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It's the same problem when working with numbers, since you have to assume some maximum number of digits as well. Radix sort essentially treats numbers as zero-padded strings.

When sorting single words consisting only of the letters A-Z, for example, you can think of it as the same thing but with 26 buckets (27 if you pad with spaces instead of As) instead of 10. Or you can think of it as a specific subset of numbers in base 36, if that makes more sense to you.

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