# sorting of bubbles with a variable number of inputs

The idea is to reserve the very first input for the length of the rest of the input. This way you can know when all the values have been taken. So in your example:

``````3 5 6 0
``````

The actual input values would have to be

``````4 3 5 6 0
``````

…where 4 tells us that 4 data values are following.

``````     INP
BRZ quit ; nothing to do
STA size
; .... other code ....
quit HLT
size DAT
``````

Then the code would need to use this `size` to initialise a counter, and take the remaining inputs

``````        LDA size
SUB one
loop    STA counter
INP ; take the next input
; .... process this value ....
LDA counter ; decrement the counter
SUB one
BRP loop ; while no underflow: repeat
; ... other processing on the collected input ...
quit    HLT
counter DAT
``````

When you have several — possibly nested — loops, like is the case with bubble sort, you’ll have to manage multiple counters.

## Applied to Bubble Sort

In this answer you’ll find an implementation of Bubble Sort where the input needs to be terminated by a 0. Here I provide you a variation of that solution where 0 no longer serves as an input terminator, but where the first input denotes the length of the array of values that follows in the input.

Note that this makes the code somewhat longer, and as a consequence the space that remains for storing the input array becomes smaller: here only 25 mailboxes remain available for the array. On a standard LMC it would never be possible to store 500 inputs, as there are only 100 mailboxes in total, and code occupies some of these mailboxes.

In the algorithm (after having loaded the input), the outer loop needs to iterate size-1 times, and the inner loop needs to iterate one time less each time the outer loop makes an iteration (this is the standard principle of Bubble Sort).

``````#input: 10 4 3 2 1 0 9 8 5 6 7
LDA setfirst
STA setcurr1
INP
BRZ zero ; nothing to do
SUB one
STA size ; actually one less
input    STA counter1
INP
setcurr1 STA array
LDA setcurr1
STA setcurr1
LDA counter1
SUB one
BRP input
LDA size
BRA dec
sort     STA counter1
LDA getfirst
STA getcurr1
STA getcurr2
LDA setfirst
STA setcurr2
LDA cmpfirst
STA cmpcurr
LDA counter1
loop     STA counter2
LDA getcurr1
STA getnext1
STA getnext2
LDA setcurr2
STA setnext
getnext1 LDA array
cmpcurr  SUB array
BRP inc
getcurr1 LDA array
STA temp
getnext2 LDA array
setcurr2 STA array
LDA temp
setnext  STA array
inc      LDA getnext1
STA getcurr1
LDA setnext
STA setcurr2
LDA cmpcurr
STA cmpcurr
LDA counter2
SUB one
BRP loop
LDA counter1
dec      SUB one
BRP sort
LDA size
output   STA counter1
getcurr2 LDA array
OUT
LDA getcurr2
STA getcurr2
LDA counter1
SUB one
BRP output
zero     HLT
one      DAT 1
getfirst LDA array
setfirst STA array
cmpfirst SUB array
size     DAT
counter1 DAT
counter2 DAT
temp     DAT
array    DAT

<script src="https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/gh/trincot/[email protected]/lmc.js"></script>``````