Sorting Arrays in JavaScript

If you are planning to start learning more about JavaScript, then you are encouraged to do it. People who are new to programming may find everything overwhelming in the beginning. The more that they read the different resources available, the more that they understand just how fun coding can be.

Reasons to Learn JavaScript

One thing that you should know is Java and JavaScript are not the same. JavaScript used to be called LiveScript but its name was changed so that people can associate with Java which was very popular at that time. JavaScript was created in order to allow programmers to create more complex web pages that will inform and entertain different individuals.

There are different programming languages that are available but what makes this the most compelling to a lot of people? These are just some of the reasons:

  • This is the most popular programming language right now. It is still the most used programming language by a lot of professionals. Back-end developers also choose this over all the other languages.
  • This can be easy to use because it is already in your browser. This programming language is built based on the user experience that people are going to have.
  • This can also be used outside of the internet. If you think that this is limited to improving the internet experience alone, then you are mistaken. This is also used to power different gadgets such as smart televisions, apps for Android and iOS, plus the Internet of Things. This can also be used to create cross-platform desktop applications.
  • Beginners usually choose this as their programming language because it is very beginner-friendly. It will allow newbies to know how they can set up their development environment. It is not possible for newcomers to just start coding. They need to make a lot of effort to learn and understand before they can begin.
  • Creating visual effects is possible with the use of JavaScript. People who would like to create more aesthetically pleasing content will not be disappointed with what JavaScript can offer. It can be used to lure people so that they can interact with the created web pages.

It is obvious that JavaScript is very versatile. The fact that people are familiar with this and would like to know more about it makes it obvious. There are different things that you should learn about it one at a time if you want to become an expert in using this programming language.

You are going to learn different details at a time. This is recommended so that you will not feel like you are going through an “information overload phase.” The time will come when you would start learning about sorting arrays.

What Are Sorting Arrays in JavaScript?

Arrays are the ordered collection that can be found in JavaScript. They are meant to hold different types of data. The important thing is they are properly sorted. To create arrays, you need to place square brackets. You should also allow duplicate elements. The more that you do these things, the better.

There is a built-in method that you can use when you want to arrange the elements in an array. You need to know more about sort ().

JavaScript Array Sort () Method

This is the type of method that you can use when you want to sort different elements in place. This method will also change the current position of the elements in the original array. The default setting of this is that it will arrange the elements from the smallest value placed first and the biggest value is placed last.

This will allow you to cast elements to strings and compares the different strings to determine the available orders.

Compare Function of the Sort () Method

This is the type of function that allows you to accept two arguments. The value that will be received will determine what the sort order is. There are two arguments that are accepted by this, a and b.

The rules regarding the compare function are the following:

  1. If compare (a,b) is less than zero = a will be sorted lower than b. A will come first.
  2. If compare (a,b) is greater than zero = b will be sorted lower than a. B will come first.
  3. If compare (a,b) is zero = b will be equal to a. A and B will remain in their current position.

Sorting Array of Strings

  1. Let us say that you would like to sort a string of data called flowers.

You are going to place let flowers = [

‘daisy’, ‘rose’, ‘tulip’, ‘sunflower’, ‘chrysanthemums’

  1. If you would like to sort them properly in ascending order, you would like to use the compare function. This means that these words will be arranged in alphabetical order. The words will be arranged in this manner: ‘chrysanthemums’, ‘daisy’, ‘rose’, ‘sunflower’, ‘tulip’
  2. If you would like to change the order into descending order, you just need to change the logic so that the words will be arranged differently.

Take note that sorting arrays will also be different depending on the uppercase and lowercase letters that you will be using.

Useful Tips You Should Know

Let us say that you would like to use the JavaScript array method but you are not sure if you are going to do it correctly. There are some tips that can actually help:

  1. The default array is going to be used for spring type.

This means that the array elements will be returned in a sorted array. Take note that when you use sort (), you are going to mutate the original array and the sorted array. Once again, it is important to note that the standard way that the default array is going to arrange is the sort order in ascending order.

There are instances when the sort method is enough to sort arrays with different data elements. If you want to change the sorting method from ascending to descending, you can use the compare function.

If you think that sort () can only be used for words, remember that this can also be used for numbers. The problem is when you use the default setting, you may notice that it is not too accurate. This is when you should start using the compare function.

  1. The array.reverse () is something that can be used for sorting.

The array.reverse () is another array method that people are using if they want to sort in a reverse manner. You can just use this and all of the elements that you have placed will be sorted in reverse. Take note that this is best used for sorting.

It may sometimes work for order sorting but you must only use this when you are trying to reverse all of the elements that are placed in the data.

  1. Non-ASCII character sorting is ideal.

There will be moments when you need to deal with data that are not written in English. This does not mean that you cannot use sorting to deal with this data. These non-English words can be represented by the non-ASCII characters. What you need to use is the localeCompare() method.

  1. Sorting an object array is equal to Sorting Value Types

Take note that the objects that can be found in JavaScript are not just objects. They are meant to store multiple values to create a data structure. If you are wondering what each object is made out of, this is made with curly braces and one property.

Take note that a key-value pair should come with a key and a value. The key should be the string that the value can be made with any type. If you would be sorting a project, this would come with property values.

Some of the sortings that may take place are the following:

  • Sort by name
  • Sort by income
  • Sort by date of birth
  1. You need case insensitive sorting.

You cannot expect that all of your elements are going to be the same. Even if you tell people to send you data that will all come in lowercase letters, there is no guarantee that you are going to receive the data that you want. Most of the time, you will have varying types of data. Using the default sort () function may not help when you have mixed cases.

Let us say that you have tried sorting it but you did not get the sort that you want. To do this, you are recommended to do the following:

  • Use the compare function and compare the elements with the use of toUpperCase (). This will help you create a case-insensitive comparison.

Conclusion

It is not obvious in the beginning that the sort () is easy to use. In fact, for most people who are not too familiar with the elements of JavaScript yet, this can be a bit complicated than they have expected.

Hopefully, the tips that are mentioned above helped you understand why the comparison function is going to be important in most cases. May all the tips that you have learned prove to be very helpful for you as you continue to learn more about JavaScript.

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