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Variables in sorting arrays

Variables in sorting arrays

(OP)
Hi I have a sort script which works fine for arrays.

A sample array...

CODE

$somearray = array
(
"applicant1"=>array(
"firstname" => "Graham",  
"lastname" => "Laming",  
"sex" => "male",
 "age" => "50"
 ),
 
 "applicant2"=>array(
"firstname" => "Hanna",  
"lastname" => "Laming",  
"sex" => "female",
 "age" => "17"
 ),
 
 "applicant3"=>array(
"firstname" => "Bert",  
"lastname" => "Acrodong",  
"sex" => "male",
 "age" => "42"
 ),
 
 "applicant4"=>array(
"firstname" => "Emily",  
"lastname" => "Makaraka",  
"sex" => "female",
 "age" => "23"
 )
 
 
 );



For example to alphabetically sort array $somearray by key lastname I use...

CODE

function compare_field($a, $b) { return strnatcmp($a['lastname], $b['lastname']); }
// sort alphabetically by lastname
usort($somearray, 'compare_field');


But, I would like to use a variable so I can declare the key name once only, something like this...


CODE

$field_to_sort = "'lastname'";
function compare_field($a, $b) { return strnatcmp($a[$field_to_sort], $b[$field_to_sort]); }
// sort alphabetically by lastname
usort($somearray, 'compare_field');

But my syntax is wrong and it fails to sort. Can't find a way which works, any help much appreciated!

Thanks

Maharg.
 

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