Adriano Ferreira


Sort::Half::Maker - Create half-sort subs easily


    use Sort::Half::Maker qw(make_halfsort);

    $sub = make_halfsort(
                  start => [ qw(x y z) ],
                  end => [ qw(a b c) ],
                  fallback => sub { $_[0] cmp $_[1] },
    @list = sort $sub qw(a y f h w z b t x);
    # qw(x y z f h t w a b)


Before anything, what it a half-sort?

A half-sort is a sort subroutine defined by a starting list, an ending list and an ordinary sort subroutine. Elements in the starting list always go first in comparison to others and keep the original order. Elements in the ending list always go last in comparison to others and keep their original order. The remaining elements are sorted via the given ordinary sort subroutine.

An example, please?

Imagine we want to sort the list of key/value pairs of a hash, such that qw(name version abstract license author) come first and qw(meta-spec) comes last, using case-insensitive comparison in-between. With this module, this is done so:

    $sub = make_halfsort(
               start => [ qw(name version abstract license author) ],
               end => [ qw(meta-spec) ],
               fallback => sub { lc $_[0] cmp lc $_[1] }
    my @pairs = map { ($_, $h{$_}) } sort $sub keys(%h);

Why is it good for?

I don't see many uses for it. I played with the concept while writing a patch to improve META.yml generation by ExtUtils::MakeMaker. There we wanted to dump some keys (like name, version, abstract, license, author) before and then the ones the module author provided as extra information.


    $sub = make_halfsort(start => \@start_list,
                         end => \@end_list,
                         fallback => &\sort_sub
    @sorted = sort $sub @unsorted;

Builds a sort subroutine which can be used with sort. It splits the sorted list into (possibly) three partitions: the elements contained in @start_list, the elements contained in @end_list and the remaining ones. For the elements in @start_list and @end_list, the list order is preserved. For the remaining ones, the given sort sub (or the default) is used.

If fallback is ommited, it defaults to use the sort sub sub ($$) { $_[0] cmp $_[1] }.

The arguments start or end may be ommited as well. But if you omit both, you could have done it without a half-sort ;)




Please report bugs via CPAN RT


Adriano R. Ferreira, <>


Copyright (C) 2007 by Adriano R. Ferreira

This library is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.