FAQ: Methods, Blocks, & Sorting - Sorting


#1

This community-built FAQ covers the “Sorting” exercise from the lesson “Methods, Blocks, & Sorting”.

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#2

I need some help with understanding the descending order with combined operator.

Why it will sort it in descending order if I use the {} brackets and not the sort method?

fruits = ["orange", "apple", "banana", "pear", "grapes"]

print fruits.sort! do |b, a|
    a <=> b
end

print fruits.sort! { |b, a| a <=> b }

the result is

["apple", "banana", "grapes", "orange", "pear"]
["pear", "orange", "grapes", "banana", "apple"]

thanks


#3

The exercise suggests as an alternative, sorting with an if/else statement. I succeeded with the following:

fruits = ["orange", "apple", "banana", "pear", "grapes"]

fruits.sort! do |fruit1, fruit2|
  if fruit1 <= fruit2
    fruit1 = 1
  else fruit1 = 0
  end
end
  
puts fruits

But I don’t really understand how this works (just as I don’t really understand how it works with <=>) Specifically, I haven’t wrapped my head around how the 2 “comparison values” (fruit1, fruit2) are then applied to an array of more than 2 values. I guess this is about the inner workings of the .sort! method & I’ll probably come to understand it better with time.


#4

PS I’m also curious about melina84’s question (#2). Does puts / print only take the block if it’s on a single line? It worked when I modified melina84’s code as follows, running the puts after the sort block.

fruits = ["orange", "apple", "banana", "pear", "grapes"]

fruits.sort! do |b, a|
    a <=> b
end
puts fruits

fruits.sort! {|b, a| a <=> b }
puts fruits

The following use of parentheses also works, and seems to kinda support my theory:

puts (
  fruits.sort! do |b, a|
    a <=> b
  end
  )