I have the following well-formed JSON string

jsonResult="{\"result\":[{\"@type\":\"d\",\"@rid\":\"#12:0\",\"@version\":1,\"@class\":\"PERSON\",\"perName\":\"Jay\",\"perSurname\":\"Miner\"},{\"@type\":\"d\",\"@rid\":\"#12:1\",\"@version\":4,\"@class\":\"PERSON\",\"perName\":\"Luca\",\"perPhones\":{\"office\":\" 3906222222\",\"mobile\":\" 393333888\"},\"perAge\":34,\"perCity\":\"Rome\"}]}"

that I convert to a list of rules

jsonRules = "result" /. ImportString[jsonResult, "JSON"]

I would like to apply two generic type of functions/operators. The first takes an ordered list of keys for the desired rearrangement and the second a list of ordering functions for the type of sorting each column will have. You can combine them of course but for clarity and learning purposes I would prefer to see them separately.

Something like....




that will produce the following output

jsonRulesSorted = {{"perSurname" -> "Miner", "perName" -> "Jay", 
"perAge" -> Missing[], "perPhones" -> Missing[], 
"perCity" -> Missing[], "@rid" -> "#12:0", "@version" -> 1, 
"@type" -> "d", "@class" -> "PERSON"},{"perSurname" -> Missing[], "perName" -> "Luca", "perAge" -> 34,"perPhones" -> {"office" -> " 3906222222", 
  "mobile" -> " 393333888"}, "perCity" -> "Rome", 
"@rid" -> "#12:1", "@version" -> 4, "@type" -> "d", 
"@class" -> "PERSON"}};

that can be nicely presented and formatted with associations and Dataset


enter image description here

I am adding the following dataset for the sorting part of my question. I would like to rearrange it with the order of columns as {"a", "@x", "@y", "@z", "b", "c", "d", "e"}

lr = {{"a" -> 2, "@y" -> "PERSON", "@x" -> "#12:1", "c" -> 8, 
"@z" -> 4}, {"d" -> 5, "@x" -> "#12:5", "b" -> 4, "e" -> 9, "@y" -> "COMPANY","@z" -> 10},{"@x" -> "#12:8", "@y" -> "PERSON", "@z" -> 12, "a" -> 1, "b" -> 2,"c" -> 3, "e" -> 4},{"@x" -> "#12:8", "@y" -> "PERSON", "@z" -> 10, "a" -> 2, "b" -> 7,"e" -> 4}};

Then I would like to see this sorted by specifying the sorting order in the first two columns as Ascending and Descending respectively. This is similar to an excel column sorting feature.


1 Answer 1


Let me start by generating a Dataset from your JSON string. Note that I adjusted your expressions a little.

jsonRules = "result" /. ImportString[jsonResult, "JSON"];
originalds = Dataset[Association @@@ jsonRules]

Mathematica graphics

Rearranging the columns can be accomplished without a helper function. Instead, we pick columns in originalds to generate a new data set with the columns rearranged:

rearrangedcolumnds = originalds[All, {"perSurname", "perName", "perAge", "perPhones", 
                                      "perCity", "@rid", "@version", "@type", "@class"}]

Mathematica graphics

The second part of your question did not make a lot of sense to me as it is posed right now: if I sort any one column of a dataset, I would like all other columns to "follow suit" without breaking the connections within the data. For instance, imagine imposing a sort that swaps the entries in the first column; I would want entries in all other columns to swap with them, or otherwise the data would become jumbled!

For instance, suppose that you want to sort the dataset by age:


Mathematica graphics

The result correctly swaps the whole second row with the first one, so that data pertaining to Luca are still kept together.

Perhaps I am misunderstanding your question though, in which case you might want to clarify it or otherwise comment.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for your reply, the first part (rearrangement) is answered fully. About the second part I would like to specify the sorting order (ascending/descending) in multiple columns. I am adding another dataset to test this. $\endgroup$ Jun 13, 2015 at 0:43
  • $\begingroup$ Note to self: look at 2934, 69396, 77806. $\endgroup$
    – MarcoB
    Jun 15, 2015 at 5:06
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you MarcoB, it seems there is a lot behind Sorting and Ordering mechanism in Mathematica and I have to find time to revisit and study all these relevant posts I found (26974, 19300, 9840, 2729, 7679, 2934) including yours 69396, 77806 to understand or come up with my own answer on this topic. I am still a youngster in Mathematica, but a fervent one ;-) $\endgroup$ Jun 16, 2015 at 9:01
  • $\begingroup$ @Athanassios The topic of sorting with multiple cascading criteria is actually surprisingly complicated in Mathematica, unfortunately. I think this complication has surprised quite a few newcomers, since it is a pretty basic functionality, and yet it is somewhat complicated to achieve! $\endgroup$
    – MarcoB
    Jun 16, 2015 at 11:40

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