sort container parameters

Paul Dupuis paul at
Wed Mar 3 17:02:27 EST 2021

I love xTalk. While I have written code in many dozens of languages over 
my career, I personally will likely never code in anything other than 
xTalk for as long as I continue to write code.

That said, one of the "problems" of a programming language that is so 
intuitive is that I sometime write code that I expect to work ... and it 
doesn't. The container sort with params was one such instance.

Perhaps it is a compliment to Livecode/LCS that I EXPECTED it to work 
and was SURPRISED when it did not :-)

On 3/3/2021 1:00 PM, Richard Gaskin via use-livecode wrote:
> Paul Dupuis wrote:
> > I just discovered much to my dismay that you can not execute the
> > following:
> >
> > put "ascending" into tDirection
> > soft lines of tContainer tDirection international
> >
> > apparently neither the sort direction (ascending|descending) nor the
> > sort type (international|text|datetime|numeric|binary) can be
> > variable!
> ...
> > I see this a a bug or perhaps a failure to fully robust impliment the
> > sort container command? Does any one else see this as a bug?
> Bug or feature?  The ambiguities introduced by the HyperTalk team have 
> made that an evergreen question. ;)
> Some tokens can be parameterized, others not.
> MC/LC goes much further than HC in allowing object references to be a 
> mix of literal and variable expressions, e.g.:
>    -- Works in LC, not in HC:
>    put the long id of this cd into tCdObj
>    get the name of btn 1 of tCdObj
> ...but other expressions and keywords are not so clear.
> Let's see what happens if we parameterize everything in your statement:
>   put "ascending" into tDirection
>   put "numeric" into tSortType
>   put "items" into tChunkType
>   put "1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9" into tData
>   sort tChunkType of tData tSortType tDirection
> In that last line, which variables should we expect to be allowed, and 
> which ones not?
> I'm certain there's a rule defining this.
> I'm equally certain I've never met any xTalker who was able to intuit 
> that rule with complete confidence.

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