Tag sorting for tags with a lifespan?

We have a tag group with versions of our software releases. Since we support several releases at a time, it’s handy when people tag with the one they’re talking about. It also helps people know in search that the information they’re getting is relevant.

The natural thing that is happening with sort by order (generally, I think, the most helpful), is that shortly after we have a new software release, the previous version comes up first in the list, followed by the next-oldest, until the current release slowly starts creeping up. But the various release-versions — even end-of-life ones — are generally going to have higher total usage than any single topical tag (like installation or networking or whatever).

I don’t want to force tagging, but I want to make the new release tag to be easier to find. What I’d like is a sort order for the tag field (for all of search, filtering, and adding a tag) where the most recent two tags (which also sort last in the tag group, since they’re (of they match the search) are displayed first descending order regardless of count, followed by all of the other tags in count order, followed finally by the rest of the tag group.

I don’t expect this to be … a default feature. But it’d be really handy for us. Is this deep plug-in territory?


Alphanumerically ordered tags are much more useful than tags ordered by popularity or latest, IMO. One would expect the tag “widget” to be at the end of a list, even if it’s the most recent or most tagged. An ascending/descending toggle makes it even better, and a setting that can be set as the global default by the admin, well - even more better.

It really depends. If you’ve got a short list, sure.

But we let our community come up with tags, so we have a couple of hundred. In my observation, changing to sort by count has increased engagement with tags. I haven’t run a user interaction study, but I assume that it’s because it’s easier to just click on something that’s likely to apply — like the software versions, or popular desktop environments like gnome or kde or everyone’s favorite problem-hardware, nvidia. Otherwise, the top of the list is…abrt, acpi, alternatives,* anaconda, android, antivirus. You’re almost guaranteed to have to start searching for something useful.

Plus, the various fedora-NN versions would be in the middle of the list, and even after you started typing fedora, you’d have a dozen or more still to pick from. (Again, I haven’t done user studies, but I don’t think it’s obvious to people that you can just search by typing the number (like, 35), which is definitely fastest — except for picking a top item from the list, which would be even faster.

* it’s a piece of software, not a collection of options!

When looking for a tag in any length list, alpha is the most logical. Take for example Docs, and say you wanted to see topics tagged video. The default sort by count is difficult to use for that. Fortunately, we can change the order.

When talking about software versions, I agree with you that ordering by most recent is the way.

Your use case for temporarily preferring specific tags could rely on some kind of pinned tags. Pin several latest releases’ tags and unpin as they get pushed down. This future plugin could sort pinned tags by most recent, and give them a different graphic treatment so they stand out from other tags in the list.

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