Michael Kniskern Michael Kniskern - 1 month ago 11
C# Question

Natural Sort Order in C#

Anyone have a good resource or provide a sample of a natural order sort in C# for an

FileInfo
array? I am implementing the
IComparer
interface in my sorts.

Answer

The easiest thing to do is just P/Invoke the built-in function in Windows, and use it as the comparison function in your IComparer:

[DllImport("shlwapi.dll", CharSet = CharSet.Unicode)]
private static extern int StrCmpLogicalW(string psz1, string psz2);

Michael Kaplan has some examples of how this function works here, and the changes that were made for Vista to make it work more intuitively. The plus side of this function is that it will have the same behaviour as the version of Windows it runs on, however this does mean that it differs between versions of Windows so you need to consider whether this is a problem for you.

So a complete implementation would be something like:

[SuppressUnmanagedCodeSecurity]
internal static class SafeNativeMethods
{
    [DllImport("shlwapi.dll", CharSet = CharSet.Unicode)]
    public static extern int StrCmpLogicalW(string psz1, string psz2);
}

public sealed class NaturalStringComparer : IComparer<string>
{
    public int Compare(string a, string b)
    {
        return SafeNativeMethods.StrCmpLogicalW(a, b);
    }
}

public sealed class NaturalFileInfoNameComparer : IComparer<FileInfo>
{
    public int Compare(FileInfo a, FileInfo b)
    {
        return SafeNativeMethods.StrCmpLogicalW(a.Name, b.Name);
    }
}