Sort-Naturally reviews

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Sort-Naturally (1.03) **

Five years ago I wrote:

The results of Sort::Naturally were not what I expected. For example, "AZZZ3827Q" sorts ahead of "A1".

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I don't believe the natural sorting definition used here is the one most commonly used, and although the author explains his definition, I don't believe it's correct. Other natural sorting algorithms (for example the one in the Macintosh Finder, or Sort::Key::Naturally) do it the other way: they divide the string into alphabetic and numeric components and then compare the components, rather than comparing individual characters.

Sort-Naturally (1.02) *****

This is one of those modules that does only one thing and does it well: compare numeric substrings as numbers, and characters as characters. You "use" it, replace "sort" with "nsort", and it works like a charm. Nice!

Aaron wrote in his review that 'The results of Sort::Naturally were not what I expected. For example, "AZZZ3827Q" sorts ahead of "A1".'

The rationale for this is documented on the module's POD:

"When comparing two strings, where a numeric substring in one place is not up against a numeric substring in another, the non-numeric always comes first."

Even the synopsis code already presents this to the potential user, ordering elements as:

qw(9x 14 foo fooa foolio Foolio foo12 foo12a Foo12a foo12z foo13a)

So I really don't understand the poor rating. That said, the documentation for this module *can* be a little too confusing for such a simple purpose and contains a few typos. There is even (by the time of this writing) a two-year old ticket regarding them, which is why I gave this module 4 stars for documentation.

Sort-Naturally (1.02) *****

I used this to sort network device interface names (GigabitEthernet9/2, ge-2/1/0.432, A24, etc.) and it sorts just how I would like it and saved me a lot of hassle.

Sort-Naturally (1.02) *****

Sort::Naturally helped me get rid of about 25 lines of hard-to-read code sorting complex alphanumeric strings. nsort worked perfectly out of the box, without my needing to worry about configuration or special options.

Sort-Naturally (1.02) *****

A very easy to use module that does what you would naturally consider right ( naturally meaning what you most likely have been taught to do). Don't bother writing your own sorting if this one fits the bill.

A look at the code shows a strange construct but I guess the author had good reasons (speed?). Anyway I'm interrested in how to use it not how it is build and using it is simple.