[] Change sorting order?

Steven D'Aprano steve at REMOVE-THIS-cybersource.com.au
Fri Jan 22 16:48:41 CET 2010

On Fri, 22 Jan 2010 13:35:26 +0000, Neil Cerutti wrote:

> On 2010-01-22, Gilles Ganault <nospam at nospam.com> wrote:
>> Hello
>> I use a dictionary to keep a list of users connected to a web site.
>> To avoid users from creating login names that start with digits in
>> order to be listed at the top, I'd like to sort the list differently
>> every minute so that it'll start with the next letter, eg. display the
>> list from A...Zdigits the first time, then B...ZAdigits, etc.
> Resorting is more work than is needed. Just choose a different starting
> index each time you display the names, and set up your lister to
> wrap-around to your arbitrary starting index.

The original poster's requirement is to start at a new *letter* each 
time, not whatever name happens to be at index N.

Unless you can predict what index to use for (say) names starting with 
"B", then your scheme doesn't work. In order to find that index, you have 
to do a linear search of the list after every sort, turning sorting into 
O(N**2) instead of O(N*log N).


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