sorting by position doesn't seem to completely sort things

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sasgrw
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sorting by position doesn't seem to completely sort things

Postby sasgrw » Tue Nov 20, 2012 9:48 pm

In MLS, go to Organizations > Relief Society and click on Position in the Other Callings table. I've been converting our custom callings to standard callings. We now have a "Relief Society Meeting Coordinator" and several "Relief Society Meeting Committee Member"s.

When I sort by Position I get:

Relief Society Compassionate Service Coordinator
Relief Society Meeting Committee Member
Relief Society Meeting Committee Member
Relief Society Meeting Committee Member
Relief Society Music Leader
<a few custom callings, out of alphabetical order>
Relief Society Teacher
Relief Society Teacher
Relief Society Meeting Coordinator <------ ???
Relief Society Teacher
Relief Society Visiting Teacher Coordinator

All is well except for the meeting coordinator. It's in the middle of the teachers. I've done a send/receive and closed MLS and brought it back up, to no avail.

(I'm not worried about the few custom callings that don't appear to be sorted correctly since those will be going away. Perhaps that's affecting the meeting coordinator order?)

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Postby Gary_Miller » Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:07 pm

In MLS you have to manually resort the positions so it comes out the way you want. Go under the organization and look for the reorder button (I think that's what it called) click on that and follow the directions. Its really easy to do.

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sasgrw
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Postby sasgrw » Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:10 pm

So what does clicking on the column header supposed to do? It changes the order, sort of ordering it, but not really. If I look at the 'change calling order' dialog, the sort order is not in that order. Neither forwards nor backwards. I'm confused what clicking on the Positions column is supposed to do.

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Postby sasgrw » Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:13 pm

It's also not that "easy to do". I just did that with our "other callings" for all our temple workers. In the 'change calling order' dialog, if i click on a name way down in the list and start clicking on the 'move up' button, the name will eventually move out of view. I have to scroll the list up to get the highlighted name back in view then keep clicking on the up button. Scroll up again. Click move up again. Etc, etc, etc. It was real pain.

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Postby Gary_Miller » Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:41 pm

Yep that's one problem it would be much nicer if it would scroll as you moved the position up or down. However, its workable and not a big deal so I can live with it.

I have not tried the header but my guess is it does it alphabetically or numerically. I don't see how it could do it any differently as the system does not know the order you want the positions in.

I'm just thankful we have what we have because its 1000 times better than when I first became a clerk back in 1988. Everything we did was done by hand or with a type writer. What ever lists you had was done by hand, and the only position list was on the magnetic board in the bishops office. Membership records came in two parts, you would wright changes on both parts and then send one part to CHQ who would make the changes and then send you back the updated record. We stored the records in a small lock box in the file cabinet.

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sasgrw
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Postby sasgrw » Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:52 pm

It's definitively not alphabetical, as shown in my original post, which would be the expected behavior of clicking on a column. Either the column shouldn't be clickable/sortable, or it should sort as expected. Not sure what sorting a calling numerically would mean. If I click on the name, it's sorted alphabetically. If I click on 'date sustained', it's sorted numerically. If I click on 'set apart', it's grouped by checkmarks. If I click on position, it's seemingly random. I'll wait until a developer posts a reply.

Regarding the 'change calling order', I gather you haven't had to rearrange a lot of callings? I just did a whole slew of them and it was a pretty big deal using the current interface. Of course, my profession is software user interfaces (30 years) so I can get testy about UI's :-)

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Postby Gary_Miller » Tue Nov 20, 2012 11:03 pm

sasgrw wrote:Regarding the 'change calling order', I gather you haven't had to rearrange a lot of callings? I just did a whole slew of them and it was a pretty big deal using the current interface.
After the 3.5 upgrade I had to fix all the primary positions, it was not so bad. Tedious but workable. Usually once I have them in the order I want them it does not change much unless a new position is added which is place at the bottom of the list.

sasgrw wrote:Of course, my profession is software user interfaces (30 years) so I can get testy about UI's :-)
In Air Force I was responsible for managing a large data base which held all the information on all the building and infrastructure on an Air Base, think FMG. Because I had no control over how the data base was programmed I got really good at finding a work around when needed and sometime I just live with what we had. I guess that's why it don't bother me if the program does not do everything I would like it to do.

Now my profession is a Farrier (HorseShoer) I only get testy when the horse does not stand still when driving a nail.:)

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Wed Nov 21, 2012 6:19 am

sasgrw wrote:It's definitively not alphabetical, as shown in my original post, which would be the expected behavior of clicking on a column.


If your profession is software user interfaces, then you know that "expected behavior" is not an unambiguous term. Different users will have different expectations.

Callings have an order, and for many people that is the expected ordering when you sort a list by that calling. That ordering is obvious for some callings: to my thinking the only possible order for "president", "first counselor", "second counselor", "secretary" is precisely that order. It's not helpful to put the first counselor before the president just because F precedes P.

This is similar to named sizes. If I have a column that contains options for "Tiny", "Small", "Normal", "Large", "Huge" and then I sort it, I would expect the sort order to be precisely that (or in some cases the reverse of that). I never want that column sorted alphabetically, even though the values are indeed text values.

Back to the original question, the example of sorting a presidency by calling is an obvious one, but it's not so obvious when you are sorting custom callings. However, I still see value in sorting by the calling order instead of alphabetically. It does require the clerk to maintain the calling order properly, but having one sorting behavior for some kinds of callings (e.g., a presidency) and a different behavior for others (e.g., custom callings in the "other callings" section) seems confusing. Besides, even in custom callings, you could have a calling for "Widget collector" and another calling for "Assistant widget collector" and you'd want them grouped together, with the assistant calling second.

sasgrw wrote:If I click on position, it's seemingly random.


So it's not random -- it's sorted by calling order, and MLS lets you set the calling order.

sasgrw wrote:I'll wait until a developer posts a reply.


The MLS developers rarely frequent this forum, so you could be waiting a very long time.
Questions that can benefit the larger community should be asked in a public forum, not a private message.

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sasgrw
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Postby sasgrw » Wed Nov 21, 2012 7:04 am

aebrown wrote:"If" your profession is software user interfaces...


Indeed. Calling into question my profession :-) (quotes added)

But well put. I can see "small", "medium", "large" not being alphabetical, as well as presidencies.

Perhaps what is lacking is how to sort. If custom orders are allowed then maybe we need to be able to sort by custom order or alphanumerically. Or maybe we need a way to turn off custom orders. I'd like my 'other callings' to be alphabetical. I don't want to be forced to re-sort things when I add a new calling to the list. As mentioned, the moveup/movedown UI is a little awkward. (It'd be nice to select multiple callings in the 'change order' dialog and move a block at a time). Or maybe the custom order should be honored when you first bring up that organizations info but clicking on sort will alphabetize it. I'm sure there are a few more ideas of ways to fix it.

The point is that the UI was confusing and frustrating (to me). I kept clicking on sort but could never get it sorted to my expectation. I viewed the callings as a table and every table I've ever clicked on has sorted alphabetically. Allowing a custom sort on a table is a cool idea, provided there's a way to *not* have a custom sort.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Wed Nov 21, 2012 8:44 am

sasgrw wrote:Indeed. Calling into question my profession :-) (quotes added)


Ah, but the word "if" means (1st definition in my dictionary) "granting or supposing that" -- I was using that word in that sense, not casting any doubt on your profession at all, but simply drawing a conclusion based on the premise, which I freely grant is true.

sasgrw wrote:"If" custom orders are allowed


Indeed. Calling into question whether custom orders are allowed :-) (quotes added).

I see that you use the word "If" exactly the way I do!

sasgrw wrote: then maybe we need to be able to sort by custom order or alphanumerically. Or maybe we need a way to turn off custom orders. I'd like my 'other callings' to be alphabetical.


So you don't have any custom callings that need to be grouped, as would be desirable in my example of "Widget collector" and "Assistant widget collector". In my experience, I've seen many examples of such callings.

sasgrw wrote: I don't want to be forced to re-sort things when I add a new calling to the list. As mentioned, the moveup/movedown UI is a little awkward. (It'd be nice to select multiple callings in the 'change order' dialog and move a block at a time).


I'll certainly agree with you that the UI for setting the position order is awkward. I imagine that your frustration was multiplied by the fact that you had not kept the position orders up to date, so you had to do a lot of work to set the order for many custom callings.

sasgrw wrote:The point is that the UI was confusing and frustrating (to me). I kept clicking on sort but could never get it sorted to my expectation. I viewed the callings as a table and every table I've ever clicked on has sorted alphabetically.


Hmm. I guess you've never clicked on a table that contains numeric data or dates (I don't really believe that -- I'm just saying that's the conclusion "if" every table you click on sorts alphabetically :) ). In my experience, a column that contains "January" "February" "March" etc. usually sorts by month order in decent applications, and I'm unpleasantly surprised if it sorts alphabetically.

sasgrw wrote:Allowing a custom sort on a table is a cool idea, provided there's a way to *not* have a custom sort.


Although I certainly understand your concerns, I think that introducing a sort that doesn't honor the specified position order introduces a complexity that is not worth the benefit. Besides, it's pretty clear to me that changes that are being introduced to MLS now are almost exclusively bug fixes and changes to support integration with other Church systems (such as CUBS and CDOL) and I really doubt that any features like your proposal will be added to the MLS desktop application.
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