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A program to visualize sorting algorithms written in Lua

VSF Circle GIF


First, make sure you have all of the dependencies listed here. Next, just run go get -u to install it.


Basic Command Line Usage

Run vsf with the vsf command: vsf <lua file> [config file]

There are a few example lua files in the sorts directory and an example config file called defaults.json. The config file is optional.

Config File

The config file is a JSON file. You can see an example of this in the defaults.json file. Here are the keys and their meanings:

Key Meaning Default
list_length The length of the list to be sorted 500
block_width The width of each displayed block 2
block_height_mult The amount each block's height is multiplied by when displayed* 1
shower The shower to use. See below rect
sleep How long to sleep before showing something, in milliseconds 10
bg An array of four values from 0-255, representing the RGBA color of the background [0, 0, 0, 255]
fg The foreground color (color of the blocks), in the same manner [255, 255, 255, 255]
changed The color that changed blocks are shown [255, 0, 0, 255]
rainbow Whether to use a rainbow or not. If true, bg, fg, and changed are ignored false
vsync Whether to use VSync or not false
fpsfilter How many frames to use when calculating FPS. If you're unsure, the default should be fine 30

*: block_height_mult is actually a float and not an int, but you should only use values less than one if you use shell or circle as your shower (see below)

Writing Sorts

Sorts are written in Lua. You must have a function called sort, which takes an array (table) as its argument. That function will be called with the random list at the start. You must then call the function show whenever you make a change in that array. The show function takes an array of the same length as the original. Check the sorts folder for examples.


Here is a list of showers and their respective special settings:

Shower Notes
rect The default shower. Refer to the descriptions of the keys above
point Refer to the descriptions of the keys above
shell Uses block_heigh_mult to determine the width of the shell; ignores block_width
circle Same as shell, but for this mode it is recommended to set rainbow to true
hoops Same as cricle, including the rainbow part
block Same as rect, but you should use rainbow for this one too


A program to visualize sorting algorithms written in Lua



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