On Jun 28, 2006, at 5:59 PM, Dark Ambient wrote:

> I'm having some major comprehension problems in figuring out this  
> problem.
> In the event that this is not appropriate for the list, my apologies
> and feel free to flame me.  I'm just so stuck right now.

You've come to the right place and we are happy to help.  Welcome.

> I have checked the wikipedia algorithm page and even used the  
> insertion sort
> but it doesn't fit my case.
>
> So I start by collecting a group of words which get put into the  
> list[] array.
> The task is to compare the words in list[] using < operator.  The ones
> that are true go into the "sorted array", the ones that fail go into
> the "unsorted array".
>
> The next step is to use the same operation but between the sorted and
> unsorted arrays, till all is sorted in (yep) the sorted array.  I've
> been every which way and Sunday on this but so far have had little
> luck and plenty of strange results.

My wife came to me for help last night for this exact problem in the  
Learn to Program book.  ;)  Here's two pieces of advice we talked about:

1.  Feel free to skip chapter 10 altogether.  I consider recursion to  
be a fairly advanced topic, so it's awful strange for it to pop up  
here in a book for those who have never programmed before.  I'm  
pretty sure he's just trying to give you more practice with methods  
and build your confidence, but that only works if you are  
successful.  ;)  You can safely come back to this chapter when you  
know more and are better prepared for the challenge.
2.  If you want to press on, see if this description of the problem  
makes a little more sense:  One way to sort an Array is to constantly  
move the lowest element out of it, and into a result Array.  If you  
do this for all elements in the Array, you sort it.  For example:

   Unsorted:  [1, 3, 2]
     Sorted:  [ ]

The lowest element here is 1, so we need to shift it to the other Array.

   Unsorted:  [3, 2]
     Sorted:  [1]

Now the lowest element is 2.  We again move it to the end of the  
other Array.

   Unsorted:  [3]
     Sorted:  [1, 2]

There's only one number left, so it must be the lowest.  Let's move  
it and we are done.

   Unsorted:  [ ]
     Sorted:  [1, 2, 3]

Hope that helps.

James Edward Gray II