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From Russ Kepler <>
Subject Re: This is just plain ... odd.
Date Thu, 08 Nov 2012 14:22:41 GMT
On Thursday, November 08, 2012 01:35:55 PM Lyallex wrote:

> I have tried everything I can think of to reproduce this behaviour
> in a standalone Java program but the list is always returned
> as required. When I call the method from a servlet the list is always
> returned
> in it's natural order, I know collections.sort is being executed as
> the list is in alpha order, it's almost as if the comparator is being
> replaced in some way
> I have no servlet filters or any other code 'in the way' between the facade
> and the initialization servlet.
> Any ideas ?

I'm not sure that you can ever get consistent results if the input order is 
random.  The Collections.sort() implements a merge sort and the merge sort 
depends on a consistent result from the compare() method.  As implemented the 
compare() will return what you want when the object being compared against is 
the "Misc" object but return a string compare when it isn't.  Try this:

   public int compareTo(Category c) {
      return 1;
   } elseif (c.category.equals("Miscellaneous")) {
	return -1;
      return category.compareTo(c.category);

(side comment: If the list is a decent size it might make sense to compare 
against the Misc object rather than compare all strings but it's likely not 
worth the bother).

The was I usually handle this is to .remove the offending object from the list, 
sort, then .add it back on after the sort.  Keep the odd code local to the 

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