# JavaScript: DHTML Shell Sort

This page demonstrates the Shell Sort algorithm which appears to be the most efficient algorithm out of the four presented on this site.

That may be due to faults in the implementation of the Quick Sort algorithm (see related link on that page for details), but until that's confirmed you probably want to use the shell sort.

id colour random
1orange614
2blue67
3yellow37
4green677
5blue95
6blue538
7purple789
8orange787
9red832
10green520
11orange895
12yellow85
13blue363
14yellow153
15red61
16yellow957
17green292
18yellow632
19green566
20orange682

## How does it work?

For a more detailed discussion on the sorting process, you can refer to the Bubble Sort page. The only difference between the two is the actual sorting algorithm, with the Insertion Sort, in theory, being a little bit faster:

``` // global variables var col = 0; var parent = null; var items = new Array(); var N = 0; function isort(m, k, desc) { for(var j=m+k; j < N; j+= k) { for(var i=j; i >= k && compare(get(i), get(i-k), desc); i-= k) { exchange(i, i-k); } } } function sortTable(tableid, n, desc) { parent = document.getElementById(tableid); col = n; if(parent.nodeName != "TBODY") parent = parent.getElementsByTagName("TBODY")[0]; if(parent.nodeName != "TBODY") return false; items = parent.getElementsByTagName("TR"); N = items.length; // shell sort if((k = Math.floor(N/5)) > 7) { for(var m=0; m < k; m++) isort(m, k, desc); } if((k = Math.floor(N/7)) > 7) { for(var m=0; m < k; m++) isort(m, k, desc); } for(k=7; k > 0; k -= 2) { for(var m=0; m < k; m++) isort(m, k, desc); } }```

Interestingly, the Shell Sort algorithm actually makes use of the previously presented Insertion Sort algorithm.

## New exchange function

Because the Shell Sort algorithm requires non-adjacent items to be swapped, we need to make some changes to the exchange function that was previously used for both the Bubble Sort and Insertion Sort. The get and compare functions remain unchanged.

``` function exchange(i, j) { if(i == j+1) { parent.insertBefore(items[i], items[j]); } else if(j == i+1) { parent.insertBefore(items[j], items[i]); } else { var tmpNode = parent.replaceChild(items[i], items[j]); if(typeof(items[i]) == "undefined") { parent.appendChild(tmpNode); } else { parent.insertBefore(tmpNode, items[i]); } } }```

For an even more advanced sorting technique, see the Quick Sort demonstration.

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