Last modified: 2014-09-23 23:42:57 UTC
Looking through the wiktionary by "index" or "words beginning with" produces a
columnar display. Such a display should have the words sorted like:
a i r
b j s
c k t
d l u
e m v
f n w
g p x
h q y
Instead, they are sorted like:
a b c
d e f
g h i
j k l
m n o
p q r
s t u
w x y
Why? Because it's hard for the eye to track back and find the beginning of the
next line to see where to pick up, wheras it's easy to go down the column. (Try
to find the missing letter in each example here. It's even harder to do in the
wiktionary because the lines are longer and the columns are not all the same
width.) It makes it _very_ difficult to scan a page of words to find one that
you arn't sure of the spelling of. If you're going to put things into columns,
then everything in the column should "go together". The current setup is very bad.
Bugzilla ate my columnar examples. I had a lot more spaces between the columns,
which made the examples much more clear.
Created attachment 2051 [details]
Sort AllPages by Column
This patch modifies SpecialAllpages.php to sort the page listings by columns.
Up to maxPerPage links are read into a linkS array in order, then depending
on the value of the global wgAllPagesSortCols the table is either populated
to provide a sorting by rows rather than columns.
I seem have taken the unilateral decision to change the default to sort by
columns as I feel this makes it much easier for the user to find the page
*Bulk BZ Change: +Patch to open bugs with patches attached that are missing the keyword*
Karl, can you still reproduce this problem? When I see 3-column displays in MediaWiki, they're usually in an easy-to-skim style, the way you suggested they ought to be. And the URL you provided for an example, http://en.wiktionary.org/w/wiki.phtml?title=Special:Allpages&from=%2500 , no longer gives a columnar example.
Thank you for your patch, bobb, and my apologies that no one got back to you for so long. If the problem's still reproducible, and if you have time and interest in updating your patch, then please come into the #mediawiki channel on freenode IRC and talk with us about an approach to fixing it, so you don't have to redo as much work. Thanks.
This page still seems to have the problem:
Thanks, Karl. Adding the 'design' keyword because the design team should probably opine on fixing this.
Brandon, could you comment on this?