Sorting The Topic List

(Theskrobot) #1

Is it possible to sort the displayed discussions? For example if I wanted to see the most liked or most recent?

(Sam Saffron) #2

Not at the moment, but totally on the cards.

How would you see it working ?

(Peter Stoinov) #3

clicking on the column name and seeing the result immediately would be great.
The question would be, how - for a big forum with lots of discussions - the not loaded ones be handled? Should a query for the all time top liked be made and then showed, or if just a resorting of the currently displayed and then reshuffling when newer are loaded? Should this be an option?

Also sorting is good but filtering is better. Could there be shortcuts in the search field for filtering by number of likes or posts, or even for a specific period of time for the activity? It would be great for moderation.

How to quickly clear new topics?
(Cdeszaq) #4

I couldn’t agree more. In fact, if given a choice, I would rather be able to filter than to sort. Filtering lets me easily winnow through things to see only what I want, whereas sorting still leaves all of that uninteresting chaff.

(Jeff Atwood) #5

We definitely want to get to sortable columns on the topic list.

However, over time it has kind of evolved to be more of a “nice to have” than “I can’t use this unless…” in that it hasn’t bothered us that much in our daily use of the forum.

(Thomas) #6

Sorting is good for those who choose it. You just don’t know how many want filtering or sorting. Both are good options.

I’m also curious about how the “Popular” discussions are determined. Would be nice if this list is influenced by some mix of (a) the categories I tend to read more often (but not exclusively), (b) Moderator (Editor) Picks, and © curation or upvotes by people most active within a particular category (which helps minimize risk of artificial upvotes by new members just trying to promote themselves).

(Theskrobot) #7

Wow great responses from all! I agree with stoinov about the filtering options as well.


Seconded. I thought I’d totally miss it, but the unread view is good enough for me. One thing I am missing though is filtering posts I’ve already seen/read all of.

(Doug Moore) #9

I am fairly baffled that the only option is “popular” and not chronological. Perhaps that will change as I use Discourse, but I am one of those people that despises Facebook’s “Top News” ordering. Don’t try to tell me what I’m going to like, give me a chronological feed and I can sort through it myself.

(Alex Roca Sánchez) #10

It would be cool to be able to sort it as the most like, the most recent, the one with the most posts, or the most views by clicking in the top of each related view

(Luke S) #11

One counter-example (Counter-scenario?) is the case of drive-by browsing. If you are signed in, the current setup is handy… But I (and I’d imagine others) don’t sign in unless I have something to say. I often go a while between posts, but I do browse to keep up on what is new. A little difficult on discourse at the moment… Just some thoughts.

(Ben Shaw) #12

Literally the first thing I tried to do when I visited this discourse was find the key discussions that had already taken place so I could see the general direction the project was taken. For me, this is fairly common behaviour (I do the same when I visit a new subreddit for example) I was disappointed that clicking the relevant column headings didn’t sort as expected.

(Eli the Bearded) #13

Filter is super important once discussion reaches a certain threshhold. Sorting can aid that, but seems like it should be a lower priority.

If, say, this was like a private discussion group I use that has 289,000 posts since it was created in 2005. Approximately 225 users have participated, and there are about 38,000 topics. How would sorting help you find the “key discussions”?

(Jeff Atwood) #14

Agreed and @cakey how would you use data to tell you which are the key discussions? Total number of replies seems unreliable. Number of likes? Total time spent reading by all users (we have this on Discourse…)? Ratio of replies to posts? Total number of unique participants in a topic? So many ways to slice it, but I am not sure I could deliver a magic formula that identifies just the key discussions.

Maybe after a year working on Discourse, I will have better ideas on how to do this.

(Ben Shaw) #15

Maybe ‘key’ wasn’t the right word. I want some way of finding threads with controversy, historical significance, or impact. The metric doesn’t have to be perfect - I just want some heuristic that helps me get a vague idea of what the community is about. I don’t think it is too much of a stretch to suggest that the topics with the most likes/posts/contributors/views/etc are likely to be some of the more interesting topics to start with.

As a quick litmus test, I’ve checked the topics that come up on this discourse when I look for high views/likes, and they were indeed the types of discussions I were looking for.

I guess the real issue for me isn’t sorting, but ‘where do I start?’.

(Timothy_Jacobs) #16

I was surprised to find that not only does sorting/filtering not exist as least on, it hasn’t even seen discussion in months ? Is it still on the list of features before “production” status ?
It seems “nice to have” because there isn’t currently enough volume, and some of things you would sort by are sort of arbitrary on the types of forums you are currently hosting. If you were hosting say, slickdeals or another really busy forum with a focus, you’d find the need to sort many times daily by “like” (or thumbs up, or whatever) as that indicates how much money you will save, and strictly by newest, as that is how you will find a deal before the merchant pulls it or it sells out.

(Jeff Atwood) #17

It does come up, and we want to do it, but it has never been urgent. There aren’t that many people complaining about it.

Looks like it may be important on the admin pages first, though.

(Voxel Pirate) #18

From my user perspective a sort-function is not a super critical feature which is missing (maybe that’s why not so many people are complaining about)… but still I would love to see it, as it is another tool to find interesting posts in a more busy forum. I also think it does not take anything away from the sleek design of Discourse. I would just offer this function for the labels “posts”, “likes” and “views” which are already included in the headline and make them sort the entries once clicked on.

(Bahtiar Gadimov) #19

I must disagree. Especially as a person new to a forum or category you want to get an overview and sort topics by Views/Post/Likes.

(Sjors) #20

I didn’t know this was already requested before, I also posted about it in this topic.

Would love this functionality in Discourse, it seems like a simple hack because Discourse has a ‘sandbox’ like structure.

However I’m not a programmer so I have no idea how difficult this would be.