Bug #1402

directory listing should be most-recent-first by default

Added by cpg about 8 years ago. Updated about 8 years ago.

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We have found that listing files by most-recently-modified-first is the most user friendly way to list them.

In iOS we added an icon (to the top right corner) to toggle between them:

The sorting is done locally in the client without re-requesting the directory.


#1 Updated by cpg about 8 years ago

  • Priority changed from Normal to Medium

upgrading to medium - alphabetical listing makes makes things a pain in the @ss to browse

#2 Updated by ming about 8 years ago

  • Status changed from New to Feedback
  • Assignee set to cpg

I added the ability to sort files. By default it is sorted by name, let me explain why. First, all file lists I saw are sorted by name by default: Finder, Explorer, Drive, Dropbox and so on. Second, it is kind of weird to see welcome files in order 3—1—2. Probably better solution will be to remember chosen sort method. Am I wrong? BTW it is now OS X like (directories and files are equal for sorting). Should directories be sorted with priority?

#3 Updated by megabitdragon about 8 years ago

I personally like it by name but I think from analytics iOS users like it by date. I like the idea to save the latest state, but personally I would start with alphabetical order. For folder priority, I am not sure. I can do it either way.

#4 Updated by cpg about 8 years ago

On average, Amahi users have hundreds, if not thousands of media files. They add files (e.g. movies) daily, either by hand or through automated methods like sickbeard or couchpotato, etc. So when you go to browse files, you want to find the latest added. Until we have some "event notification system" that can monitor additions and list them in order, seeing the latest movie added first is the quickest.

For music is worse -- because there are a lot more files than movies, typically.

In iOS we added a setting for each view on a per-directory basis that remembers the sort preference. In some cases it does make some sense to list alphabetically, like in an audiobook where the chapters are listed 01-foo.mp3, 02-foo.mp3, etc.

It's an icon on the top right of the screen showind the mode -- e.g., this is alphabetical:
and this is by modified time:
tapping it changes the sort order.

#5 Updated by cpg about 8 years ago

oh, btw, the welcome server is designed to show the files in the proper order when sorting by latest modified time.

if that is not showing in the natural order, there may be something wrong in the way the sorting happens in the app.

Also, when sorting by file/directory, it's ok to mix them (in both cases).

Using the app with a default of alphabetical makes the app a royal pain to use in practice when used day-to-day. We have this as the default in iOS and never got a comment/complaint/feedback on this.

For completeness, I should note that in the latest iOS version, we did a restructuring that broke the remembering of the sort method on a per directory basis and now it remembers it, but not when changing depth more than two or something like that. This is a bug, but it's not fixed yet because it's not high priority (it's not too frequently that the bug is hit).

#6 Updated by ming about 8 years ago

OK, Carlos, thanks for the explanation. Maybe I just got used to iTunes and forgot what files look like :-) I’ll take a look at sorting at the welcome server.

So, the plan is to change the default sorting to modification time. Should I implement saving current sorting for directories or let’s delay it?

#7 Updated by cpg about 8 years ago

i think it's not high priority to save the sorting preference.

the current default is alphabetical, and the sorting by modification time is reversed. i guess it ought to be sorted in descending order, the one with the largest mtime first and going down.

#8 Updated by cpg about 8 years ago

at one point in the design cycle, we thought about cycling between 4 settings. let me put it here, even if this is too much to do with all other priorities at the moment.

  • Time down (the default)
  • Time up
  • A-Z up
  • A-Z down

and change them on each tap of the icon. the icon changes to reflect the latest status after tapping on it.
(we came up with variations on the two icons)

#9 Updated by ming about 8 years ago

I changed the order for the modification time.

#10 Updated by megabitdragon about 8 years ago

I changed the menu item so it requires single click.

#11 Updated by ming about 8 years ago

I’m sorry, but why? This type of thing is done using dropdown menu on Android. Take a look at Downloads and Document Storage Framework. Plus if you want four types of sorting like Carlos mentioned it is 4 clicks vs 2 in worst case scenario.

#12 Updated by cpg about 8 years ago

ok, i tried it and i think a single tap is great, at least for now. simple, efficient and quick.
(i would improve the icons a tiny bit, but not at this time)

#13 Updated by cpg about 8 years ago

  • Status changed from Feedback to Closed

#14 Updated by ming about 8 years ago

  • Status changed from Closed to Feedback
  • Assignee changed from cpg to megabitdragon

Action bar buttons should have 80 % opacity per guidelines.

#15 Updated by megabitdragon about 8 years ago

  • Status changed from Feedback to Assigned
  • Priority changed from Medium to Normal

Thank you for pointing that out. I am not happy with the images yet and I will work on making them better. I also agree that if we have more than the current 2 options the dropdown menu is the better approach.

#16 Updated by cpg about 8 years ago

The 2-click vs. 4-click is not a matter of click count, even if it seems so in this case. Let me explain why.

My brain is looking for a movie file or something specifically. Typically, it's the latest episode of a series or tv show, or the latest movie that has finished torrenting. Most of the other time I would be looking for a file specifically, say, Blade Runner.mkv or Star Wars IV.mkv. Sorting alphabetically is best in this case.

In any case, my eyes are on the list. Tapping on the same spot (1 2 or more times) allows me to scan the list and move up/down in the list for what I am looking for without having to move my eyes off the list. The pop up option requires me to move my eyes off the list to find the new target that pops up. It's a matter of usability.

In any case, I regret introducing the 4-click comment. I never truly felt I needed more than the 2 options we have. The scrolling is fast and smooth these days, so it's easy even in somewhat long lists. So, when in doubt, go for simple. while 4 may be better (I'm not sure), it's more work and there is some chance it may not be clearly better. So, I'm sorry I wasting time introducing the 4-click comment. It was just a thought while we were designing this stuff.

#17 Updated by ming about 8 years ago

Blade Runner is a great one, one of my favourites :-)

Yep, for two options a single button is better. I had no icons and looked at Google-developed apps so went to the menu.

About the iconography. There is a paid icon pack, I am pretty sure it is not worth buy it for our purposes, but it contains an interesting example of the alphabet sorting. Maybe we don’t need arrows after all (not sure about it). Just throwing an idea.

#18 Updated by cpg about 8 years ago

The interesting example is ok (not great), in my view. Let me take a step or two back:

1) I provided a suggestion that we should pick a set of icons (commercial is best, up to $200 or so) a few weeks back. this would allow us to pick from the set any time we would need icons (because i knew we would)
2) this suggestion was declined at the time and i moved on until after google i/o with potentially new guidelines
3) picking icons one by one will lead to a "franken-app" ... without consistency. we have made that mistake before (in the platform)
4) i closed it today because i think at this point this is not important. we can make decisions after google io in a couple of weeks. time is precious and we need to focus. we can do an icon revamp later under the other bug (about icons, etc.).

in short, this functionality is working well and i think we should one optimize one case of one icon or two and later we can just buy a premium set that we like and replace them as needed.

For completeness, here are other places/uses i think we will need icons:
  • when there is nothing in a folder: we should definitely not use words. rather than emtpy we can put a large greyed out icon of something that denotes there are none, or an amahi logo
  • LAN mode vs. Remote mode: a LAN icon vs. a Satellite icon (i suggested this before)
  • one icon to launch preferences (when we have them)
  • one icon to log out
  • maybe one for feedback .. (once we add a simple way to add feedback)

#19 Updated by ming about 8 years ago

I was just throwing an idea :-) Let’s leave it as it is or just change opacity and move on.

#20 Updated by ming about 8 years ago

  • Status changed from Assigned to Feedback

Bogdan, please change your IDE settings to use tabs instead of spaces.

#21 Updated by megabitdragon about 8 years ago

Done. I don't even know why is not the default option.

#22 Updated by megabitdragon about 8 years ago

  • Status changed from Feedback to Closed

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