That's not always possible. Eg. if it's a list of objects ...
If the data is a list of objects to be sorted
- then their class(es?) would need to overload cmp and/or <=> in order that you sort to sort them.
And if that is the case, then each pair of objects would need to be compared using that overloaded operator and there would be no benefit from using any of the indirect sorting methods.
- Or, the mapping step in what you describe, would need to return a stringified or numified representation (key) of the objects (to populate the @keys array in your examples), and these would then be compared using the standard non-overloaded comparison operators.
In which case, the GRT would work just fine; avoid the creation of the keys array and the slice operation. That means the GRT would avoid the creation of several intermediate arrays and lists. It also avoids the callback into Perl code (it's main strength, and the reason for its performance), and so will normally be faster.
And even if it's just a list of references to some data structures, by serialization and deserialization you end up with copies of the data structures.
I do not understand what you mean by this? In particular, the GRT never requires the keys to be "deserialised".
Whatever you put into the @keys array, has later to be compared using one of the standard comparison operators. With that being the case, using the GRT again avoids the need for callbacks and will be faster.
I realise that I am probably missing something here, but do you have any practical examples of when this indexed sort method with outperform a GRT?
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