WeRelate:Suggestions/Sort by page title


Original Suggestion & Discussion

Currently, when sorting a search by page title, the matches are sorted to include the title prefix first. So, Ds. Albertus Snethlage is sorted with the D's instead of the A's. I suggest that sorting by page title not use the title prefix to sort.

This makes sense. I'll do this when I re-index.
I'm struggling with what to do for sorting Person pages by page title. I can either sort them by given-middle-surname, as in this suggestion, or I can sort them by surname-given-middle. In the past we've talked about the possibility of sorting people by surname-given-middle when someone elects to sort pages by page title, but I'm having doubts about this because then Person pages would be sorted very differently from their page titles. One place where page title sort would probably be used a lot is when browsing categories using the faceted search that we've been talking about. Would you be ok with pages being sorted by given-middle-surname when browsing categories, or should we sort Person pages by surname-given-middle for page title sort?--Dallan 18:04, 16 June 2011 (EDT)
My initial thought is that if we're going to call it a sort by title, then it should follow the title format (with the addition of middle name) - so given-middle-surname. I don't feel I fully conceptualize how the faceted search is going to work to speak to how those should be sorted. If people are requesting a sort by surname, could that be added as an option in the drop-down box? --Jennifer (JBS66) 11:40, 17 June 2011 (EDT)
Faceted search will be fairly similar to the current search - the current search already has facets for namespace, first-letter-of-title (when you sort by page title), source-subject (when you're searching sources), etc. To make faceted search work for displaying category results, I'll:
  • add new facets for country, state, and sub-category,
  • list up to 200 results per page,
  • sort the results by "page title", and
  • show multiple results per line, so that it looks like the category list, except show a full name + year-range for Person pages.
Sorting by text fields is expensive, so I want to implement one text-based sort. That means we can have page-title sort by page title for everything except person pages, and have it sort by given-middle-surname or surname-given-middle for person pages. Because of the expense, I don't want to add a second sort order for surname-given-middle.
If sorting by surname is important enough that people are going through the categories listed on person pages and manually adding the surname as the "category key," so that person pages are sorted by surname when they appear in category lists, then perhaps we should make the sort order surname-given-middle for person pages, and we'll have person pages sort by surname-given-middle when a page-title sort order is selected on the search screen as well (we'll call it "person surname or page title" sort order). Otherwise let's go with given-middle-surname.--Dallan 15:20, 17 June 2011 (EDT)
If you're not listing the full page title (Person:John Doe (1)), I prefer last name sort. Although I've added a lot of pages to categories without sort keys, I've come to the conclusion that for categories of people it's nearly always better to have them sort by last name. First name, when just the name is listed, will look like a mistake I think. It would be okay if the full page title were listed (i.e. the current default), but again I think last name is preferable.--Amelia 16:29, 17 June 2011 (EDT)
I agree w/Amelia. For pages that list Person pages, it is almost always preferable to sort by surname, then by first name. -- Amy (Ajcrow) 19:48, 20 June 2011 (EDT)

How would we then sort Family pages by page title? I think they are currently sorted by husband's first name. --Jennifer (JBS66) 09:15, 18 June 2011 (EDT)

We could sort them by husband-surname-given-middle and then by wife-surname-given-middle. Would that work? If so, should we change how Family pages are listed: showing the husband's full name and the wife's full name instead of the page title? (Changing what is shown in search results is pretty easy, so we can try it one way and then try another if we don't like it.)--Dallan 15:41, 21 June 2011 (EDT)
I like that idea. -- Amy (Ajcrow) 19:30, 21 June 2011 (EDT)

Another consideration for sorting: I was just looking at a cemetery page and clicked on "what links here" hoping to see a list of persons buried in that cemetery (who are on WR). It would be much more helful if that list were sorted by surname-given-middle. Right now it looks like a hodge-podge with lots of pages to look through (large cemetery!) to find the surnames I'm looking for.

I'd even like to see my list of contributions sorted better; at least all the person pages together, all the family pages together. Right now persons, families & sources are all jumbled together in NO order. Makes for a bit of difficulty when checking a recent GEDCOM upload. --Janiejac 15:36, 11 September 2011 (EDT)

Hi Janie; the contributions are sorted by date and I use this to find the page I last edited. If this is changed, I would prefer multiple sort options or another way to find my last edit. --Beth 22:41, 11 September 2011 (EDT)
Hmm yes, that would mess up that ability. And you're right, seeing the last edits at the top of the list is helpful. I was thinking only about the contributions generated by GEDCOM uploads and the ability to check off which ones I had double checked after upload. I too would like a multiple sort if that is possible; date, surname/given name, and location. Even family pages, I would sort by surname of the husband if I were looking for a family. . . But a cemetery list of 'what links here' would need only surname/given name. --Janiejac 23:15, 11 September 2011 (EDT)

Neutral Watchers

Admin Follow up

We are currently working through the backlog of suggestions.

This original suggestion requested the ability to disregard Name Prefix when sorting by Page Title. As of now, this is not resolved. Sort by Page Title still sorts on a prefix if one is present. Ex. John Smith

Please comment if you would like for this suggestion to remain active. If there are no comments (other than mine below) or objections within 10 days, this Suggestion will be moved to the archive. --cos1776 21:39, 27 October 2016 (UTC)

Additional Comments

Personally, I'd like to see this one get resolved. I've more or less gotten used to seeing the pages sort mostly on Given name vs. Surname, so I can deal with that. But sorting on prefix introduces an unnecessary layer of complexity. It used to not be that much of a problem when we had fewer pages and you could scan one screen to look over all the results. As we have gotten bigger and results span multiple screens, it has become a bigger problem. My work around has been to stop using the prefix field completely in the Preferred Name row (i.e. military rank goes in a Fact field with a citation, suffix field is used for titles or degrees, etc.). If Dallan or the Website Features committee could update us on the status of restricting sort to the Given name field, that would be much appreciated. It sounds like that was going to be the resolution to this suggestion at the close of the original discussion five years ago. Thank you. --cos1776 21:39, 27 October 2016 (UTC)

I notice there are several different suggestions all pertaining to sorting or filtering various lists. Is it too complex to ask that all lists be sortable? Some want the list to be filtered by title, some want names listed by surname, some want by first name, and all sorts of different ways to sort. I don't know programming but if there was a way to make one list sortable, maybe using a template to choose what filter, then couldn't all lists be sortable using the same technology? I particularly want the 'what links here' and 'contributions' list to be sortable. --janiejac 19:11, 30 June 2017 (UTC)

While these original sorting requests are relatively simple, there are powerful tools already available out there for use with wikis in general and MediaWiki in particular. Does anyone know if we have ever explored the use of Semantic MediaWiki? It could accomplish everything that is being asked for and so much more. --cos1776 14:01, 3 July 2017 (UTC)