Tag Archives: stackoverflow

One of my favorite answers on stackoverflow

I’ll add the entire post below, but please also read it on stackoverflow the answer deserves the attention.

Thank you Jon for some great code and explanation.

Introducing: a very generalized solution for PHP 5.3+

I ‘d like to add my own solution here, since it offers features that other answers do not.

Specifically, advantages of this solution include:

  1. It’s reusable: you specify the sort column as a variable instead of hardcoding it.
  2. It’s flexible: you can specify multiple sort columns (as many as you want) — additional columns are used as tiebreakers between items that initially compare equal.
  3. It’s reversible: you can specify that the sort should be reversed — individually for each column.
  4. It’s extensible: if the data set contains columns that cannot be compared in a “dumb” manner (e.g. date strings) you can also specify how to convert these items to a value that can be directly compared (e.g. aDateTime instance).
  5. It’s associative if you want: this code takes care of sorting items, but you select the actual sort function (usort or uasort).
  6. Finally, it does not use array_multisort: while array_multisort is convenient, it depends on creating a projection of all your input data before sorting. This consumes time and memory and may be simply prohibitive if your data set is large.

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