Last modified: 2014-09-23 23:42:57 UTC

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Bug 3138 - Columnar display should sort into columns
Columnar display should sort into columns
Status: NEW
Product: MediaWiki
Classification: Unclassified
Special pages (Other open bugs)
All All
: Low enhancement with 2 votes (vote)
: ---
Assigned To: Nobody - You can work on this!
: design, patch, patch-need-review
Depends on:
  Show dependency treegraph
Reported: 2005-08-14 03:59 UTC by Karl O. Pinc
Modified: 2014-09-23 23:42 UTC (History)
1 user (show)

See Also:
Web browser: ---
Mobile Platform: ---
Assignee Huggle Beta Tester: ---

Sort AllPages by Column (2.04 KB, patch)
2006-07-05 13:11 UTC, bobb

Description Karl O. Pinc 2005-08-14 03:59:54 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.
Comment 1 Karl O. Pinc 2005-08-14 04:01:58 UTC
Bugzilla ate my columnar examples.  I had a lot more spaces between the columns,
which made the examples much more clear.
Comment 2 bobb 2006-07-05 13:11:20 UTC
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
they want.

- bobb
Comment 3 p858snake 2011-04-30 00:09:20 UTC
*Bulk BZ Change: +Patch to open bugs with patches attached that are missing the keyword*
Comment 4 Sumana Harihareswara 2011-11-09 16:46:39 UTC
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, , 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.
Comment 5 Karl O. Pinc 2011-11-09 18:54:34 UTC
This page still seems to have the problem:
Comment 6 Sumana Harihareswara 2012-08-17 10:50:55 UTC
Thanks, Karl. Adding the 'design' keyword because the design team should probably opine on fixing this.
Comment 7 Sumana Harihareswara 2012-10-11 13:13:10 UTC
Brandon, could you comment on this?

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