", SortOrder = 1 });
list.Add(new Person() { Name = "ccc", SortOrder = 2 });
list.Add(new Person() { Name = "xxx", SortOrder = 0 });
list.Sort(new PersonComparer());
0

Author Comment

How do you add a descending sort on ResultCount into the comparer, as the other sorts as acending?
0

LVL 2

Accepted Solution

Algol36 earned 500 total points

class PersonComparer : IComparer<Person>
{
public int Compare(Person x, Person y)
{
if (x.SortOrder == 0 && y.SortOrder == 0)
{
//first compare by ResultCount
int res = - x.ResultCount.CompareTo(y.ResultCount);
if (res != 0)
return res;
//second compare by Name
return x.Name.CompareTo(y.Name);
}
if (x.SortOrder == 0)
return 1;
if (y.SortOrder == 0)
return -1;
return x.SortOrder.CompareTo(y.SortOrder);
}
}
0

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