Paul:

> apparently neither the sort direction (ascending|descending)
> nor the sort type (international|text|datetime|numeric|binary)
> can be variable!

> I see this a a bug or perhaps a failure to fully
> robust impliment the sort container command?
> Does any one else see this as a bug?

Absolutely a bug or extremely annoying limitation!
I've been hating this for a long time.

> I suppose I could work around it with a "do"
> but that seems like a cludge

There has been no performance hit for "do" as a one-off.
So I don't mind using "do" once. I try to avoid it in loops.
Test, and you'll see that in your results.

Meanwhile "do" is arguably cleaner and smaller code than if/else.
But still a clumsy abomination compared to using an inline variable.

Any bug report on this issue gets my vote! Yes, it's a bad thing.

Best wishes,

Curry Kenworthy

Custom Software Development
"Better Methods, Better Results"
LiveCode Training and Consulting
http://livecodeconsulting.com/

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