jDownloads for Joomla 3.x => jDownloads 3.2 => Topic started by: isabeaux on 16.05.2017 01:06:10

Title: Category Order
Post by: isabeaux on 16.05.2017 01:06:10
I've been dealing with this for a while and there seems to be no answer out there.  :(

I'd like to order categories by default independently from one another. i.e. category one ordered by default by date descending, category two by back end order.

Also ordering a category in the back end is practically impossible if you have more that 50 files. The joomla ordering function in the admin interface of articles and what not would be enough to allow for ordering but in JDownloads its impossible. I have 500 files and if I want to reset ordering by date, where I could type in the order numbers, when I click out it resets the order and I'm back to square one.

I've been struggling with this extension for over 8 years now and I can't find a way to make it work.

Is this something that may by fixed in upcoming versions?
Title: Re: Category Order
Post by: Arno on 16.05.2017 16:42:18
you talked about category and files. But I think you mean only the sort order of the files?

I have 500 files and if I want to reset ordering by date, where I could type in the order numbers, when I click out it resets the order and I'm back to square one.
I'm not sure that i understand exactly your problem. Maybe can help Colin. I will give him a hint.

Title: Re: Category Order
Post by: ColinM on 16.05.2017 23:28:25
You have asked two separate questions which I will endeavor to answer.
Firstly in the following I use the word 'Download' to mean an item which has a title, possibly a description, maybe some preview images, a creation date, a creator and a downloadable file.

Question 1:
category one ordered by default by date descending, category two by back end order.

I think I understand but would appreciate if you could confirm. What I think you are asking for is as follows.

Suppose you have a Category call CatA with some Downloads in it and another category Cat B which also has some Downloads.  My assumption is that in the front end you would like whenever the Downloads in CatA are listed they are automatically ordered by say Date, and whenever the Downloads in CatB are shown they are automatically ordered by the method selected in the Back End.

Is that correct?  Putting it another way you would like the default sort order to be an attribute of the Category, and if no sort order has been selected then sorting is by whatever is defined in the back end as the sort order.  Obviously this would not apply if you choose to list All Downloads, that default sort order would always be by the backend default.

Presently this is not possible but it could be added as a Suggestion for the future.

Question 2:
Also ordering a category in the back end is practically impossible if you have more that 50 files.
In the backend if you click on a column heading then jD does sort all the Downloads. The attached pics show this.  Pic Sort01.png shows the original state showing the Downloads ordered by the current default backend order.  Sorting was then selected in ID order by clicking on column heading as shown in pics Sort02.png and Sort04.png.  One could of course choose to sort on a single page by selecting All in the number per page box as indicated in pic Sort03.png.

However if I leave the Downloads display then when I return to it the Downloads are once more shown in the Default Sort Order as selected in the Config.

Are you asking that that there is an extra Default Sort Order which basically selects the default as "same order as I last sorted by"?

This could create conflict with the default front end sort if it were a property of the Category so it would probably mean having a default front end sort order an a separate default backend sort order.

Title: Re: Category Order
Post by: isabeaux on 17.05.2017 05:21:57
Thank you for trying to make sense of my frustrated bumbling words. I sincerely appreciate your time in answering.

Yes Colin, that's exactly what I meant about the categories order. I'm having to explain over and over to my users that the categories are not ordered independently and that they have to re-sort them if they want the latest file first. So, being able to sort one category by date and another by back-end order is paramount for me.

Here's my scenario:

I have about 7 or 8 categories, with mostly audio files that are 2 hours long on average. These are recorded classes. Almost every week there is a new audio added to the main category, which is holding over 300 download files. This category I need sorted by the latest added file first.

The other categories are mainly static and have classes in them i.e. Class1.zip (which contains a mp3 and a pdf file) Class2, etc. etc. These other categories I need ordered in the sequence set in the back end. All these other categories combined hold about 200 files and are quite static.

I've been adding files to this database for the last 8 years, when I inherited it from the previous webmaster. The back-end order for the main category is a mess because of migrations, backups, restores, etc.

I have, for the time being, mitigated the issue by running a SQL Query and assigning 0 as the order number to all the files in the main category. This means that they are now ordered by ID, which is close to ascending chronological but not quite. I've placed a note in bold and red stating that the files are not in chronological order. So hopefully when they see 2008 (2005 is the earliest) they don't assume the files are missing as they were doing when they were seeing the files dated 2015 ("There are no downloads after 2015" is what I get). I don't make the assumptions and I don't make up the questions, I just have to deal with them the best I can.

And this takes me to my second part of the question (which I apologize for the confusing wording earlier, it seems my brain wasn't ticking correctly), the re-ordering of the download files in the back end.

To reorder the files, I click on the "Order" column and then enter the number for its order or click the arrows to flip it with the next file. This is fine with a small amount of files or if the files are not completely out of order.

With a big number of files in disarray, if I want to reorder in something that is let's say close to alphabetical, I can't have them all on one page, so it would take a lot of guessing and many many tries to slowly get them in order. Let's say I could order by Title and then enter the numbers manually in the order boxes that would be an improvement, but it's not possible now (after reordering by Title, the order boxes are not active and when you click again on the Order column it reorders by it) and I don't know that even this would be possible in the future.

I have, however, with some patience, managed to re-order the other categories in their appropriate order which has helped, since now when they click on i.e. Cat-C they see Class 1, Class 2, etc., and not Appendix H, Addendum 5, etc.

Ordering improvements in the back-end would be great but would still not solve my problem. I could fake the dates on the classes so that when ordered by latest first they would still show in the order I want them. This has 2 drawbacks, 1 that I have to change the dates on about 200 files and 2 that the dates would not be accurate, not a huge problem but a problem.

Independently setting the category order would mean to me that I have my files in the correct order by default, which I've never been able to do.

Thank you,
Title: Re: Category Order
Post by: Arno on 17.05.2017 18:27:49
Can it be that you have forget the pics?  ;)

A solution could be for Question 1:
It is possible to select for every category another sort order in the frontend when you created for every category an own menu item (type: single category). Then you can define it in the menu options.
It is not required that the menu item is in this case visible. So it could be assigned to a special hidden menu module.
Title: Re: Category Order
Post by: ColinM on 18.05.2017 11:02:26
Whoops! Pictures now added to above post.
Had not thought of doing through hidden menus as a way of customising the ordering.  Tried it out and of course it works.

In a couple of days time I will write an article on how to do this so everyone is aware of the possibility..
Please feel free to remind me as sometimes I get distracted!!

Title: Re: Category Order
Post by: ColinM on 28.05.2017 12:31:25
I have now just published an article on selecting different attributes for specific categories

Title: Re: Category Order
Post by: isabeaux on 30.05.2017 07:27:04
Thank you!

This has solved my issue, it's a bit of a long way around, but definitively a solution. Just had to add the modules assigned to the original page to the new menu, since it's a different one now, but it works great.

Title: Re: Category Order
Post by: isabeaux on 07.06.2017 06:31:40
OK, I may have spoken too soon.

Please see the image attached. That's what happens when I try to change the sort order on any of the two categories where I used the hidden menu mentioned earlier. This happens across all access levels, even super users, so it's not a permissions issue, at least not with Access Levels.

When I first arrive at the category with the list of download files, it all shows fine and in the order that I want. If I click to change the order in any way then all files listed disappear. Even though the pagination is accurate. If after this I go to a category for which I've created the hidden menu, then those download files are not there either. But if I go to a category that doesn't have the hidden menu, then those are fine.

In order to see the files again I have to log out and log in again, but I still can't press on the sort or I'll have the issue again.

A side note: the search does bring up the files though.

Any suggestions?

Sorry about the troubles...

Title: Re: Category Order
Post by: ColinM on 07.06.2017 11:24:52
I will try to replicate.  If I cannot then I might need access to your site but I will advise.

Title: Re: Category Order
Post by: ColinM on 08.06.2017 11:47:17
I have reproduced your problem!  So in a short while I will raise this as a bug.  There may be a possibility there is a dependency on the Sort Order selected in the hidden menu item.  Could you please advise what is the Default Sort Order in Backend and the sort order in a 'hidden menu' category that goes wrong.
Title: Re: Category Order
Post by: isabeaux on 09.06.2017 04:52:58
Hi Colin
Thank you for following up.

My default order is Manager Order and in the menu it's by most recent first.

As a note: If I set it to "use configuration order" then the problem is no longer there but the sort order is messed up of course.

Title: Re: Category Order
Post by: ColinM on 09.06.2017 16:20:36
The bug report is at
Arno is looking into it