Browse Prior Art Database

Text Processing Sort of Variable Length Fields

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000038317D
Original Publication Date: 1989-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jan-31
Document File: 1 page(s) / 12K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Douglas, GL: AUTHOR

Abstract

In sorting information in a text processing system, the sorting or arranging of lines is well known, using the column numbers to denote the field boundaries (fixed length fields). However, when the information to be sorted does not line up in straight columns, the sort cannot produce the desired results. For example, if names and addresses are typed, one per line, but with just commas and spaces separating the elements of the address, the last names will not line up, nor will the addresses, cities and states.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 71% of the total text.

Page 1 of 1

Text Processing Sort of Variable Length Fields

In sorting information in a text processing system, the sorting or arranging of lines is well known, using the column numbers to denote the field boundaries (fixed length fields). However, when the information to be sorted does not line up in straight columns, the sort cannot produce the desired results. For example, if names and addresses are typed, one per line, but with just commas and spaces separating the elements of the address, the last names will not line up, nor will the addresses, cities and states.

However, when a character or code can be specified by the user as the field delimiter, then the system can scan the line of text to determine the proper field information to be used in the sort criteria. For example, if a line of text were typed (a record) which has First Name, Last Name, Street Address, City, State and Zip Code as the input information (fields), then the user could specify the Required Space code as the field delimiter, and key that in between the fields, leaving the space code to be used to separate words within a field.

An example of this would be a list of names with leading titles and trailing subtitles on a formal invitation that needs to be in alphabetical order by last name (and secondarily by first name and subtitle). The titles could be: Mr., Mrs., Mr and Mrs., Senator, Senator and Mrs., Dr., Dr. and Mrs., etc. First Names could include nicknames in parentheses which followed the first...