JavaScript in the Browser

Modifying a Document

function sortkids(e) {
     // This is the element whose children we are going to sort
     if (typeof e == "string") e = document.getElementById(e);

     // Transfer the element (but not text node) children of e to a real array
     var kids = [];
     for(var x = e.firstChild; x != null; x = x.nextSibling)
         if (x.nodeType == 1 /* Node.ELEMENT_NODE */) kids.push(x);

     // Now sort the array based on the text content of each kid.
     // Assume that each kid has only a single child and it is a Text node
     kids.sort(function(n, m) { // This is the comparator function for sorting
                   var s =; // text of node n
                   var t =; // text of node m
                   if (s < t) return -1;      // n comes before m
                   else if (s > t) return 1;  // n comes after m
                   else return 0;             // n and m are equal

     // Now append the kids back into the parent in their sorted order.
     // When we insert a node that is already part of the document, it is
     // automatically removed from its current position, so reinserting
     // these nodes automatically moves them from their old position
     // Note that any text nodes we skipped get left behind, however.
     for(var i = 0; i < kids.length; i++) e.appendChild(kids[i]);

José M. Vidal .

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