[Python-checkins] bpo-45246: Document that sorted() only uses "<" comparisons (GH-28494)

rhettinger webhook-mailer at python.org
Tue Sep 21 13:26:36 EDT 2021

commit: 9a0dcc5b2e04d9c51350107734f12a1cbc0284a7
branch: main
author: Raymond Hettinger <rhettinger at users.noreply.github.com>
committer: rhettinger <rhettinger at users.noreply.github.com>
date: 2021-09-21T12:26:27-05:00

bpo-45246: Document that sorted() only uses "<" comparisons (GH-28494)

M Doc/library/functions.rst

diff --git a/Doc/library/functions.rst b/Doc/library/functions.rst
index a8fc7023d1195..19d67e9d754c2 100644
--- a/Doc/library/functions.rst
+++ b/Doc/library/functions.rst
@@ -1592,6 +1592,15 @@ are always available.  They are listed here in alphabetical order.
    compare equal --- this is helpful for sorting in multiple passes (for
    example, sort by department, then by salary grade).
+   The sort algorithm uses only ``<`` comparisons between items.  While
+   defining an :meth:`~object.__lt__` method will suffice for sorting,
+   :PEP:`8` recommends that all six :ref:`rich comparisons
+   <comparisons>` be implemented.  This will help avoid bugs when using
+   the same data with other ordering tools such as :func:`max` that rely
+   on a different underlying method.  Implementing all six comparisons
+   also helps avoid confusion for mixed type comparisons which can call
+   reflected the :meth:`~object.__gt__` method.
    For sorting examples and a brief sorting tutorial, see :ref:`sortinghowto`.
 .. decorator:: staticmethod

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