sort stability

When sorting some kinds of data, only part of the data is examined when determining the sort order. For example, in the card sorting example to the right, the cards are being sorted by their rank, and their suit is being ignored. The result is that it’s possible to have multiple different correctly sorted versions of the original list. Stable sorting algorithms choose one of these, according to the following rule: if two items compare as equal, like the two 5 cards, then their relative order will be preserved, so that if one came before the other in the input, it will also come before the other in the output.

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