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Use PHP s sort() function on numerically indexed arrays:
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< php // define indexed array $animals = array("wolf", "lion", "tiger", "iguana", "bear", "zebra", "leopard"); // sort alphabetically by value // result: ("bear", "iguana", "leopard", "lion", "tiger", "wolf", "zebra") sort($animals); print_r($animals); >
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Use PHP s asort() or ksort() function on string-indexed arrays:
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< php // define associative array $animals = array("wolf" => "Rex", "tiger" => "William", "bear" => "Leo", "zebra" => "Adam", "leopard" => "Ian"); // sort alphabetically by value, retaining keys // result: ("zebra" => "Adam", , "tiger" => "William") asort($animals); print_r($animals); // sort alphabetically by keys, retaining values // result: ("bear" => "Leo", , "zebra" => "Adam") ksort($animals); print_r($animals); >
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PHP s array manipulation API comes with a number of functions to sort array elements The most commonly used one is the sort() function, which sorts numerically indexed arrays in alphanumeric order This function is not suitable for associative arrays, as it destroys the key-value association of those arrays If you need to sort an associative array, consider using the asort() or ksort() functions, which sort these arrays by value and key respectively while simultaneously maintaining the key-value relationship The previous listing illustrates all three of these functions An interesting entrant in the sort sweepstakes is the natsort() function, which sorts array elements using a natural-language algorithm This comes in handy to sort array values the way a human being would Key-value associations are maintained throughout the sorting process The next listing illustrates this:
< php // define array $userList = array("user1","user10","user20","user2"); // normal sort // result: ("user1", "user10", "user2", "user20") sort($userList); print_r($userList);
4: Working with Arrays
// natural-language sort // result: ("user1", "user2", "user10", "user20") natsort($userList); print_r($userList); >
You can reverse the sort order of the sort(), asort(), and ksort() functions by replacing them with calls to rsort(), arsort(), and krsort() respectively
417 Sorting Multidimensional Arrays
Problem
You want to sort a multidimensional array using multiple keys
Solution
Use PHP s array_multisort() function:
< php // create a multidimensional array $data = array(); $data[0] = array("title" => "Net Force", "author" => "Clancy, Tom", "rating" => 4); $data[1] = array("title" => "Every Dead Thing", "author" => "Connolly, John", "rating"=> 5); $data[2] = array("title" => "Driven To Extremes", "author" => "Allen, James", "rating" => 4); $data[3] = array("title" => "Dark Hollow", "author" => "Connolly, John", "rating" => 4); $data[4] = array("title" => "Bombay Ice", "author" => "Forbes, Leslie", "rating" => 5); // separate all the elements with the same key // into individual arrays foreach ($data as $key=>$value) { $author[$key] = $value['author']; $title[$key] = $value['title']; $rating[$key] = $value['rating']; }
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// sort by rating and then author array_multisort($rating, $author, $data); print_r($data); >
Comments
If you re familiar with Structured Query Language (SQL), you already know how the ORDER BY clause enables you to sort a resultset by more than one field That s essentially what the array_multisort() function was designed to do: it accepts a series of input arrays and uses them as sort criteria Sorting begins with the first array; values in that array that evaluate as equal are sorted by the next array, and so on This function comes in handy when dealing with symmetrical multidimensional arrays, like the one in the previous listing Such an array is typically created from an SQL resultset To sort such an array, first break it into individual single arrays, one for each unique key, and then use array_multisort() to sort the arrays in the priority you desire In such a situation, the last argument to array_multisort() must be the original multidimensional array
418 Sorting Arrays Using a Custom Sort Function
Problem
You want to sort an array using a custom sorting algorithm
Solution
Define your sorting algorithm and use the usort() function to process an array with it:
< php // function to compare length of two values function sortByLength($a, $b) { if (is_scalar($a) && is_scalar($b)) { if (strlen($a) == strlen($b)) { return 0; } else { return (strlen($a) > strlen($b)) 1 : -1; } } }
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