```On 07.11.2010 12:39, Ammar Ali wrote:
> On Sun, Nov 7, 2010 at 1:15 PM, Michel Demazure<michel / demazure.com>  wrote:
>> Ammar Ali wrote in post #959889:
>>
>>> If I understood your issue correctly,
>> Yes, it is exactly that. Your example shows it :
>>
>> a = [["g", 3], ["c", 3], ["a", 3], ["f", 3], ["e", 2], ["d", 3], ["b",
>> 1]]
>> b = a.sort_by{ |letter, number| letter}
>> # =>  [["a", 3], ["b", 1], ["c", 3], ["d", 3], ["e", 2], ["f", 3], ["g",
>> 3]]
>> c = b.sort_by{ |letter, number| number}
>> # =>  [["b", 1], ["e", 2], ["d", 3], ["c", 3], ["a", 3], ["f", 3], ["g",
>> 3]]
>>
>>> Without code, I have to guess
>> The code for sort_by refers to ruby_qsort
>>
>> I think a built-in sort method should be stable (or have a stable
>> variant).
>
> Thanks for the clarification, now I understand what you mean. Based on
> the results of your example, it appears that ruby's qsort is naive.
> AFAIK, the majority of qsort implementations are.

IIRC quicksort is instable by definition.  There may be stable variants
though.

In this case it's not really needed IMHO.  You can either do

x.sort_by {|let,dig| [dig, let]}

or, if you don't want to create all those temporary arrays

x.sort {|(la,da),(lb,db)| da == db ? la <=> lb : da <=> db}
x.sort {|(la,da),(lb,db)| c = da <=> db; c == 0 ? la <=> lb : c}

Kind regards

robert

--
remember.guy do |as, often| as.you_can - without end
http://blog.rubybestpractices.com/

```