[R] Equivalent of gtools::mixedsort in R base

Bert Gunter bgunter.4567 at gmail.com
Mon Mar 12 05:57:00 CET 2018


> y <- sort( c("a1","a2","a10","a12","a100"))
> y
[1] "a1"   "a10"  "a100" "a12"  "a2"
> mixedsort(y)
[1] "a1"   "a2"   "a10"  "a12"  "a100"

**Please read the docs!** They say that mixedsort() and mixedorder()  both
take a **single vector**  as the argument to be sorted or ordered and, as
the above indicates, they perform exactly as advertised. **Unlike
order()**. So of course your do.call() construction fails.

So presumably you have a data frame with multiple columns of mixed alpha
and numerics?  (A reproducible example would be most helpful here.)

If this is the case, one **possibly dumb** approach (you have been warned!)
would be to turn each column into an ordered factor and then call order()
on the data frame of ordered factors via do.call() as above. i.e.

> y1 <- ordered(y,lev = mixedsort(y))
> y1
[1] a1   a10  a100 a12  a2
Levels: a1 < a2 < a10 < a12 < a100
> order(y1)
[1] 1 5 2 4 3

(this is just for 1 vector to show how the idea would work).

Of course, if this is **not** what you want, you'll need to clarify,
hopefully with a reprex. Or hope that someone else has better insight than


Bert Gunter

"The trouble with having an open mind is that people keep coming along and
sticking things into it."
-- Opus (aka Berkeley Breathed in his "Bloom County" comic strip )

On Sun, Mar 11, 2018 at 9:15 PM, Sebastien Bihorel <
sebastien.bihorel at cognigencorp.com> wrote:

> Hi,
> Searching for functions that would order strings that mix characters and
> numbers in a "natural" way (ie, "a1 a2 a10" instead of "a1 a10 a2"), I
> found the mixedsort and mixedorder from the gtools package.
> Problems:
> 1- mixedorder does not work in a "do.call(mixedorder, mydataframe)" call
> like the order function does
> 2- gtools has not been updated in 2.5 years
> Are you aware of an equivalent of this function in base R or a another
> contributed package (with correction of problem #1)?
> Thanks
> ______________________________________________
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