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Catalog categories should have a sort field

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Posted
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#70081 (In Topic #14843)
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Community saint

The catalog categories currently sort alphabetically; this is often not ideal. There should be a sort order for catalog categories like there is for catalog entries so that the most important information appears first.
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Posted
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#70084
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Community saint

I think this might introduce a usability issue Bob. The eyes find it much easier to read and search in an alphabetical manner. What would be the definition of important?

"no violence, no hate, no pain, no enemies
just peace, unity, tolerance and love" - The Beloved

OCP V7 | Advocating monetary reform - FreeOurMoney

Need OCP friendly hosting? Look no further:
Web Hosting, Reseller Hosting, and Dedicated Servers w/cPanel - Elief! - Official hosting partner for ocPortal.
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Posted
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#70088
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Community saint

Thanks for your reply but I still think a sort field is necessary. Important is what I say it is - that's why I need a sort field.

In my specific case, for my FAQs page, I don't want the Forums and Galleries categories ahead of the General Site Questions.

Bob
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Posted
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#70089
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Community saint

Apologies Bob, no offence intended with my question, I was just trying to ascertain better your needs to offer relevant suggestions.

"no violence, no hate, no pain, no enemies
just peace, unity, tolerance and love" - The Beloved

OCP V7 | Advocating monetary reform - FreeOurMoney

Need OCP friendly hosting? Look no further:
Web Hosting, Reseller Hosting, and Dedicated Servers w/cPanel - Elief! - Official hosting partner for ocPortal.
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Posted
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#70092
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Community saint

No need to apologize, SD. I know you were trying to help. I'm just a bit miffed that something like this arises. I think most would agree that I have a legitimate reason for trying to prioritize the sections on the page. I guess I can always resort to the old "1. xxxx". 2. xxxxx" trick but, geez, it's 2011 and I really don't want the heading numbered.

Anyway, thanks for your help.

Bob
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Posted
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#70177
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To be fair it's not really a matter of you having a legitimate reason to do it or not Bob, it's a matter of the feature being developed or not and that all comes down to demand and money. This one hasn't come up before. Often people will think what they are trying to do is common or obvious, but it's not really the case – remember how huge ocPortal is and how much combinational scope there is for trying different things. Your particular scenario probably comes from you having just enough categories to have order mattering, but not a large or growable number for you to want automatic ordering; that is actually quite specific if you think about it.

We do try very hard to educate users on the funding issue (on our website, and in the Setup Wizard), because the staff resources really are limited, and we really make no money off ocPortal itself even though it's basically a full time job just maintaining it. I don't like to say it, but ultimately if someone doesn't have a budget, they really need to get comfortable limiting their expectations to paths that have been trod before, doing the long walk to becoming a programmer, or finding some kind of clever workaround that might be a bit of a compromise. There aren't any websites out there on the net that were not made to these kinds of constraints.

I think part of the problem is that it is easy to look at commercial software that is funded and/or designed for a specific scenario (e.g. eCommerce software – which achieves a very specific goal on every site it is deployed on), and see that consideration has been given to exactly how people might interact with every aspect of it's use cases. Or, you can look at things paid programmers have done directly, and see how they have achieved exactly what they set out to achieve (the budgets for sophisticated commercial projects are usually over $10k, which few people realise).

I'm positive ocPortal will continue to grow and be improved (in fact big plans are in motion at this moment), but I'm also certain it could never be the case that every bit of customisation can be done without at least some level of programming by somebody. Hence why I wrote this post to attempt to inject a bit of realism back and make sure people don't risk extending their dreams beyond practicality and getting disappointed as a result.


Answering your specific question…

If you save CATALOGUE_DEFAULT_SUBCATEGORY_WRAP.tpl to CATALOGUE_<cataloguename>_SUBCATEGORY_WRAP.tpl you can then customise the links (copy the HTML for the list ocPortal auto-generated for what you have right now into the space in this template, but rearrange as required)

(A "clever workaround"/"compromise" ;))


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Was I helpful?
  • If not, please let us know how we can do better (please try and propose any bigger ideas in such a way that they are fundable and scalable).
  • If so, please let others know about ocPortal whenever you see the opportunity.
  • If my reply is too Vulcan or expressed too much in business-strategy terms, and not particularly personal, I apologise. As a company & project maintainer, time is very limited to me, so usually when I write a reply I try and make it generic advice to all readers. I'm also naturally a joined-up thinker, so I always express my thoughts in combined business and technical terms. I recognise not everyone likes that, don't let my Vulcan-thinking stop you enjoying ocPortal on fun personal projects.
  • If my response can inspire a community tutorial, that's a great way of giving back to the project as a user.
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Posted
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#70197
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Community saint

Chris-

I certainly understand the funding issue. If I had a budget for this project, then some of this would be moot.

When looking at the number of active forum participants v. the over 3000 registered members, I wonder why so few participate. Certainly, many were an using older version of ocP and many others probably found it overkill for their project. But I think you have to imagine what other reasons people don't stick around. One is no doubt that the back-end in ocP is much different (hence, foreign) compared to the likes of Joomla and Drupal. Then there is the matter of having active forums.

But I think there may be some other issues, as well. There are a number of features or usability issues compared to other software which, I suspect, many might find a show-stopper without ever posting in the forum. I know you disapprove of comparing missing features in other packages, but it is a reality and you, yourself, do it at ocPortal.com - Why we're different .

I am honestly surprised that the sorting order has never been brought up and certainly understand that you should not be devoting limited resources to one-off requests free of charge. And you certainly have the benefit of "the big picture".

EDIT: I tried "cheating" by adding a space in front of the one title but ocP must strip spaces before outputting the text (the space is still in the FAQ catalog title).

One thing that might help is creating a forum for "Feature requests/Wishlist. This would give people a central place to post such messages. It could also prove valuable to you as some posts collect more attention than others. This could help determine future plans based on input from the broader community and leaves you with a working list of suggestions to draw from.

And it would be perfectly acceptable for you to respond that a request is a paid upgrade letting people know that they need to cough up money. With some other paid software I used, people would pool their resources to get changes made. There are issues with this approach as it requires that someone act as the escrow agent since there is no sense in adding to the tasks of an already over-burdoned staff. Then there is the issue of when to add paid changes into the main branch as those who paid should enjoy some benefit over others who would just freeload. But I think all of these are workable issues and might actually provide more paid projects for you.

What do others think?

Bob


Last edit: by BobS
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Posted
Rating:
#70200
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But I think there may be some other issues, as well. There are a number of features or usability issues compared to other software which, I suspect, many might find a show-stopper without ever posting in the forum

We've been fixing these for years, and however much easier we make it, people always say this ;). Please do report them, we've been very aggressive in tackling them and will continue to be. I just honestly think any project (except the really really simple ones) have these.

I know you disapprove of comparing missing features in other packages

I don't disapprove at all! All discussion is good. I do have to admit though I find it very frustrating when people want ocPortal to do everything they conceive of and it feels like being the mythical 'Atlas'. Hence why I always hammer home the financial point. Also I can easily say ocPortal has a completely different magnitude of features than the competition, so it's not as if at this point I am going to feel guilty for not having implemented it all :lol:. I'm sure it is the case that there are some examples of little things that other CMSs do, or specialist software does, and I would like to know them actually. But comparing to the big competition, it's usually the case that you need an addon to do just about anything, and I don't want to fall into the trap where we need to implement everything an addon can via the core team, because people are just as empowered to release addons for ocPortal as they are for other software.

One thing that might help is creating a forum for "Feature requests/Wishlist

We have the Tracker for this. It already deals with the financial aspect – we can say how many hours something is and it autocalculates the quote. People can then discuss it.


Become a fan of ocPortal on Facebook or add me as a friend. Add me on on Twitter.
Was I helpful?
  • If not, please let us know how we can do better (please try and propose any bigger ideas in such a way that they are fundable and scalable).
  • If so, please let others know about ocPortal whenever you see the opportunity.
  • If my reply is too Vulcan or expressed too much in business-strategy terms, and not particularly personal, I apologise. As a company & project maintainer, time is very limited to me, so usually when I write a reply I try and make it generic advice to all readers. I'm also naturally a joined-up thinker, so I always express my thoughts in combined business and technical terms. I recognise not everyone likes that, don't let my Vulcan-thinking stop you enjoying ocPortal on fun personal projects.
  • If my response can inspire a community tutorial, that's a great way of giving back to the project as a user.
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Posted
Rating:
#70203
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Community saint

Learn something new every day - I thought only bugs were being tracked in the Tracker.

For all my grousing the past few days, I still believe I made the right choice of CMS and it would take something pretty major for me to make another choice.

I do appreciate that you always make an effort to at least explain your position on matters.

Bob
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