>>> dd = { 'e':5, 'a':1, 'b':2, 'd':4, 'c':3 }
>>> import operator
>>> sorted(dd)
['a', 'b', 'c', 'd', 'e']
>>> sorted(dd, reverse=True)
['e', 'd', 'c', 'b', 'a']

>>> l1 = dd.items()
>>> l1
dict_items([('e', 5), ('a', 1), ('b', 2), ('d', 4), ('c', 3)])
>>> l1[0]
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
TypeError: 'dict_items' object does not support indexing

>>> for item in l1:
...     print(item)
...
('e', 5)
('a', 1)
('b', 2)
('d', 4)
('c', 3)

>>> l2 = list(l1)
>>> l2
[('e', 5), ('a', 1), ('b', 2), ('d', 4), ('c', 3)]
>>> l2[0]
('e', 5)

>>> sorted(dd.items(), key=operator.itemgetter(0))
[('a', 1), ('b', 2), ('c', 3), ('d', 4), ('e', 5)]
>>> sorted(dd.items(), key=operator.itemgetter(1))
[('a', 1), ('b', 2), ('c', 3), ('d', 4), ('e', 5)]
>>> sorted(dd.items(), key=operator.itemgetter(1), reverse=True)
[('e', 5), ('d', 4), ('c', 3), ('b', 2), ('a', 1)]