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The entities representing the days of the week sort alphabetically:

Sort[{Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday}]

(* {Friday, Monday, Saturday, Sunday, Thursday, Tuesday, Wednesday} *)

(Note that these are not strings.)

Is there a better way to sort than using the following?

SortBy[PositionIndex[{Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday}]]
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3
  • $\begingroup$ Wouldn't this be ill-defined because it is cyclic? I guess you could order them if you agree on which day is the first of the week… some say monday, others sunday… $\endgroup$
    – SHuisman
    Sep 19, 2019 at 11:28
  • $\begingroup$ "Canonically" (i.e. according to the Bible) the first day was Sunday. $\endgroup$
    – mikado
    Sep 19, 2019 at 20:43
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I don't know if you can get more canonical than the Bible, but according to ISO 8601, the week begins on Monday. $\endgroup$ Sep 20, 2019 at 7:30

4 Answers 4

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It is not much shorter than your PositionIndex[{Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday}], but you can also use System`DateObjectDump`$dowAssociation:

System`DateObjectDump`$dowAssociation

<|Monday -> 1, Tuesday -> 2, Wednesday -> 3, Thursday -> 4, Friday -> 5, Saturday -> 6, Sunday -> 7|>

sortByDoW = SortBy[System`DateObjectDump`$dowAssociation];

Examples:

sortByDoW @ {Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday}

{Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday}

sortByDoW @ RandomSample[{Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday}]

{Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday}

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4
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Is there a better way to sort than using the following?

SortBy[PositionIndex[{Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday}]]

No, that is the best method.

Note that the accepted answer for this question references a private variable that disappeared around version 12.1 or 12.2

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As you've noticed, the weekday symbols are by default sorted by their symbol names. This is because Monday,... are not true date specifications, but only day types. So there is not really a canonical ordering. However, you could do the following:

SortBy[DayPlus[DayPlus[Today, 1, Sunday], 1, #] &]@
  {Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday}
(* {Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday} *)

This works by converting the day types into actual dates. This is done in three steps:

  • Find the next Sunday after today (you could also hardcode the date of a sunday here, but this is more readable I think)
  • Find the date of the first Monday/... after that point
  • Sort these dates
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2
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Use ResourceFunction["SortLike"] which sorts a list $l_1$ so it respects the order in second argument $l_2$

days = {Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday};

SeedRandom[1];
randomdays = RandomChoice[days, 20]

(* {Sunday, Friday, Wednesday, Friday, Monday, Tuesday, Sunday, Monday, 
Monday, Wednesday, Monday, Sunday, Monday, Thursday, Saturday, 
Wednesday, Monday, Thursday, Friday, Friday} *)

ResourceFunction["SortLike"][randomdays, days]

(* {Monday, Monday, Monday, Monday, Monday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, 
Wednesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Thursday, Friday, Friday, Friday, 
Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Sunday, Sunday} *)

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