Strange sort order for strings

Posted by: mikedempsey on 8 September 2017, 3:14 pm EST

  • Posted 8 September 2017, 3:14 pm EST

    A customer has data returned from a database that contains a VARCHAR (ie. string) column.
    When he sorts on that column it puts rows that contain only spaces first [as expected] but it puts 'empty' strings last [not expected].

    I read somewhere in the forum that nulls sort last - but there is a difference between nulls and empty strings.

    All the different vendor databases I have tested with sort empty strings first - similar to spaces.
    (Nulls can sometimes be specified to sort First or Last as required ... but that has no effect on the order of empty strings.)

    Is this a bug in Spread or was it intentional? (if so, why?)

    Note that this is Spread 7.

  • Replied 8 September 2017, 3:14 pm EST

    Hello Mike,

    This is not a bug in Spread. If you will try sorting a column with empty cells in Excel, you would observe that those cells are placed at last as each control or database uses its own sorting algorithm.
    Hope it clarifies.

    Thanks & Regards,
    Pragati Kaushik
  • Marked as Answer

    Replied 8 September 2017, 3:14 pm EST

    OK. Thanks.
    I never thought of checking what Excel did ... I'm so used to using databases.
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