*superpete has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:*

I know this topic has been beaten to death, but I'm not satisfied with the code I came up with, and am looking for a neat/elegant way.

Purpose: sort a list of strings in a way that is useful to humans - so that "foo2bar" comes before "foo10bar", and so forth.

Here is my ugly code (which I *think* works)

sub sort_n { return map { $_->[0] } sort { my $l = @{$a->[1]} < @{$b->[1]} ? scalar @{$a->[1]} : scalar @{$b->[1]} ; for (my $n=0; $n<$l; $n++) { if ( $a->[1][$n] =~ /^(\D+)$/ ) { if ( $b->[1][$n] =~ /^(\D+)$/ ) { my $tmp = $a->[1][$n] cmp $b ->[1][$n]; return $tmp if $tmp; } else { return 1; } } else { if ( $b->[1][$n] =~ /^(\D+)$/ ) { return -1; } else { my $tmp = $a->[1][$n] <=> $b ->[1][$n]; return $tmp if $tmp; } } } return @{$a->[1]} <=> @{$b->[1]}; } map { [ $_ , [ # each element of @_ is split on boundaries # between digit and nondigit split ( /(?:(?<=\d)(?=\D))|(?:(?<=\D)(?=\d))/, $_ ) ] ] } @_; }

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