Comparable<T> class abstract interface

Interface used by types that have an intrinsic ordering.

The compareTo operation defines a total ordering of objects, which can be used for ordering and sorting.

The Comparable interface should be used for the natural ordering of a type. If a type can be ordered in more than one way, and none of them is the obvious natural ordering, then it might be better not to use the Comparable interface, and to provide separate Comparators instead.

It is recommended that the order of a Comparable agrees with its operator operator == equality (a.compareTo(b) == 0 iff a == b), but this is not a requirement. For example, double and DateTime have compareTo methods that do not agree with operator operator ==. For doubles the compareTo method is more precise than the equality, and for DateTime it is less precise.


(0.0).compareTo(-0.0);   // => 1
0.0 == -0.0;             // => true
var now =;
var utcNow = now.toUtc();
now == utcNow;           // => false
now.compareTo(utcNow);   // => 0

The Comparable interface does not imply the existence of the comparison operators <, <=, > and >=. These should only be defined if the ordering is a less-than/greater-than ordering, that is, an ordering where you would naturally use the words "less than" about the order of two elements.

If the equality operator and compareTo disagree, the comparison operators should follow the equality operator, and will likely also disagree with compareTo. Otherwise they should match the compareTo method, so that a < b iff a.compareTo(b) < 0.

The double class defines comparison operators that are compatible with equality. The operators differ from double.compareTo on -0.0 and NaN.

The DateTime class has no comparison operators, instead it has the more precisely named DateTime.isBefore and DateTime.isAfter, which both agree with DateTime.compareTo.





hashCode int
The hash code for this object.
no setterinherited
runtimeType Type
A representation of the runtime type of the object.
no setterinherited


compareTo(T other) int
Compares this object to another object.
noSuchMethod(Invocation invocation) → dynamic
Invoked when a nonexistent method or property is accessed.
toString() String
A string representation of this object.


operator ==(Object other) bool
The equality operator.

Static Methods

compare(Comparable a, Comparable b) int
A Comparator that compares one comparable to another.