ios - How do I sort an NSMutableArray with custom objects in it?

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Tags : iosobjective-csortingcocoa-touchnsmutablearrayios





Top 5 Answer for ios - How do I sort an NSMutableArray with custom objects in it?

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93

Compare method

Either you implement a compare-method for your object:

- (NSComparisonResult)compare:(Person *)otherObject {     return [self.birthDate compare:otherObject.birthDate]; }  NSArray *sortedArray = [drinkDetails sortedArrayUsingSelector:@selector(compare:)]; 

NSSortDescriptor (better)

or usually even better:

NSSortDescriptor *sortDescriptor; sortDescriptor = [[NSSortDescriptor alloc] initWithKey:@"birthDate"                                            ascending:YES]; NSArray *sortedArray = [drinkDetails sortedArrayUsingDescriptors:@[sortDescriptor]]; 

You can easily sort by multiple keys by adding more than one to the array. Using custom comparator-methods is possible as well. Have a look at the documentation.

Blocks (shiny!)

There's also the possibility of sorting with a block since Mac OS X 10.6 and iOS 4:

NSArray *sortedArray; sortedArray = [drinkDetails sortedArrayUsingComparator:^NSComparisonResult(Person *a, Person *b) {     return [a.birthDate compare:b.birthDate]; }]; 

Performance

The -compare: and block-based methods will be quite a bit faster, in general, than using NSSortDescriptor as the latter relies on KVC. The primary advantage of the NSSortDescriptor method is that it provides a way to define your sort order using data, rather than code, which makes it easy to e.g. set things up so users can sort an NSTableView by clicking on the header row.

vote vote

87

See the NSMutableArray method sortUsingFunction:context:

You will need to set up a compare function which takes two objects (of type Person, since you are comparing two Person objects) and a context parameter.

The two objects are just instances of Person. The third object is a string, e.g. @"birthDate".

This function returns an NSComparisonResult: It returns NSOrderedAscending if PersonA.birthDate < PersonB.birthDate. It will return NSOrderedDescending if PersonA.birthDate > PersonB.birthDate. Finally, it will return NSOrderedSame if PersonA.birthDate == PersonB.birthDate.

This is rough pseudocode; you will need to flesh out what it means for one date to be "less", "more" or "equal" to another date (such as comparing seconds-since-epoch etc.):

NSComparisonResult compare(Person *firstPerson, Person *secondPerson, void *context) {   if ([firstPerson birthDate] < [secondPerson birthDate])     return NSOrderedAscending;   else if ([firstPerson birthDate] > [secondPerson birthDate])     return NSOrderedDescending;   else      return NSOrderedSame; } 

If you want something more compact, you can use ternary operators:

NSComparisonResult compare(Person *firstPerson, Person *secondPerson, void *context) {   return ([firstPerson birthDate] < [secondPerson birthDate]) ? NSOrderedAscending : ([firstPerson birthDate] > [secondPerson birthDate]) ? NSOrderedDescending : NSOrderedSame; } 

Inlining could perhaps speed this up a little, if you do this a lot.

vote vote

71

I did this in iOS 4 using a block. Had to cast the elements of my array from id to my class type. In this case it was a class called Score with a property called points.

Also you need to decide what to do if the elements of your array are not the right type, for this example I just returned NSOrderedSame, however in my code I though an exception.

NSArray *sorted = [_scores sortedArrayUsingComparator:^(id obj1, id obj2){     if ([obj1 isKindOfClass:[Score class]] && [obj2 isKindOfClass:[Score class]]) {         Score *s1 = obj1;         Score *s2 = obj2;          if (s1.points > s2.points) {             return (NSComparisonResult)NSOrderedAscending;         } else if (s1.points < s2.points) {             return (NSComparisonResult)NSOrderedDescending;         }     }      // TODO: default is the same?     return (NSComparisonResult)NSOrderedSame; }];  return sorted; 

PS: This is sorting in descending order.

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62

Starting in iOS 4 you can also use blocks for sorting.

For this particular example I'm assuming that the objects in your array have a 'position' method, which returns an NSInteger.

NSArray *arrayToSort = where ever you get the array from... ; NSComparisonResult (^sortBlock)(id, id) = ^(id obj1, id obj2)  {     if ([obj1 position] > [obj2 position])      {          return (NSComparisonResult)NSOrderedDescending;     }     if ([obj1 position] < [obj2 position])      {         return (NSComparisonResult)NSOrderedAscending;     }     return (NSComparisonResult)NSOrderedSame; }; NSArray *sorted = [arrayToSort sortedArrayUsingComparator:sortBlock]; 

Note: the "sorted" array will be autoreleased.

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55

I tried all, but this worked for me. In a class I have another class named "crimeScene", and want to sort by a property of "crimeScene".

This works like a charm:

NSSortDescriptor *sorter = [[NSSortDescriptor alloc] initWithKey:@"crimeScene.distance" ascending:YES]; [self.arrAnnotations sortUsingDescriptors:[NSArray arrayWithObject:sorter]]; 

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