Sorting for dummies



  • Keep in mind this is using JDK 1.3, but even so.  Fortunately, this method isn't actually used anymore.  Someone later decided it might be easier to just implement a Comparator and use the Collections.sort() facility provided by the Java API.  I think that same someone decided to leave the code around as a reminder that things can, in fact, get worse.  Much worse.

    The real kicker is that this method doesn't really do any sorting - there was another method that sorted each of the lists contained in the resulting hash map.  I can only assume that this is yet another case of a contractor getting paid by the line. 

        public Collection sortStuff()
        { 

            Collection listA = new java.util.ArrayList();
            Collection listB = new java.util.ArrayList();
            Collection listC = new java.util.ArrayList();

            ...

            Collection listZ = new java.util.ArrayList();

            Map sortedList = new HashMap();

            Collection list = getCollectionOfStuff();
            Iterator listit = list.iterator();
            while (listit.hasNext())
            {
                ObjectInfo info = (ObjectInfo) listit.next();

                String name = info.getName();

                if (name.length() > 0)
                {
                    String startLetter = name.substring(0, 1);
                    if ((startLetter.equals("A")) || (startLetter.equals("a")))
                    {
                        listA.add(info);
                    }
                    else if ((startLetter.equals("B")) || (startLetter.equals("b")))
                    {
                        listB.add(info);
                    }

                   ...

                    else if ((startLetter.equals("Z")) || (startLetter.equals("z")))
                    {
                        listZ.add(info);
                    }
                }
            }

            sortedList.put("ListA", listA);
            sortedList.put("ListB", listB);

            ...

            sortedList.put("ListZ", listZ);

            setSortedStuff(sortedList);
        }



  • Well, imagine how much worse this would be if it actually sorted the stuff instead of just grouping them by the first letter....

    collection listAA = new List();
    Collection listAB = new List();
    //....
    string startLetter = .....
    string secondLetter = ....
    string thirdLeter = ....

    if(startLetter.equals("A") && secondLetter.equals("A") && thirdLetter.equals("A")....)
    ...
    if(startLetter.equals("A") && secondLetter.equals("A") && thirdLetter.equals("B")........)
    ...



  • This routine vaguely resembles a contrived, incomplete and unnecessary implementation of the radix sort algorithm.



  • This routine vaguely resembles a contrived, incomplete and unnecessary implementation of the radix sort algorithm.

     

    I concur.

     


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