Help with sorting lists of lists

Discussion in 'Perl Misc' started by Chris Weisiger, Oct 14, 2004.

  1. I apologize if this is the wrong place to post this; please let me know
    the proper target if so.

    I have a list of lists of numbers, and I want to sort the sublists.
    Every variant on the syntax that I've tried either doesn't visibly do
    anything to sort the lists, or else undefines them all. Here's what I
    originally tried:

    for (my $i = 0; $i < $numActors; ++$i)
    for (my $j = 0; $j < $actors[$i]; ++$j)
    $prolls[$i][$j] = int (rand(20) + 1);
    } }
    @prolls[$i] = sort {$a <=> $b} @prolls[$i];
    } }

    I suspect that I'm getting tripped up by how Perl handles lists of
    lists and references and all that, but all the searching I've done
    hasn't turned up anything that's worked. Any help would be appreciated.

    For reference, I'm working on a dice rolling program for the Donjon
    tabletop RPG. It's a great system, but it needs a lot of d20s...
    Chris Weisiger, Oct 14, 2004
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  2. Life is generally easier without C-style loops.
    You should

    use strict;


    use warnings;

    What you probably want to do is set the $i th element of @prolls to a
    reference to the sorted array: i.e. (untested)

    $prolls[$i] = [ sort { $a <=> $b } @{ $prolls[$i] } ];

    Since you did not post a self-contained script that I could run (why not?),
    I am not sure this would solve your problem. Take a look at

    perldoc perlreftut

    #! perl

    use strict;
    use warnings;

    my @lol = (
    [ 3, 7, 4, 5 ],
    [ 11, 15, 1, 3, 5 ],
    [ 2, 1, -1, 3, 4, 5, 9, 22, 11 ],

    for (@lol) {
    $_= [ sort {$a <=> $b} @{ $_ } ];

    use Data::Dumper;
    print Dumper \@lol;

    A. Sinan Unur, Oct 14, 2004
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  3. Probably; my style is in general not that good since it's a mishmash of
    C styles and Perl styles.
    Done and done, as a matter of course.
    And this does the trick. Thank you very much. I'm still not certain
    exactly what is going on here, but at least the code works.
    Strange that didn't come up in my copious Google searching.
    I'll keep it bookmarked. Again, thanks.
    Chris Weisiger, Oct 14, 2004
  4. No need to venture out to the whole world wide web. You can access the Perl
    documentation installed on your computer using this command from the shell
    you are using.

    To see the available documentation, type

    perldoc perltoc

    on the command line.

    A. Sinan Unur, Oct 14, 2004
  5. Cargo-cult programming, even when the source is a Respected Regular,
    is always bad. So let's take a look at what's going on, shall we?
    Well, you know what this is, I hope, so we'll skip to the right-hand side.
    [ something ] returns a reference to an anonymous array that contains
    the list 'something'. By that, we know two things:

    1) $prolls[$i] will contain a reference to an anonymous array, and
    2) sort { $a <=> $b } @{ $prolls[$i] } is a list, or at the very least
    will be interpreted in list context.

    Okay, given that, we're almost done, but since I'm taking baby steps
    already, I'll continue for the benefit of the peanut gallery. If you
    look up the documentation for 'sort' (via: 'perldoc -f sort' at the
    command line), you will see that one of its forms is

    sort BLOCK LIST

    I'll leave reading sort's documentation to you, Dear Reader, but the
    clear implication of this is that

    is a block, and
    is a list. This is further confirmed by the fact that @{ something }
    is one way to dereference a reference to an array, and get that array
    back. This is documented in perlref.pod; read it NOW, via 'perldoc
    perlref' at the command line.

    As a consequence of THAT, we know that $prolls[$i] is an arrayref,
    which is convenient, because if you look back up to the top of this
    message, I showed that we are assigning an arrayref back to

    Does that make sense?

    Eric Schwartz, Oct 14, 2004
  6. Chris Weisiger

    Shawn Corey Guest

    The problem with perldoc is its lack of adequate searching. perldoc -q
    keyword_guess only searches the FAQs. is more
    extensive but like all searches, you have to guess the magic password to
    open the Cave of Riches.

    --- Shawn
    Shawn Corey, Oct 14, 2004
  7. Chris Weisiger

    Anno Siegel Guest

    Direct grep is primitive, but efficient. Go to where the pods are:

    eval set `perl -V:privlib`
    cd $privlib/pod # or $privlib/pods, the name has changed recently

    grep -li 'frobnitzer'

    That will list all Perl documents that mention "frobnitzer". Vary
    to taste. Modify appropriately for non-Unix systems.

    Anno Siegel, Oct 14, 2004

  8. Use something else for searching then.

    Any OS worth its salt can easily search in the *.pod files for you.
    Tad McClellan, Oct 14, 2004
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