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.\" the American National Standards Committee X3, on Information
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.\" from: @(#)qsort.3 8.1 (Berkeley) 6/4/93
.\"
.Dd June 4, 1993
.Dt QSORT 3
.Os
.Sh NAME
.Nm qsort ,
.Nm heapsort ,
.Nm mergesort
.Nd sort functions
.Sh LIBRARY
.Lb libc
.Sh SYNOPSIS
.In stdlib.h
.Ft void
.Fn qsort "void *base" "size_t nmemb" "size_t size" "int (*compar)(const void *, const void *)"
.Ft int
.Fn heapsort "void *base" "size_t nmemb" "size_t size" "int (*compar)(const void *, const void *)"
.Ft int
.Fn mergesort "void *base" "size_t nmemb" "size_t size" "int (*compar)(const void *, const void *)"
.Sh DESCRIPTION
The
.Fn qsort
function is a modified partition-exchange sort, or quicksort.
The
.Fn heapsort
function is a modified selection sort.
The
.Fn mergesort
function is a modified merge sort with exponential search
intended for sorting data with pre-existing order.
.Pp
The
.Fn qsort
and
.Fn heapsort
functions sort an array of
.Fa nmemb
objects, the initial member of which is pointed to by
.Fa base .
The size of each object is specified by
.Fa size .
.Fn mergesort
behaves similarly, but
.Em requires
that
.Fa size
be greater than
.Dq "sizeof(void *) / 2" .
.Pp
The contents of the array
.Fa base
are sorted in ascending order according to
a comparison function pointed to by
.Fa compar ,
which requires two arguments pointing to the objects being
compared.
.Pp
The comparison function must return an integer less than, equal to, or
greater than zero if the first argument is considered to be respectively
less than, equal to, or greater than the second.
.Pp
The functions
.Fn qsort
and
.Fn heapsort
are
.Em not
stable, that is, if two members compare as equal, their order in
the sorted array is undefined.
The function
.Fn mergesort
is stable.
.Pp
The
.Fn qsort
function is an implementation of C.A.R. Hoare's ``quicksort'' algorithm,
a variant of partition-exchange sorting; in particular, see D.E. Knuth's
Algorithm Q.
.Fn qsort
takes O N lg N average time.
This implementation uses median selection to avoid its
O N**2 worst-case behavior.
.Pp
The
.Fn heapsort
function is an implementation of J.W.J. William's ``heapsort'' algorithm,
a variant of selection sorting; in particular, see D.E. Knuth's Algorithm H.
.Fn heapsort
takes O N lg N worst-case time.
Its
.Em only
advantage over
.Fn qsort
is that it uses almost no additional memory; while
.Fn qsort
does not allocate memory, it is implemented using recursion.
.Pp
The function
.Fn mergesort
requires additional memory of size
.Fa nmemb *
.Fa size
bytes; it should be used only when space is not at a premium.
.Fn mergesort
is optimized for data with pre-existing order; its worst case
time is O N lg N; its best case is O N.
.Pp
Normally,
.Fn qsort
is faster than
.Fn mergesort
is faster than
.Fn heapsort .
Memory availability and pre-existing order in the data can make this
untrue.
.Sh RETURN VALUES
The
.Fn qsort
function
returns no value.
.Pp
Upon successful completion,
.Fn heapsort
and
.Fn mergesort
return 0.
Otherwise, they return \-1 and the global variable
.Va errno
is set to indicate the error.
.Sh COMPATIBILITY
Previous versions of
.Fn qsort
did not permit the comparison routine itself to call
.Fn qsort .
This is no longer true.
.Sh ERRORS
The
.Fn heapsort
function succeeds unless:
.Bl -tag -width Er
.It Bq Er EINVAL
The
.Fa size
argument is zero, or,
the
.Fa size
argument to
.Fn mergesort
is less than
.Dq "sizeof(void *) / 2" .
.It Bq Er ENOMEM
.Fn heapsort
or
.Fn mergesort
were unable to allocate memory.
.El
.Sh SEE ALSO
.Xr sort 1 ,
.Xr radixsort 3
.Rs
.%A Hoare, C.A.R.
.%D 1962
.%T "Quicksort"
.%J "The Computer Journal"
.%V 5:1
.%P pp. 10-15
.Re
.Rs
.%A Williams, J.W.J
.%D 1964
.%T "Heapsort"
.%J "Communications of the ACM"
.%V 7:1
.%P pp. 347-348
.Re
.Rs
.%A Knuth, D.E.
.%D 1968
.%B "The Art of Computer Programming"
.%V Vol. 3
.%T "Sorting and Searching"
.%P pp. 114-123, 145-149
.Re
.Rs
.%A McIlroy, P.M.
.%D 1993
.%T "Optimistic Sorting and Information Theoretic Complexity"
.%J "Proceedings of the Fourth Annual ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms"
.%P pp. 467-474
.Re
.Rs
.%A Bentley, J.L. and McIlroy, M.D.
.%D 1993
.%T "Engineering a Sort Function"
.%J "Software-Practice and Experience"
.%V Vol. 23
.%P pp. 1249-1265
.Re
.Sh STANDARDS
The
.Fn qsort
function
conforms to
.St -ansiC .