Make sorting options persistent

reference-management
under-review

#1

Hi,

I prefer to sort my papers by publication date. But as soon as I select another folder, Paperpile switches back to its default (sort by date added).

This is kind of annoying. Wouldn’t it be more logical and more convenient to keep the same sorting order until the user chooses to explicitly change it?

Thanks

Pierre


#2

+1 for this. I just voiced the exact same concern to Paperpile staff via email several days ago. The response was that there doesn’t seem to be any demand for persistent sort options. Hopefully others will chime in here to change that perception.


#3

I agree, it makes sense but unfortunately there is more to it than it seems.

The default sort order is fast while sorting by publication year or any other field is slower. You don’t notice it on a small folder or if you library only has a few thousands entries. But it affects the experience and that’s why we made changing the sort option a one time action for the given view rather than a global setting.

Since only a very small fraction uses alternative sort options at all (4.3% of active users last week) we did not really think about it too much (until now).


#4

I Stefan,

Thanks for your response. It helps me a lot understand why sorting is not persistent.

The 4.3% figure is interesting but I wouldn’t necessarily take it at face value. I could be that not many users use sorting precisely because it’s not persistent.

Best,

Pierre


#5

You may be right that this number does not tell everything. It’s hard to tell how many people would change the sort order persistently. But the fact that so few even try once, suggests it’s not a big fraction.

We’ve been following usage of this particular feature in detail. We did not have it in the first versions and people complained a lot. So we were very surprised that when we added it, it was hardly ever used.

There are features that are very important to only few people. We also take such features seriously otherwise the only consequence would be to remove them altogether. But the technical issues I mentioned prevent a quick fix in this case.


#6

Suggestion: make persistent sort order an “advanced settings” option that is turned off by default. That way only people who really need it will activate it and experience the concomitant performance hit. And a warning about degraded performance could be attached to the option.


#7

+1 for that as well!


#8

I’d like this as well. As an alternative, maybe you could add some keyboard shortcuts for sorting, making it easier to switch to a different sorting order.


#9

+1 for persistent sorting as an advanced option. Sorting by date added is great for overall library, but really prefer to see smaller groups (folders or labels) ordered by publication date, for example.