Feature request #6309

Alphabetize all drop down menu lists

Added by Jeffrey Meyer about 11 years ago. Updated about 6 years ago.

Pull Request or Patch supplied:No Resolution:
Easy fix?:No Copied to github as #:15602


Saw a past ticket on a similar item, but "Encoding" drop-down in Vector -> Geoprocessing Tools -> Buffer is way out of order.... very difficult to find "System" if you fat-finger a mistake and change it to UTF-16, for example.

Using 1.8 Lisboa.


#1 Updated by Larry Shaffer about 11 years ago

Hi Jeffrey,

As far as I can tell, the Encoding popup menu in the save dialog is alphabetically sorted (Mac 10.7.4, with 1.8.0 and master). However, it's sorted by case as well, with upper coming before lower (ala Unix), not mixed. That menu would probably be more user-friendly with mixed case sorting.

Concerning alphabetizing ALL menu lists: lists should be sorted according to their content, not under a single policy. If alphabetization helps with efficient selection (as is the case with the list in question), then it should be used; otherwise, the ordering of listed items may be better sorted by other weighting means, like predetermined or dynamic priority.

#2 Updated by Jeffrey Meyer about 11 years ago

Ugh! How embarrassing - misspelling in the bug title! ; )

Larry - thanks for the speedy reply - can't believe I missed the mixed case issue - QGIS'ing before coffee never pays.

Agreed ref: mixed-case - there should be mixed-case sorting, esp. when there are both ISO and iso items.

Not sure I agree with the latter point, about prioritization, for 3 reasons:
1) Newbies may not understand the differentiation, experts may kvetch, but they know what they're looking for. Noobs just get confused. Again, a personal belief, but I believe usability for noobs should be a high priority for any semi-technical application.
2) UI consistency. (yeah, yeah... a foolish consistency, hobgoblin of little minds...) This might just be a silly personal belief, but I believe programs should act the same way across all metaphors. Microsoft, for example, has done a complete butchery of figuring out which items are "commonly used" commands for its toolbar customization. Not sure what UI gurus like Jakob Nielsen think about this; a quick Google search didn't yield any interesting tidbits one way or the other.
3) Different people have different priorities & it's very difficult to pick a good set of winners for everyone.

In the case where there are clear priorities, perhaps a hybrid approach might work - something like country drop downs on English-speaking / focused sites - e.g.

<blank entry>
United Kingdom
United States


#3 Updated by Larry Shaffer about 11 years ago


I have found most popup menus in QGIS are similar to your hybrid example, or are already alphabetized if selections are purely of like kind. Let me know if you find one that needs alphabetized. I will look into sorting the Encoding list with mixed case, though it will not be backported to v. 1.8.

This is really a useability feature request, not necessarily a bug, and should be reclassified, if possible.

#4 Updated by Jeffrey Meyer about 11 years ago

Hi Larry - no worries about a backport! I'll reclassify the ticket & make it specific to the encoding drop-down if you can point me to instructions / tell me how to do that. I cannot seem to find the link for editing the original ticket info. Do I need additional permissions / rights?

#5 Updated by Paolo Cavallini about 11 years ago

  • Subject changed from Alphabetzie all drop down menu lists to Alphabetize all drop down menu lists
  • Tracker changed from Bug report to Feature request

#6 Updated by Larry Shaffer about 11 years ago

The case-insensitive sort fix for the encoding list is done with commit 652deba

The category for the issue should probably be set to GUI and left open, as there may be other lists that could use some better sorting since Qt's default qSort() is case-sensitive, with the uppercase items grouped before lowercase.

#7 Updated by Pirmin Kalberer almost 11 years ago

  • Target version changed from Version 2.0.0 to Future Release - Nice to have

#8 Updated by John Tull almost 9 years ago

This appears to have resurfaced for OS X in trunk. I'm using a Yosemite homebrew build of qgis-26 HEAD, and many of the drop-down lists are in chaotic order. For example, opening an R processing function, "Summary Statistics" and selecting the 'layer' drop down produces a list that is in no apparent order. I have seen this elsewhere in QGIS, but perhaps localized to plugins and processing tools. I have not been able to thoroughly determine how pervasive the issue is.

#9 Updated by Giovanni Manghi over 6 years ago

  • Easy fix? set to No

#10 Updated by Jürgen Fischer about 6 years ago

  • Category set to Unknown

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