Dolphin file sort

spir denis.spir at
Thu Nov 26 17:28:21 GMT 2009

James Tyrer <jrtyrer at> wrote:

> That said, I think that there is only one thing that I would like for 
> natural sort.  It is, if the strings are equal (including an empty 
> string) except for a string of numbers placed at the end, then the 
> numbers should be sorted as though they had been right justified (or had 
> leading zeros).  The other changes only confuse me.
> And, most specifically, punctuation should always come first before 
> numbers and letters.

I do agree with you. Examples of user expectations that are supposed to reasons for so-called nat order (which is indeed a cultural thingy) are all of the form p-n with a prefix and a trailing number. "Natural order" should apply only to such cases, while actually the highly complicated algorithm tries to generalise on this by identifying substrings of of letters, digits and the rest -- which leads to disasters in all other cases.

Another issue is the (stupid and irrational) decision of letting out numerous characters (-, # and such) which where precisely the ones we would to achieve custom ordering.
There should be indeed 3 classes of chars (word characters which are not only letters, digits and "stuff"). With "stuff" coming first (because some of them can only come first), then digits (because they are already before letters, and there is no reason to change), then word chars.
This would provide for a useful & understandable alternative algorithm for folders in which it makes sense. Such a choice must be done folder-wise (but unfortunately since it seems it has already been hard [see bug pages] to get the overall right to choose, it may be even harder to have this right folder per folder, which is the only sensible option).

Last issue is the problem of locale/language-defined alphabetical order. This can only be a checkbox choice. Why? Because (1) even if my locale setting is japanese, I can have files names in all languages of the world (2) unicode order may be a better for defined folders (3) numerous apps will not create file names with locale in mind (whatever an app's mind may be ;-).

Please in any case do *not* call this "natural", it's pitiful.


la vita e estrany

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