Author Topic: Sorting (comprehensive discussion, with examples)  (Read 3741 times)

Offline syncrasy

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Sorting (comprehensive discussion, with examples)
« on: May 22, 2019, 01:39:20 PM »
I know sorting has been mentioned elsewhere for specific instances, e.g., for search results or subsorting, but I thought it worthwhile to create a general sorting topic, with examples. I've divided the topic into two categories: general sorting and manual sorting.

General sorting by field/attribute
Sorting is essential for a DAM/catalog, whether within search results or while browsing a catalog folder or contact sheet. For reference/ideas, attached is the Sort menu for Media Pro. I believe the default order is based on time added to the catalog (oldest first). Also attached is a partial shot of Media Pro's List View options. These are used for sorting by clicking a column in List View (also shown below) and include many more fields and attributes than the regular Sort menu (media info, EXIF data, etc.). Media Pro permits 10 columns max. I understand List View is not on the current road map for PM+, but I attach both screenshots here to show how Media Pro handles sorting.

Manual sorting
And, in case no one has mentioned this, it's important to also allow manual sorting, i.e., by dragging/rearranging thumbnails, in any view (including query results). In addition, where technically possible, the app should give users the option (e.g., in Preferences) to remember manual sort orders each time the app is opened (e.g., at least for folders and Collections, but not queries). Edited for accuracy/clarity.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2019, 12:35:32 PM by syncrasy »
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Offline Kirk Baker

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Re: Sorting (comprehensive discussion, with examples)
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2019, 02:08:24 PM »
Manual sorting
And, in case no one has mentioned this, it's extremely important to also allow manual sorting, i.e., by dragging/rearranging thumbnails, and for the app to remember that manually-sorted order each time the app is opened. For me this is especially important for Collections, but the concept could apply generally.

I can see saving a manual arrangement for a Collection, but not for a filter or a search query.

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Offline syncrasy

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Re: Sorting (comprehensive discussion, with examples)
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2019, 02:20:24 PM »
Manual sorting
And, in case no one has mentioned this, it's extremely important to also allow manual sorting, i.e., by dragging/rearranging thumbnails, and for the app to remember that manually-sorted order each time the app is opened. For me this is especially important for Collections, but the concept could apply generally.

I can see saving a manual arrangement for a Collection, but not for a filter or a search query.

In Media Pro I have used manual sorting in any number of situations (e.g., while browsing a folder or search results), so I would miss the capability. But for Collections, which by definition are manually curated groups of images, it's a necessity (e.g., to create and remember a Web gallery order).
« Last Edit: May 22, 2019, 02:41:49 PM by syncrasy »
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Offline Kirk Baker

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Re: Sorting (comprehensive discussion, with examples)
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2019, 02:44:39 PM »
Manual sorting
And, in case no one has mentioned this, it's extremely important to also allow manual sorting, i.e., by dragging/rearranging thumbnails, and for the app to remember that manually-sorted order each time the app is opened. For me this is especially important for Collections, but the concept could apply generally.

I can see saving a manual arrangement for a Collection, but not for a filter or a search query.

PM does have the capability to arrange a folder (it stores a file in the folder that it can later use to restore), so that's good.
But on a query or a filter?  Where would the user expect to be able to restore it?  If they don't make the exact same query then how would they get their arrangement back?

Collections and folders make sense to me, but on a query or a filter, unless they're 'saved' to some place that a double-click would reopen, arrangements sound potentially confusing.

-Kirk
« Last Edit: May 22, 2019, 03:21:29 PM by Kirk Baker »

Offline syncrasy

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Re: Sorting (comprehensive discussion, with examples)
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2019, 03:06:25 PM »

PM does have the capability to arrange a folder (it stores a file in the folder that it can later use to restore), so that's good.
But on a query or a filter?  Where would the user expect to be able to restore it?  If they don't make the exact same query then how would they get their arrangement back?

Collections and folders make sense to me, but on a query or a filter, unless they're 'saved' to some place that a double-click would reopen, arrangements sound potentially confusing.

You're right about sorted queries not saving. I should have been more specific. Media Pro allows manual sorting generally (including query results), but has the ability to remember manual sorts only for Catalog folders and Catalog fields (includes Collections), but not queries.

I should add that remembering manual sorting in Media Pro is an option in Preferences.

I've fixed my original post to be clearer.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2019, 03:57:45 PM by syncrasy »
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Offline carlseibert

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Re: Sorting (comprehensive discussion, with examples)
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2019, 02:35:18 PM »
I think a custom sort for collections makes sense.

If one needs to make a custom sort for a search return, it's easy enough to just pop the whole return into a collection and go from there. That way, your custom sort won't be lost. (I think Kirk was saying more or less that.) Most DAMs don't have Photo Mechanic's multiple tabs, so this is pretty much a muscle memory step for most DAM users. In Photo Mechanic, tabs mean it's not necessary for every little thing, but it can still be a good idea sometimes to insure then user doesn't lose his/her place.

In general, though, I would be sure that the user has to do something concrete before custom search becomes active. I work in a couple programs where it's way too easy to accidentally drag a thumbnail and create a custom sort. Whereupon, all kinds of unexpected stuff happens and it's not top-of-mind - my mind, at least - that the problem might be an accidental custom sort.

And if/when there is a list view, I agree that being able to sort it by a zillion fields is a good thing. That said, I really liked having a list view in Merlin to do that very sort of thing. But I've got to say that I didn't actually use it that often.

And, of course, Find accomplishes much of what we're talking about here. Being able to run Find on a search return is super powerful, and it's a differentiator for PM+. When most DAMs say you can search within a search return, they just mean ANDing more terms to the original search. In which case you have to put the original returns in a collection to make sure you don't lose anything. (And remember to clean up your collections, which will soon number in the mega-oddles.) Here, you can do a bunch of pretty advanced stuff without leaving the search return tab.

Offline mklass

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Re: Sorting (comprehensive discussion, with examples)
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2019, 09:12:35 PM »
Am I missing something? I don' see any way in Beta 4 on a Mac to sort a collection. The only place I see sorting available is in a contact sheet.

Offline Hayo Baan

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Re: Sorting (comprehensive discussion, with examples)
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2019, 10:50:44 PM »
Am I missing something? I don' see any way in Beta 4 on a Mac to sort a collection. The only place I see sorting available is in a contact sheet.

No you're not, this is a request for the sorting functionality as described :)
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Offline mklass

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Re: Sorting (comprehensive discussion, with examples)
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2019, 03:57:46 AM »
Thanks for the clarification, Hayo. Sorting  is something that badly needs to be addressed, as well as filtering on more exif/IPTC fields. Hopefully this will get come out in the net beta or so.