Ordering of pages

How can you order pages under a <r:children:each> ?

I can see the “by” parameter but what does that amount to?

I can see that it could be the title or the publication date, but what
I’m
trying to do is a a bit different that that.
Let me express it as a general problem.

Can I do something like create a tab for each page under a parent, call
it
“sequence” and put a sequence number in it?

Can I do something like select the single item from a list of pages
describing events that is the next one if there is a tab that has the
date
in it?

Can I control the order of menu items ?

/anton

You can order by any field on the ‘pages’ table/ Page model. Give the
‘order’ attribute which direction you want to order it in (‘asc’/‘desc’)
and the ‘by’ attribute the field you want to order on.

For your other situation, you’ll probably have to create your own tag
definition (to order by something that’s in a part/tab). There has been
some work in the past on adding an arbitrary ordering to Radiant with
acts_as_list. If this is an increasingly requested feature and the
implementation and case for it is solid, it might be added. However,
features need to have a real pressing need before they are added,
generally.

Sean

Sean C. said the following on 01/26/2007 08:08 AM:

You can order by any field on the ‘pages’ table/ Page model.

Right.
I see that in the documentation, but beyond ‘title’ and when it was
published, what constitutes a “field”? I really don’t want to pour
backwards and forwards though the code - this out to be documented!

Can the existence of a page part (the tab when editing like ‘sidebar’ or
‘extended’) or its content be used? If I have one called ‘current’ can
I
percolate that to the top? If I have one called “order” in each of the
pages can I use its content to sort?

Give the
‘order’ attribute which direction you want to order it in (‘asc’/‘desc’)
and the ‘by’ attribute the field you want to order on.

Yes, that asc/desc is clearly documented. But the ‘by’ remains
confusing.

For your other situation, you’ll probably have to create your own tag
definition (to order by something that’s in a part/tab).

In English, does that mean I have to write Ruby code to do this?

There has been
some work in the past on adding an arbitrary ordering to Radiant with
acts_as_list.

I suspect you and I use the word ‘arbitrary’ slightly differently :slight_smile:
What I’m thinking of isn’t at all arbitrary, its quite strictly
controlled.
And I’m really surprised that better ordering of the children isn’t an
issue.

Of course I may just be completely misunderstanding what you mean by
‘field’. But as I say, it doesn’t grab me in the documentation or the
code
for <r:children:each>

I hope that there is something in there and Its just that I don’t
understand
what you mean by ‘field’.

If this is an increasingly requested feature and the
implementation and case for it is solid, it might be added. However,
features need to have a real pressing need before they are added, generally.

I do understand about time and resource constraints! Oh boy, yes!

/a

Anton,

Even though Radiant has evolved fairly quickly, the fact is that it is
a work in process which, in turn, means that many times people have to
hack their work-arounds to get stuff working the way they want. So, if
there’s a specific task that you cannot concieveably accomplish with
existing tags, then you will HAVE TO write your own custom tags (i.e.
Ruby coding).

By field is meant a database field. Fields can also be though as the
columns in a database table. So, for example, you have a table with
the following structure:

id|name|children|parent

where id, name, children and parent are fields (columns).

Now let’s say that you want to get all the list of children sorted
alphabetically, descending by name, you would write something like
(sql):

SELECT children FROM tablename ORDER BY name DESC;

or with the super easy Radius tags you would write something like

<r:children by=“name” order=“DESC”>
#do stuff here … useful stuff preferably
</r:children>

P.S.: someone please check this for accuracy as I have not slept a
wink in the last couple of days/nights.

Right.
I see that in the documentation, but beyond ‘title’ and when it was
published, what constitutes a “field”? I really don’t want to pour
backwards and forwards though the code - this out to be documented!

If you look in db/schema.rb or use a tool to inspect the database, you
can
see what fields are available in the database.

Here’s what my schema.rb says:

create_table “pages”, :force => true do |t|
t.column “title”, :string
t.column “slug”, :string, :limit => 100
t.column “breadcrumb”, :string, :limit => 160
t.column “class_name”, :string, :limit => 25
t.column “status_id”, :integer, :default => 1,
:null => false
t.column “parent_id”, :integer
t.column “layout_id”, :integer
t.column “created_at”, :datetime
t.column “updated_at”, :datetime
t.column “published_at”, :datetime
t.column “created_by”, :integer
t.column “updated_by”, :integer
t.column “virtual”, :boolean, :default =>
false,
:null => false
end
Now some of those are fields that don’t make sense to order by – for
example, class_name or layout_id or status_id, and in the context of
children, parent_id is always going to be the same.

Can the existence of a page part (the tab when editing like ‘sidebar’ or

‘extended’) or its content be used? If I have one called ‘current’ can I
percolate that to the top? If I have one called “order” in each of the
pages can I use its content to sort?

Currently, I believe they are ordered by id inside the application,
which
basically means creation order.

In English, does that mean I have to write Ruby code to do this?

Yes. It’s not much, maybe about 15 lines. Since you can do practically
anything Ruby inside the tag definition, sorting pages by one of their
page
parts should be relatively trivial.

I suspect you and I use the word ‘arbitrary’ slightly differently :slight_smile:

What I’m thinking of isn’t at all arbitrary, its quite strictly
controlled.
And I’m really surprised that better ordering of the children isn’t an
issue.

Yes. What I mean is an ordering that is orthogonal to the domain of the
model, which is what acts_as_list does.

Of course I may just be completely misunderstanding what you mean by

‘field’. But as I say, it doesn’t grab me in the documentation or the
code
for <r:children:each>

I hope that there is something in there and Its just that I don’t
understand
what you mean by ‘field’.

Unfortunately, the documentation has been really poor in the past.
However,
it should get better as time goes on, especially with the tag reference
UI/DSL that is now available in mental. Speaking of, I need to add
Textile
to that…

Sean

Todd McGrath said the following on 01/26/2007 09:18 AM:

+1 on ordering.

What? only “1”?

More about my need:
Creating a product catalog site. Using f:find, r:children:each throughout the
site to produce HTML and XML pages. Client really particular about ordering of
the Product pages. Unfortunately, product pages cannot use existing fields for
ordering, e.g. alphabetical on any field or date. Sure, I can add a position
field (which I believe acts_as_list does) and update by hand to create the
ordering they want, but this feels like a hack. I want them to be able to
reorder without calling me.

Same but different here.

What I’m trying to do about it:
I’ve attempted to implement patch files from ticket 199 into mental. I’ve got
it to work, but it’s really slow. Haven’t had a chance to diagnose in more
detail yet. Also, that ticket’s patch files moves administration page display
to

  • based rather than current table based, so it’s really off the path
    of Mental (as I understand it). Not too keen on moving far off the path.

I’m not keen on it either - arbitrary patches, even if I had the time to
learn Ruby, Rails. (Not that I don’t intend to, but its a matter of
priorities. Only so much time.) Like you, Todd, I have to deal with
the
content and structure and presentation rather than the code. That’s why
I’m
using CMS. The client baulked - rightly so - at the complexity of
Joomla
and Drupal. Rightly so. TWiki was almost there, but its a huge
footprint
and as it has bloated it has slowed down. The content model of Radiant
is
nice and clear. The “programming” of the structure with the tags isn’t
difficult. Textile scared them at first since they’d never heard of it,
but
once they say how much easier it was than HTML they were relieved. “Its
almost like you’d write in e-mail”. Indeed.

I appreciate that Radiant is just at 0.5.x But the reality is that a
lot of
software at 2.x or 3.x still has problems. Its ALWAYS “work in
progress”.
As are out client sites :frowning:

/a

On 1/26/07, Anton J Aylward [email protected] wrote:

How can you order pages under a <r:children:each> ?

WhatI’ve done is to (ab)use the “slug” field and putting a number there.

Then by=“slug” order=“asc” does the sorting.

+1 on ordering.

More about my need:
Creating a product catalog site. Using f:find, r:children:each
throughout the
site to produce HTML and XML pages. Client really particular about
ordering of
the Product pages. Unfortunately, product pages cannot use existing
fields for
ordering, e.g. alphabetical on any field or date. Sure, I can add a
position
field (which I believe acts_as_list does) and update by hand to create
the
ordering they want, but this feels like a hack. I want them to be able
to
reorder without calling me.

What I’m trying to do about it:
I’ve attempted to implement patch files from ticket 199 into mental.
I’ve got
it to work, but it’s really slow. Haven’t had a chance to diagnose in
more
detail yet. Also, that ticket’s patch files moves administration page
display
to

  • based rather than current table based, so it’s really off
    the path
    of Mental (as I understand it). Not too keen on moving far off the
    path.

    Supposedly, the sortable code from Scriptaculous is able to work with
    tables if
    you use thead as the container, but I can’t verify.

    I’m going to need to solve this eventually, because I’ll going to jab a
    pencil
    in my wrist if I receive many more, “Todd, can you move page x to right
    below
    page y” requests.

    Quoting Sean C. [email protected]:

Would like to add my vote for this too, there have been a few cases
where
I’ve had to use the numbered slug workaround even though it produces
ugly
urls.

Kev

Loren J. wrote:

I don’t currently feel qualified to work-up a new patch nor improve
the existing one, but I’ve got $$$ (seriously) for the first one to
do it well enough to get it included in a core release.

I have a client who wants to help foot the bill for this. Contact me
directly if you want to help.


John L.
http://wiseheartdesign.com

This has got my fervent vote.

I’ll try and not go on and on… but…

For every of the 5 or 6 sites I’ve now put up in Radiant sorting was
a requirement that I have had to work around not having. It seems
like it’d be a very natural addition to what Radiant is.

Mostly the workarounds have entailed manually maintain navigation
schemes where I otherwise would have just done a
<r:childeren:each … or written a tag to automate them. On the most
complex site we have up, www.diopa.org, all of the 2nd and 3rd level
navigation items of which there are a fair amount, get created
through an annoying set of snippets and <r:if … <r:unless …
switches to bring in the right snippet of completely manually
maintained navigation.

The worst part of this is that every time my client or designer wants
content added in these sections (most of the site) I have to add it
to the nav for them.

Also, one of Radiant’s more significant talents derived from it’s
simplicity is that it’s a great tool for figuring-out the initial
structure and content of a site. However, the pretty hierarchical
page tree so central to Radiant admin is much diminished in this role
without the ability to freely move pages around as you work away. So
re-parenting is equally important to me in at least this respect.

I tried the patch long ago and found it to be cumbersome and slow and
I really don’t want to worry about maintaining a patched environment.

I don’t currently feel qualified to work-up a new patch nor improve
the existing one, but I’ve got $$$ (seriously) for the first one to
do it well enough to get it included in a core release.

So much for not going on and on…

Loren
www.fn-group.com

Hi Adam,

A couple of thoughts-
I think you described something similar to what acts_as_list does - adds
a
position int field.

Drag-n-drop-
In mental, front-end drag can be accomplished by making two changes to
views/admin/page/index.rhtml:

and anywhere at the bottom of the page:

<%= sortable_element ‘list’,
:tag => ‘tr’,
:update => ‘list-info’,
:complete => visual_effect(:highlight, ‘list’),
:url => { :action => “children” } %>

http://wiki.script.aculo.us/scriptaculous/show/Sortable.create

These ideas are just a potential starting point. I’ve verified the
front-end
javascript works in firefox 2.

If someone does these two things, they see some issues right way:

  • the ajax action call to children doesn’t work. I’m just testing
    whether or
    not drag-n-drop will work with tables instead of lists. So far, so
    good. The
    server-side code still needs to be written.

  • code would test for when a page has children. drap-n-drop gets funky
    when
    you move pages with children (possibly using the “only” option when
    setting up
    the sortable_element. See wiki link above)

Well, I just wanted to share some things I’ve experienced so far. I’d
love to
get ordering of pages working.

Todd

Quoting A. Salter [email protected]:

Just a suggestion on how it could be implemented…
How about a concept of ‘weights’ for pages… ranging from -9 to +9,
with the default being 0. It becomes easy to order pages using this
method… just assign -1 to any pages you want above the default, +1
to any below the default. Etc ad inspirum. (I just made that up -
probably not real latin :slight_smile:
Note: This also means that you can still order alphabetically, for
example, but page weights have priority.
Drag and drop ordering sounds very difficult and complicated… this
would work and be easy to implement in the short term.

Todd,
You’re probably right, I haven’t investigated acts_as_list… I just
thought that adding a single field with a primary and secondary value
to sort by would be far easier than drag and drop (and maybe more
intuitive, naturally people want pages ordered alphabetically, or by
date, or whatever, but some pages are more important than others).

Drag and drop sounded like a fair amount of work, but as your reply
has shown, I don’t know what I’m talking about. :slight_smile:

Ps. I am constantly amazed by Rails: drag and drop sortable list with
“1” line of code? Preposterous! The thought of trying to do this in
PHP gives me cold sweats…

Adam S. said the following on 01/29/2007 11:51 PM:

Just a suggestion on how it could be implemented…
How about a concept of ‘weights’ for pages… ranging from -9 to +9,
with the default being 0. It becomes easy to order pages using this
method… just assign -1 to any pages you want above the default, +1
to any below the default. Etc ad inspirum. (I just made that up -
probably not real latin :slight_smile:
Note: This also means that you can still order alphabetically, for
example, but page weights have priority.
Drag and drop ordering sounds very difficult and complicated… this
would work and be easy to implement in the short term.

This is how I first thought the order by worked!
I thought something along the lines of creating a new page part
and you put the number in there.

That was its under the author/editor’s control, which is how it should
be.

In my case I need to have a section like the blog postings that list
events.
However their titles are either calendar date - “February 7th 2005”,
“December 10th 2006” - or the name of the Event “Annual General
Meeting”,
“Ladies Night” - and the order in which they are created doesn’t
correspond
to the order in which they will occur.

There is also a section on the staff and board of this society, so
titles
like “President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Event Secretary,
Membership Secretary, …” have to be in an order that reflects the
organization, not alphabetical or date the record was created.

Having a page-part labelled “order” which controls sorting by use of the
ASCII ordering of the first lines offers a great deal of flexibility.

How difficult would it be to implement?


Most people are not really free. They are confined by the niche in the
world that they carve out for themselves. They limit themselves to
fewer
possibilities by the narrowness of their vision.
–V. S. Naipaul

With all due respect, I agree with Jacob. Everything discussed so far
sounds like a hack. Let’s bat around what the right solution is a
little longer before worrying about how it’s going to be done. Here
are the possible ways I see, in order of preference (see that’s an
arbitrary ordering right there :wink:

Option 1
My opinion on how to do this “right” would be to have the nodes
within the tree draggable. Ideally I could even drag between parents,
auto-expanding of collapsed nodes as you drag the page over them. If
that were fully implemented I can’t see that being confusing to
anyone, it’s pretty standard GUI stuff these days.

However, I can see this being a volatile setup if the drag timings
and indicators weren’t crystal clear and really worked-out. Even
then, free dragging and dropping can easily create a messy accident.
This could be solved with a confirmation popup a la “do you really
want to delete this page part?” but with a more lengthy message
something like:


Do you really want to move the Page and all it’s children:

Parent > Child > Child with a very Long Title > Child

to

Parent > Child > Another page ?

Option 2
An alternative would be just a free drag within a set of children and
then an explicit “Move Page Tree” link for re-parenting such that
when it was clicked a flash message would appear up top saying
“Select the new location of this Page (and it’s children).” …

I’d prefer this solution but I don’t like the idea of having another
link on every item on the tree or having to come-up with a whole
small set of feedback indicators for “selecting the new
location” (see how picky I am, jeesh!).

Working through a mock-up of this second option might reveal how to
simplify it further.

Option 3
Finally, it should be mentioned that in Matt Mcray’s Comatose CMS
Plugin which resembles Radiant much there is just a “Parent” drop
down box revealed once you click the <more…> link on a page to
reveal the slug, etc. The drop down has a text indented version of
the page tree within it. Just select your new parent and save.

Reordering is handled by drag and drop after clicking a “reorder
children” link on the parent node.

The combination of these two things works for me too. It’s simple and
uncluttered and definately nothing is going to happen by accident.

Your proposals so far all sound like hacks to me.

There’s nothing wrong with a Hack. But if we want to solve this problem
for good and check it in to Mental/Trunk. We should solve it the right
way.

And the only thing that makes sense to me is to add an “order” column to
the “pages” table.

This column should be the default order of everything, and should be
auto-populated as you create new pages.

All of this is simple and straightforward.

The real question in my mind is how it should look from an interface
perspective.

Should you be able to drag and drop pages from within the tree view?
Sounds complicated and potentially confusing, but perhaps it could be
done…

So, I think there would need to be a seperate page for ordering. Where
somehow you say “I want to order all the children of this page”. And you
go to a screen where you can drag-drop re-order them.

So, where should the magic “I want to order all the children of this
page” button be? Should it be somewhere in the tree view, somewhere on
the edit page screen? What should it look like? What should it be
called?

Thoughts people? I could totally implement this…

John L., what’s your client’s budget for this feature? : )
Would he want it added to Mental or to Trunk?

Ahh, attempting to implement 2 features at once? re-ordering as well as
parent/hierarchy changing?

While we’re solving other problems at the same time, what about the
problem of too many pages? The secondary screen we use for re-ordering,
could also be the secondary screen we use to display the full list of
pages under a particular parent when the number of children reaches a
certain limit. (And we thus don’t show all child pages in the full tree
view).

I’m a little worried, because I want my radiant users to be able to
re-order things, but not to re-parent things. And having re-parenting
through the same mechanism as re-ordering could make it more difficult
to re-order, and could also make it a hassle to somehow permission
things so that only re-ordering is allowed for certain user types…

I think it’s time for a mock-up…

While I agree 100% that it’s mock-up time, I must comment that your
scenario below seems more likely a proprietary requirement than the
inverse… Just a thought. I’d be pretty disappointed to not have
the ability to re-parent pages in admin. I think the Comatose
solution of putting a “hidden” drop down where you specify the parent
of the page provides some of what you need as it makes reparenting a
little bit obscure and out of the path of the ordinary content
creator / editor.

As for “too many pages”, yes this probably needs to be addressed. The
www.diopa.org site has quiet a few pages and things are still feeling
ok to us. I’ve played-around with taking-out the page icon and
shrinking the row height to make the listing shorter and more “all
business”. This helped a lot. But as for the “right way” to do
this… hmmm…

I don’t follow your scenario too well personally I’d love to see any
mock-ups. I like thinking about a future Radiant would have a
standard way of filling the page with just one node and all it’s
children down … especially if it related in someway to a
permissions system or build-in hooks for such a thing to be more
easily extended in…

Does anyone else appreciate the ability to re-parent nodes as a great
asset for Radiant as a site planning tool (http://
www.sparrowstyle.com/blog/comments/radiant_as_a_site_planning_tool
not my article, but I agree).

I had used the patch initially and got so annoyed with the cumbersome
icons and the unsatisfying “up 1”, “down 1” metaphor. It’s a set
along the way and I’m sure many have put-up with it as-is to do thing
with their sites otherwise not possible, but what’s next? What’s the
best way to do this and get it in a release?

My vote is for:

A subtle drag handle/icon next to every node. A confirmation on the
move if it’s a reparenting otherwise on a reorder it just does it,
maybe with a little highlight effect feedback…

Skip “auto expand” as you drag around to re-parent unless it’s easy
and isn’t jumpy (auto expanding can be annoying).

  • It sounds to me like the ability to turn-off these options,
    especially re-parenting, would be desirable. But I don’t know how to
    approach that without talking about roles and permissions. If the
    target for the CMS remains to be a small team of trusted individuals
    then I think implementing the reparenting scheme such that it’s not
    easy/impossible to do by mistake is good enough security.

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