Sometimes you want to sort values in i.e. array. Of course you ca use bubble, merge ... sort algorithm. But what if you know your set of values (the key)? Than you can define a hash table (associative array) of predefined values in the order that you require. This solution will reduce the number of operations to N+K where N is number of elements to sort and K is the key length. Perl solution can be found here.

<?php //Some random string $s="the revelation of saint john the divine"; //let us remove all the chars that //are not defined in the dictionary $s=preg_replace('/[ -@]/', '', $s); $s=preg_replace('/[[ -_]/', '', $s); //let us define the hash //table with sort order $key=array( "a" => 0, "b" => 0, "c"=> 0, "d"=> 0, "e"=> 0, "f"=> 0, "g"=> 0, "h"=> 0, "i"=> 0, "j"=> 0, "k"=> 0, "l"=> 0, "m"=> 0, "n"=> 0, "o"=> 0, "p"=> 0, "q"=> 0, "r"=> 0, "s"=> 0, "t"=> 0, "u"=> 0, "v"=> 0, "w"=> 0, "x"=> 0, "y"=> 0, "z"=> 0, ); //split the string to chars $chars = str_split($s,1); //do a loop and add increase the key by 1 for each found echo "Total number of chars:" . count($chars) . "\n" ; foreach ($chars as $c) { $key[$c] = $key[$c] +1; } //loop through key foreach ($key as $c=>$count){ if($count>0){ echo $c. '=>' . $count . "\n"; //echo str_repeat($c, $count); } echo "\n"; } ?>

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