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List<T>::Sort Method (IComparer<T>)

Sorts the elements in the entire List<T> using the specified comparer.

Namespace:  System.Collections.Generic
Assembly:  mscorlib (in mscorlib.dll)

public:
void Sort(
	IComparer<T>^ comparer
)

Parameters

comparer
Type: System.Collections.Generic::IComparer<T>

The IComparer<T> implementation to use when comparing elements, or nullptr to use the default comparer Comparer<T>::Default.

ExceptionCondition
InvalidOperationException

comparer is nullptr, and the default comparer Comparer<T>::Default cannot find implementation of the IComparable<T> generic interface or the IComparable interface for type T.

ArgumentException

The implementation of comparer caused an error during the sort. For example, comparer might not return 0 when comparing an item with itself.

If comparer is provided, the elements of the List<T> are sorted using the specified IComparer<T> implementation.

If comparer is nullptr, the default comparer Comparer<T>::Default checks whether type T implements the IComparable<T> generic interface and uses that implementation, if available. If not, Comparer<T>::Default checks whether type T implements the IComparable interface. If type T does not implement either interface, Comparer<T>::Default throws an InvalidOperationException.

This method uses Array::Sort, which uses the QuickSort algorithm. This implementation performs an unstable sort; that is, if two elements are equal, their order might not be preserved. In contrast, a stable sort preserves the order of elements that are equal.

On average, this method is an O(n log n) operation, where n is Count; in the worst case it is an O(n ^ 2) operation.

The following code example demonstrates the Sort(IComparer<T>) method overload and the BinarySearch(T, IComparer<T>) method overload.

The code example defines an alternative comparer for strings named DinoCompare, which implements the IComparer<string> (IComparer(Of String) in Visual Basic, IComparer<String^> in Visual C++) generic interface. The comparer works as follows: First, the comparands are tested for nullptr, and a null reference is treated as less than a non-null. Second, the string lengths are compared, and the longer string is deemed to be greater. Third, if the lengths are equal, ordinary string comparison is used.

A List<T> of strings is created and populated with four strings, in no particular order. The list is displayed, sorted using the alternate comparer, and displayed again.

The BinarySearch(T, IComparer<T>) method overload is then used to search for several strings that are not in the list, employing the alternate comparer. The Insert method is used to insert the strings. These two methods are located in the function named SearchAndInsert, along with code to take the bitwise complement (the ~ operator in C# and Visual C++, Xor -1 in Visual Basic) of the negative number returned by BinarySearch(T, IComparer<T>) and use it as an index for inserting the new string.

using namespace System;
using namespace System::Collections::Generic;

public ref class DinoComparer: IComparer<String^>
{
public:
    virtual int Compare(String^ x, String^ y)
    {
        if (x == nullptr)
        {
            if (y == nullptr)
            {
                // If x is null and y is null, they're 
                // equal.  
                return 0;
            }
            else
            {
                // If x is null and y is not null, y 
                // is greater.  
                return -1;
            }
        }
        else
        {
            // If x is not null... 
            // 
            if (y == nullptr)
                // ...and y is null, x is greater.
            {
                return 1;
            }
            else
            {
                // ...and y is not null, compare the  
                // lengths of the two strings. 
                // 
                int retval = x->Length.CompareTo(y->Length);

                if (retval != 0)
                {
                    // If the strings are not of equal length, 
                    // the longer string is greater. 
                    // 
                    return retval;
                }
                else
                {
                    // If the strings are of equal length, 
                    // sort them with ordinary string comparison. 
                    // 
                    return x->CompareTo(y);
                }
            }
        }
    }
};

void SearchAndInsert(List<String^>^ list, String^ insert, 
    DinoComparer^ dc)
{
    Console::WriteLine("\nBinarySearch and Insert \"{0}\":", insert);

    int index = list->BinarySearch(insert, dc);

    if (index < 0)
    {
        list->Insert(~index, insert);
    }
};

void Display(List<String^>^ list)
{
    Console::WriteLine();
    for each(String^ s in list)
    {
        Console::WriteLine(s);
    }
};

void main()
{
    List<String^>^ dinosaurs = gcnew List<String^>();
    dinosaurs->Add("Pachycephalosaurus");
    dinosaurs->Add("Amargasaurus");
    dinosaurs->Add("Mamenchisaurus");
    dinosaurs->Add("Deinonychus");
    Display(dinosaurs);

    DinoComparer^ dc = gcnew DinoComparer();

    Console::WriteLine("\nSort with alternate comparer:");
    dinosaurs->Sort(dc);
    Display(dinosaurs);

    SearchAndInsert(dinosaurs, "Coelophysis", dc);
    Display(dinosaurs);

    SearchAndInsert(dinosaurs, "Oviraptor", dc);
    Display(dinosaurs);

    SearchAndInsert(dinosaurs, "Tyrannosaur", dc);
    Display(dinosaurs);

    SearchAndInsert(dinosaurs, nullptr, dc);
    Display(dinosaurs);
}

/* This code example produces the following output:

Pachycephalosaurus
Amargasaurus
Mamenchisaurus
Deinonychus

Sort with alternate comparer:

Deinonychus
Amargasaurus
Mamenchisaurus
Pachycephalosaurus

BinarySearch and Insert "Coelophysis":

Coelophysis
Deinonychus
Amargasaurus
Mamenchisaurus
Pachycephalosaurus

BinarySearch and Insert "Oviraptor":

Oviraptor
Coelophysis
Deinonychus
Amargasaurus
Mamenchisaurus
Pachycephalosaurus

BinarySearch and Insert "Tyrannosaur":

Oviraptor
Coelophysis
Deinonychus
Tyrannosaur
Amargasaurus
Mamenchisaurus
Pachycephalosaurus

BinarySearch and Insert "":


Oviraptor
Coelophysis
Deinonychus
Tyrannosaur
Amargasaurus
Mamenchisaurus
Pachycephalosaurus
 */

Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP SP2, Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows XP Starter Edition, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2000 SP4, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows 98, Windows CE, Windows Mobile for Smartphone, Windows Mobile for Pocket PC, Xbox 360, Zune

The .NET Framework and .NET Compact Framework do not support all versions of every platform. For a list of the supported versions, see .NET Framework System Requirements.

.NET Framework

Supported in: 3.5, 3.0, 2.0

.NET Compact Framework

Supported in: 3.5, 2.0

XNA Framework

Supported in: 3.0, 2.0, 1.0

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