Categories view constantly resorting

(Brian Gillespie) #1

Discourse seems to rearrange the categories on 301 Moved Permanently based on activity. I find this contrary to my perceived goal of the page: to make it easy to find what’s going on in each category.

Consider that I’m a guy who likes to keep up on UX and DEV, but don’t care about the rest. It’d be really handy if I could rely on Discourse to keep those two sections in the same place on the screen - that way I could easily find and use them.

When the categories move around, it forces me to read and think every single time I view the page. Reading and thinking slows me down, and gives me the feeling that I’m not really in control of the task at hand. Think how much of a pain it would be if “Latest | New | Unread | Read | Favorited | Categories” moved around every time the page reloaded!

(Sam Saffron) #2

I agree with this, I think our categories page should keep a stable sort of categories that can be controlled by moderators. (you may want FAQ first, always)

cc @codinghorror

(Jeff Atwood) #3

I think this should be a site setting, defaulted to off – sorting the active categories to the top is a better default, since inactive categories aren’t really interesting.

I am fine with a site setting “don’t reorder category page by activity”, but the current default is correct.

(Philipp Schmidt) #4

Agree that current behavior is the right default AND that there is a lot of value in allowing more control over the category page layout. +1 for adding ability to custom order.

(Monica Semergiu) #5

Has this setting been added?

(Mittineague) #6

I can see both sides.

Reordering by activity is like a “democracy rules” thing and for those interested in what’s “hot” it’s great.
For example a Cat like “Ancient Little Used Programming Language” would fall away as it should, despite whether or not forum Staff accepted the fact that one of their fav’s was no longer worthy of top billing.

On the other hand, members get used to a stable ordering and as stated in previous posts (even unconsciously) expect them to be in the same place.

True, colors do help in identification, but for my less than perfect vision, I still need to put in at least a modicum of effort to distinguish when there’s ~30 Categories to look at.

Whether or not “Active” equates to “Interest” is debatable, For example “Newbie Questions” might be the most active because of vast numbers of “just gimme da codez” members. but “Advanced Techniques” might be what others are interested in and have little desire to answer questions like “what is a variable?”