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C Programming: Visual Quickstart Guide by Marc Liyanage, Larry Ullman

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Sorting Strings

For our last example in this chapter, you'll learn how to sort strings alphabetically. The type of sort being demonstrated is a called a bubble sort. A bubble sort is easy to comprehend but relatively slow.

It works by repeatedly looping through the list of items, comparing two at a time. If item b should come before item a, their places are switched. As you might guess, to make the comparison on strings, we will use the strcmp() function.

We say this is a slow sort because it requires a pair of nested for loops that bubbles every item through the entire list of items. If you had a list of, say, 10 words, a total of 90 (9 * 10) comparisons would need to be made.

Aside from the type of sort being used, a more important consideration ...

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