Feature #15725


Proposal: Add Array#reverse_sort, #revert_sort!, #reverse_sort_by, and #reverse_sort_by!

Added by sikachu (Prem Sichanugrist) over 4 years ago. Updated over 4 years ago.

Target version:



I would like to propose four new methods: #reverse_sort, #revert_sort!, #reverse_sort_by, and #reverse_sort_by! to Array.

These methods provides the most efficient way for user to get a reversed sorted array by calling sort(_by) then .reverse!.

As a language designer, I believe that we should suggest the most efficient way to perform a certain action to user. By introduce these methods, we can discourage user to use them instead of do array.sort.reverse or array.sort {|a,b| b<=>a} which are less performant.

I've looked through Redmine, and I saw that there was a proposal to introduce a similar method to Enumerable in, but was somewhat rejected due to the complication with infinite Enumerable. Given that Array is finite, I think this is the best place for these methods to be implemented.

I've attached a patch to implement these methods based on other ary_sort related methods. Please let me know your thought on how I could improve them to be mergeable, as I am not proficient in writing C.

I'm looking forward to hear your thoughts about this proposal. Thank you very much.


Related issues 1 (1 open0 closed)

Related to Ruby master - Feature #12648: `Enumerable#sort_by` with descending optionOpenActions
Actions #1

Updated by mame (Yusuke Endoh) over 4 years ago

  • Related to Feature #12648: `Enumerable#sort_by` with descending option added

Updated by shevegen (Robert A. Heiler) over 4 years ago

As this is a duplicate it may be best to discuss it in #12648.

I have not yet commented so just briefly; I am mostly neutral, can see
both ways. I think a slight problem is that the method names can be
a bit long and clumsy, especially #reverse_sort_by! - this is in my
opinion a bit too long.

I am also not completely sure whether we really need it. I myself usually
use .sort and .sort_by, and then apply .reverse afterwards. But I can also
understand people wanting to do all in one go; we just should see that the
method names are useful, if this is approved that is (see what matz wrote
in the other issue). But again, I have no real strong preference either

Updated by sikachu (Prem Sichanugrist) over 4 years ago

Thank you for your initial feedback. I would like to quote one thing:

I myself usually use .sort and .sort_by, and then apply .reverse afterwards.

That's definitely the reason why I submit this proposal, because array.sort.reverse will actually create new Array twice, meanwhile reverse! will just flip the array in-place and is a better way memory-wise. These methods will suggest programmers the most efficient way to do thing when they want to sort and reverse and Array, as I describe in the description of the ticket.

One alternative other than introducing these methods: I wonder if we can detect if a result of a sort operation is being passed to reverse right away in the chain, (e.g. detect if user is doing array.sort.reverse) and doing a in-place reverse instead. That seems complicated though, and I don't have enough knowledge of the interpreter to know if that sort of thing is possible.

Updated by matz (Yukihiro Matsumoto) over 4 years ago

  • Status changed from Open to Rejected

Those methods do not make me feel 'spark joy'. If you really care about the performance, use reverse! after sort!.


Updated by duerst (Martin Dürst) over 4 years ago

Clarified that .reverse! can/should be used for reverse order with commit 2a26c1ea24..7f79a86d8b.


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