Sometimes I Make My Day…

This past weekend I was writing a quick piece of Windows Script Host (WSH) code to clean up some files on one of my servers, and I had populated a Scripting.Dictionary object with a bunch of string data that I was going to write to a log file. Obviously it’s much easier to read through the log file if the data is sorted, but the Scripting.Dictionary object does not have a built-in Sort() method.

With this in mind, I set out to write a sorting function for my script, when I decided that it would might be more efficient to see if someone out in the community had already written such a function. I quickly discovered that someone had – and it turns out, that particular someone was me!

Way back in 1999 I published Microsoft Knowledge Base (KB) article 246067, which was titled "Sorting a Scripting Dictionary Populated with String Data." This KB article contained the following code, which took care of everything for me:

Const dictKey  = 1
Const dictItem = 2

Function SortDictionary(objDict,intSort)
  ' declare our variables
  Dim strDict()
  Dim objKey
  Dim strKey,strItem
  Dim X,Y,Z

  ' get the dictionary count
  Z = objDict.Count

  ' we need more than one item to warrant sorting
  If Z > 1 Then
    ' create an array to store dictionary information
    ReDim strDict(Z,2)
    X = 0
    ' populate the string array
    For Each objKey In objDict
        strDict(X,dictKey)  = CStr(objKey)
        strDict(X,dictItem) = CStr(objDict(objKey))
        X = X + 1
    Next

    ' perform a a shell sort of the string array
    For X = 0 to (Z - 2)
      For Y = X to (Z - 1)
        If StrComp(strDict(X,intSort),strDict(Y,intSort),vbTextCompare) > 0 Then
            strKey  = strDict(X,dictKey)
            strItem = strDict(X,dictItem)
            strDict(X,dictKey)  = strDict(Y,dictKey)
            strDict(X,dictItem) = strDict(Y,dictItem)
            strDict(Y,dictKey)  = strKey
            strDict(Y,dictItem) = strItem
        End If
      Next
    Next

    ' erase the contents of the dictionary object
    objDict.RemoveAll

    ' repopulate the dictionary with the sorted information
    For X = 0 to (Z - 1)
      objDict.Add strDict(X,dictKey), strDict(X,dictItem)
    Next

  End If

End Function

Sometimes I make my day. ;-]

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