looking for a smart approach to "sort" an array

Quentin Long cubist at aol.com
Sat May 6 09:30:19 EDT 2017

sez "Tiemo Hollmann TB" <toolbook at kestner.de>:
To: "LiveCode User Liste senden" <use-livecode at lists.runrev.com>
> I have a list field of words and a correspondent array with the words of the
> field as the keys plus some data per key. I can store the array in a file,
> read it later from file and rebuild the list of words from the keys of the
> array. Up to now, I had this list of words alphabetically sorted. So it was
> easy, when reloading the array to sort the list always alphabetically to
> refresh the visible list in the field.
> The user can also create a custom sequence of the words in the field by drag
> and drop the lines in individual order. Now I am looking for a smart
> approach to keep the same sort order in the correspondent array. I need the
> custom sort order of the words in case I reload the array later from file to
> get the same sequence of words as the user has sorted them, after extracting
> the words from the array. The key of the array has to keep the words from
> the list for accessing the data in the array.
> As far as I see it, I have to add an additional item to the array data,
> storing the sort sequence of the keys, while the user creates his custom
> sequence of the words in the list field and keeping this number always
> synchronous to the line number of the fields list. So I could use this "sort
> sequence number" from the array to rebuild the same sort of the words when
> extracting the words from the array.
> Would this be the best approach to keep the sort sequence of the words
> stored with the array, or do you see an easier more straight forward
> approach to keep the array "synchronous sorted" which I don't see right now?
Use the alphabetically-sorted word-list as the keys of an array.

-- MySortedList is a return-delimited list, one word per line, sorted alphabetically
-- UserSortedWordList is the return-delimited list of words sorted into the user's preferred order
put "" into WordArray
repeat for each line LL in MySortedList
  put lineOffset (LL,UserSortedWordList) into WordArray[LL]
next repeat

I'm not entirely sure that lineOffset (or even wordOffset) are the right thing to do here; there's every danger of encountering a Scunthorpe problem, such as if "pen" and "open" are both words in the list, or "squire" and "ire", etc etc. Hmm… maybe go with comma-delimited lists, and something along the lines of "put wordOffset (comma & LL & comma, comma & UserSortedWordList & comma) into WordArray[LL]" ?

If this is what Mike Bonner had in mind, chalk it up to my inability to comprehend what he wrote.
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