How to sort very large arrays?

Dan Stromberg dstromberglists at
Fri Jun 13 20:24:10 CEST 2008

On Fri, 13 Jun 2008 17:54:32 +0000, kj wrote:

> I'm downloading some very large tables from a remote site.  I want to
> sort these tables in a particular way before saving them to disk.  In
> the past I found that the most efficient way to do this was to
> piggy-back on Unix's highly optimized sort command.  So, from within a
> Perl script, I'd create a pipe handle through sort and then just print
> the data through that handle:
>   open my $out, "|$sort -t '\t' -k1,1 -k2,2 -u > $out_file" or die $!;
>   print $out $_ for @data;
> But that's distinctly Perlish, and I'm wondering what's the "Python Way"
> to do this.
> TIA!
> kynn

os.system and os.popen are much like what you'd find in C.

The subprocess module is more specific to python, and is a little more 
complicated but more powerful.

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