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sort

[sȯrt]
(computer science)
To rearrange a set of data items into a new sequence, governed by specific rules of precedence.
The program designed to perform this activity.

sort

(application, algorithm)
To arrange a collection of items in some specified order. The items - records in a file or data structures in memory - consist of one or more fields or members. One of these fields is designated as the "sort key" which means the records will be ordered according to the value of that field. Sometimes a sequence of key fields is specified such that if all earlier keys are equal then the later keys will be compared. Within each field some ordering is imposed, e.g. ascending or descending numerical, lexical ordering, or date.

Sorting is the subject of a great deal of study since it is a common operation which can consume a lot of computer time. There are many well-known sorting algorithms with different time and space behaviour and programming complexity.

Examples are quicksort, insertion sort, bubble sort, heap sort, and tree sort. These employ many different data structures to store sorted data, such as arrays, linked lists, and binary trees.

sort

(tool)
The Unix utility program for sorting lines of files.

Unix manual page: sort(1).

sort

(1) To reorder data into a new sequence. See sorter, counting sort, bubble sort, quick sort and selection sort.


A Punch Card Sorter in 1917
Cards were sorted one digit at a time (a 10-digit account number required 10 passes). A great year to have bought stock. (Image courtesy of IBM.)






(2) An external DOS/Windows command that sorts a text file into alphabetical order, providing the text columns are uniform. The following example sorts the text file 1.TXT (starting at character position 1), creating 2.TXT. The < means "input from," and the > means "output to."
sort < 1.txt > 2.txt      a to z
  sort < 1.txt > 2.txt /r   z to a


SORT ON A MIDDLE COLUMN
If city begins in character position 60 in 1.TXT, the following examples create 2.TXT in city sequence:
sort /+60 < 1.txt > 2.txt      a to z
  sort /+60 < 1.txt > 2.txt /r   z to a
References in classic literature ?
He should be recommended to follow a treatment of some sort," the soldierly voice of the active-looking man was heard advising earnestly from a distance.
The police work he had been engaged on in a distant part of the globe had the saving character of an irregular sort of warfare or at least the risk and excitement of open-air sport.
Indeed, he said, I am strongly of opinion that they ought not to hear that sort of thing.
It seems to be a cheerful sort of household," Kinsley observed.
He really did look serious when he was saying it, and I couldn't help feeling a sort of exultation that he was number Two in one day.
I felt their strength drawing me towards her and by a sort of blind and desperate effort I resisted.
As they drew near there seemed a sort of monstrous irony in the fact that the dead machine was still throbbing and thundering as busily as a factory, while the man lay so still.
I owe you the idea, however, so I will tell you the sort of person I shall look out for.
I have plenty of ideas and facts, you know, and I can see he is just the man to put them into shape--remembers what the right quotations are, omne tulit punctum, and that sort of thing--gives subjects a kind of turn.
I was just going to see Miss Tuxton home," he says, sort of wistful.
He was very tall and slight, and light-haired; his nose had a high bridge, and he might almost have been handsome in a spectral sort of way; but he had one of the most appalling squints I have ever seen or heard of.
The house is very old--probably the first house of some sort that stood there was in the time of the Romans.