sort by last then by first

Jørgen Cederberg jorgencederberg at
Tue Jan 28 08:14:35 CET 2003

Brian Kranson wrote:
> is is possible to sort a list by one field and then by another field
> in the list.  for example....
> names=[['Flintstone', 'Fred'],['Flintstone', 'Wilma'],['Rubble',
> 'Barney'],['Rubble', 'Betty'],['Flintstone', 'Pebbles']]
> in this case i know i can do ...
< snip - example with lambda >

When sorting a list by several fields, I use this method:

 >>> names=[['Flintstone', 'Fred'],['Flintstone', 'Wilma'],['Rubble',
... 'Barney'],['Rubble', 'Betty'],['Flintstone', 'Pebbles']]
 >>> snames = [ (x[1], x[0], x) for x in names]
 >>> snames.sort()
 >>> sortednames = [x[-1] for x in snames]
 >>> sortednames
[['Rubble', 'Barney'], ['Rubble', 'Betty'], ['Flintstone', 'Fred'], 
', 'Pebbles'], ['Flintstone', 'Wilma']]

I create a list of tuples, where the tuple is ordered in the way I want 
to sort, i.e. "sort by last then by first". The last element is the 
original item to be sorted. Sort them, and then extract the original item.

Maybe there are faster and easier ways, but I understand this one.


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