I also have a better version of sortdemo called showsort. It is based on GTK, and has a nice GUI. You can download it here. Currently it demonstrates the Bubble sort.


Now back to the old program ;)

Sortdemo is a program to visualize various types of sorting algorithms. It generates a sequence of image files, that can be converted to an animation suitable for demonstrations. The following animated gif files, showing quick sort and bubble sorts, were generated using image sequences generated with sortdemo. For example, the file quick.gif.gz was created with

  sortdemo q random 30
  convert -delay 500 sort*.gif quick.gif
  gzip quick.gif

Here is a stage in quick sort showing a comparision. The current list is shown in black, and the two compared items in green.

These files are gzipped. Use gunzip to uncompress them. If you are not using Unix/Linux, use Winzip or something similar. To view the images, use any gif viewer which supports animated gifs.

If you are not sure if there is a gif animator available on your system, try downloading the mpeg files below.

To view the quick.gif, type

  gunzip quick.gif.gz
  animate -delay 500 quick.gif

or simply

  animate -delay 500 quick.gif.gz

To view images one by one, type

  display quick.gif.gz

and select next/former after right clicking on the image.

Here are some mpeg animations of the quick sort, and a bubble sort variation.

Supported sorting algorithms

Download sortdemo

Sortdemo version 0.2 is now available.

Sortdemo is also available from metalab (formerly sunsite).

What's new in sortdemo 0.2

Gd graphics libraries

Sortdemo is linked against the famous gd graphics libraries for gif/png support.

Gd library comes with many linux distributions including Debian and RedHat and probably you have already installed them on your system.

If you are running Debian/GNU Linux you can verify this by the commands

dpkg -l libgd1g
dpkg -l libgd1g-dev

Under RedHat Linux you can use

rpm -q gd
rpm -q gd-devel

If you don't have these packages installed, you will have to install them. If there are difficulties, consult a local expert.

Gif vs. Png

Upto about gd version 1.6, it supported gif and after that they moved to png, giving up gif. Sortdemo configure script tries to detect the availability of gif support by looking for gdImageGif routine in the -lgd library. If this test fails, it thinks that the gd version is newer and removes the line '#define HAVE_GDIMAGEGIF' from the file config.h, so that the compiled sortdemo executable will support png. Hoewver, if you do have a gd version that supports gif and if the configure script fails to detect that, try adding the line


to config.h file AFTER running configure script.

We have noticed that this is not necessary in almost all the cases.

Sortdemo 0.11

An internal version 0.11 was released with many enhancements added by Vishvanath Ratnaweera. New features in this version included

This version was not released to the public.

Sortdemo 0.1

This is the first release of sortdemo. It supports four sort types, three initial data types and gif output.

Older versions

Problems with downloading?

If you have problems downloading these files under linux, use wget program with the option -t0 (infinite timeout). For example to download the quick.gif.gz above, type

  wget -t0

If the connection is lost before the file is downloaded, wget will automatically restore the connection and will continue from where downloading was stopped.

Sortdemo is developed by Anuradha Ratnaweera. See the README file of the source tarball for contact information.

Last updated on 05 November 2002