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Thursday April 28th

Sorting for Humans : Natural Sort Order

This is a good article on the importance of human-oriented sorting and difficulty in implementing such a routine succinctly it in .NET and LINQ.


I can't believe how many 'programmers' replied irrationally with crap like "users are dumb, nobody in their right mind would expect a list to come out like that", even though Jeff clearly showed a screenshot of Explorer behaving just like the users expect. These people obviously aren't smart enough to realize that every shell they've ever used automatically "natural sorts" their files. Whenever I've forgotten to natural-sort lists, a user *always* brings me a screenshot like Jeff's of their names in Explorer and asks "can't you just make your program do it like Windows?" I feel bad for forgetting to do it "the right way"--I don't consider it an opportunity to yell at someone for being dumb or explain to them what the computer thinks. Users don't care what the computer thinks, they just want their apps to behave like the rest of their shell does. If you've never run into this yourself, odds are you've either never implemented a GUI or your software just isn't being used very often.

Also, coding horror needs a message board or something, because he has a couple of anal readers who reply to every single comment, which makes it unusable in very short order.

I've given up on Jeff. He's not especially bright, and his readership is even less so.

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