Windows sorting vs Irfanview sorting.

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King Author
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Windows sorting vs Irfanview sorting.

Postby King Author » Sat May 31, 2014 7:05 pm UTC

I use Windows XP (don't tell me to upgrade; will ignore) and Arrange Icons by Name works dumb and different than every other computer system I've ever used, including Windows 98 and Windows 7. This is especially obnoxious when I try sorting my images using Irfanview and the file browser in tandem, as I have to manually search since the two have wildly different sorting. Lemme give you an example...

Irfanview Sort by Name...
0b3c~.jpg
1037~.jpg
348b~.jpg
99d3~.jpg

Windows XP Arrange Icons by Name...
0b3c~.jpg
99d3~.jpg
348b~.jpg
1037~.jpg

It's only image files whose names are alphanumeric strings like that which mess up. Regular alphabetical files (apple.jpg, orange.jpg, zebra.jpg) arrange properly and identically in XP and Irfanview.

Any way I can fix XP? Its so dumb. I've tried Googling and I can't find a way to change XP's sorting options.
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Re: Windows sorting vs Irfanview sorting.

Postby EvanED » Sat May 31, 2014 7:21 pm UTC

You at do see how XP is sorting, right? I don't want to get into a debate about whether I think that choice is good or bad, but I suspect XP is at least following a pretty simple and consistent rule that numeric prefixes are sorted numerically. That would at least make it possible to find things in the other pretty quickly. But I don't know any way to change the sorting behavior.

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Re: Windows sorting vs Irfanview sorting.

Postby speising » Sat May 31, 2014 7:29 pm UTC

there is a setting somewhere to toggle "intelligent" numeric sorting, although i thought that is only for names like pic-3, pic-22 etc.

edit: internet says you can change that with tweakui.

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Re: Windows sorting vs Irfanview sorting.

Postby King Author » Sun Jun 01, 2014 2:49 am UTC

EvanED wrote:You at do see how XP is sorting, right? I don't want to get into a debate about whether I think that choice is good or bad, but I suspect XP is at least following a pretty simple and consistent rule that numeric prefixes are sorted numerically. That would at least make it possible to find things in the other pretty quickly. But I don't know any way to change the sorting behavior.


How the heckbutt is 0 > 9 > 3 > 1 simple and consistent? I can't even identify what starfish alien, fucked-up nonsense "rule" XP is supposedly following. It makes things impossible to quickly locate, for me, especially in large folders full of nothing but alphanumeric-string-named image files @_@

Can you explain to me what "simple and consistent rule" XP is supposedly following that manages to arrange the following files in the following order?
273ba337fda9cd50b4a1b1b97b8b20fb
1404_123
36563517
0821468216892
1395030292153

Or how about this...
7f8f650248f88fc63f438d0202b76a9d-d3cfk6v
510_044.MPG_000000250
1384547307418

I see no logic there, no order whatsoever.

speising wrote:there is a setting somewhere to toggle "intelligent" numeric sorting, although i thought that is only for names like pic-3, pic-22 etc.

edit: internet says you can change that with tweakui.


Is twerk safe?
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Re: Windows sorting vs Irfanview sorting.

Postby EvanED » Sun Jun 01, 2014 3:04 am UTC

King Author wrote:
EvanED wrote:You at do see how XP is sorting, right? I don't want to get into a debate about whether I think that choice is good or bad, but I suspect XP is at least following a pretty simple and consistent rule that numeric prefixes are sorted numerically. That would at least make it possible to find things in the other pretty quickly. But I don't know any way to change the sorting behavior.


How the heckbutt is 0 > 9 > 3 > 1 simple and consistent? I can't even identify what starfish alien, fucked-up nonsense "rule" XP is supposedly following.

0b3c~.jpg < 99d3~.jpg < 348b~.jpg < 1037~.jpg. 0 < 99 < 348 < 1037. See it now?

Or your later examples:

273ba337fda9cd50b4a1b1b97b8b20fb < 1404_123 < 36563517 < 0821468216892 < 1395030292153

Or how about this...
7f8f650248f88fc63f438d0202b76a9d-d3cfk6v < 510_044.MPG_000000250 < 1384547307418.

Your case is fallout from the fact that windows tries to sort things like 1-Foo, 2-Bar, 10-Baz in that useful order instead of 1 < 10 < 2, which you get if you look digit-by-digit. IMO, by it's very nature such natural sorting is very heuristic, and I suspect this is one of those situations where improving the common case vs a dumb lexicographical sort means that other edge cases are made worse than the dumb sort.
Last edited by EvanED on Sun Jun 01, 2014 3:08 am UTC, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Windows sorting vs Irfanview sorting.

Postby Thesh » Sun Jun 01, 2014 3:07 am UTC

King Author wrote:I can't even identify what starfish alien, fucked-up nonsense "rule" XP is supposedly following. It makes things impossible to quickly locate, for me, especially in large folders full of nothing but alphanumeric-string-named image files @_@

Can you explain to me what "simple and consistent rule" XP is supposedly following that manages to arrange the following files in the following order


Covert all leading numeric characters into a number and sort, then sort by the rest alphabetically.

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Re: Windows sorting vs Irfanview sorting.

Postby cphite » Mon Jun 02, 2014 3:10 pm UTC

King Author wrote:
EvanED wrote:You at do see how XP is sorting, right? I don't want to get into a debate about whether I think that choice is good or bad, but I suspect XP is at least following a pretty simple and consistent rule that numeric prefixes are sorted numerically. That would at least make it possible to find things in the other pretty quickly. But I don't know any way to change the sorting behavior.


How the heckbutt is 0 > 9 > 3 > 1 simple and consistent? I can't even identify what starfish alien, fucked-up nonsense "rule" XP is supposedly following. It makes things impossible to quickly locate, for me, especially in large folders full of nothing but alphanumeric-string-named image files @_@

Can you explain to me what "simple and consistent rule" XP is supposedly following that manages to arrange the following files in the following order?
273ba337fda9cd50b4a1b1b97b8b20fb
1404_123
36563517
0821468216892
1395030292153

Or how about this...
7f8f650248f88fc63f438d0202b76a9d-d3cfk6v
510_044.MPG_000000250
1384547307418

I see no logic there, no order whatsoever.


As others have pointed out, it makes sense if you combine all of the leading numeric characters into a single number - so for example 7, 510, and 1384547307418 in your example above. It makes less sense with the sort of random file names you have; but the logic is sound.

speising wrote:there is a setting somewhere to toggle "intelligent" numeric sorting, although i thought that is only for names like pic-3, pic-22 etc.

edit: internet says you can change that with tweakui.


Is twerk safe?


No less so than continuing to use XP ;)

It was made by the MS developers; it's fine.

You can also disable numerical sorting in the registry:
http://www.askvg.com/how-to-disable-numerical-file-name-sorting-and-enable-classic-literal-sorting-in-windows-xp-vista-and-7-explorer/

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Re: Windows sorting vs Irfanview sorting.

Postby King Author » Mon Jun 02, 2014 8:34 pm UTC

EvanED wrote:
King Author wrote:
EvanED wrote:You at do see how XP is sorting, right? I don't want to get into a debate about whether I think that choice is good or bad, but I suspect XP is at least following a pretty simple and consistent rule that numeric prefixes are sorted numerically. That would at least make it possible to find things in the other pretty quickly. But I don't know any way to change the sorting behavior.


How the heckbutt is 0 > 9 > 3 > 1 simple and consistent? I can't even identify what starfish alien, fucked-up nonsense "rule" XP is supposedly following.

0b3c~.jpg < 99d3~.jpg < 348b~.jpg < 1037~.jpg. 0 < 99 < 348 < 1037. See it now?

Or your later examples:

273ba337fda9cd50b4a1b1b97b8b20fb < 1404_123 < 36563517 < 0821468216892 < 1395030292153

Or how about this...
7f8f650248f88fc63f438d0202b76a9d-d3cfk6v < 510_044.MPG_000000250 < 1384547307418.

Your case is fallout from the fact that windows tries to sort things like 1-Foo, 2-Bar, 10-Baz in that useful order instead of 1 < 10 < 2, which you get if you look digit-by-digit. IMO, by it's very nature such natural sorting is very heuristic, and I suspect this is one of those situations where improving the common case vs a dumb lexicographical sort means that other edge cases are made worse than the dumb sort.


Ugh, that's so so so so stupid. Why would they sort things like that? You could do 01-Foo 02-Bar 10 Baz if you wanted it in that order, catering to that one, minor, rare, specific instance screws up everything else, especially considering how common imageboards are nowadays that use alphanumeric string-ly named files.

Thesh wrote:
King Author wrote:I can't even identify what starfish alien, fucked-up nonsense "rule" XP is supposedly following. It makes things impossible to quickly locate, for me, especially in large folders full of nothing but alphanumeric-string-named image files @_@

Can you explain to me what "simple and consistent rule" XP is supposedly following that manages to arrange the following files in the following order


Covert all leading numeric characters into a number and sort, then sort by the rest alphabetically.


Convert! Convert! That's B.S.! Like trying to type a damn Word document and it changes your every fifth word because some idiot computer programmer thinks he can predict what you want to type better than you.

It's essentially padding out numbers with leading zeros. So, so moronic.

cphite wrote:
King Author wrote:
EvanED wrote:You at do see how XP is sorting, right? I don't want to get into a debate about whether I think that choice is good or bad, but I suspect XP is at least following a pretty simple and consistent rule that numeric prefixes are sorted numerically. That would at least make it possible to find things in the other pretty quickly. But I don't know any way to change the sorting behavior.


How the heckbutt is 0 > 9 > 3 > 1 simple and consistent? I can't even identify what starfish alien, fucked-up nonsense "rule" XP is supposedly following. It makes things impossible to quickly locate, for me, especially in large folders full of nothing but alphanumeric-string-named image files @_@

Can you explain to me what "simple and consistent rule" XP is supposedly following that manages to arrange the following files in the following order?
273ba337fda9cd50b4a1b1b97b8b20fb
1404_123
36563517
0821468216892
1395030292153

Or how about this...
7f8f650248f88fc63f438d0202b76a9d-d3cfk6v
510_044.MPG_000000250
1384547307418

I see no logic there, no order whatsoever.


As others have pointed out, it makes sense if you combine all of the leading numeric characters into a single number - so for example 7, 510, and 1384547307418 in your example above. It makes less sense with the sort of random file names you have; but the logic is sound.


Logic is meaningless if it's not human-readable. This is why nobody likes Microsoft.

Thesh wrote:
King Author wrote:Is twerk safe?


TweakUI is a Microsoft product.


Okay, thanks. Lol, did I really typo "twerk?"

cphite wrote:
speising wrote:there is a setting somewhere to toggle "intelligent" numeric sorting, although i thought that is only for names like pic-3, pic-22 etc.

edit: internet says you can change that with tweakui.


Is twerk safe?


No less so than continuing to use XP ;)

It was made by the MS developers; it's fine.

You can also disable numerical sorting in the registry:
http://www.askvg.com/how-to-disable-numerical-file-name-sorting-and-enable-classic-literal-sorting-in-windows-xp-vista-and-7-explorer/


!!
Awesomeness!
I'll do that.
Ugh, I hate how they call the new style of sorting "intuitive." There's absolutely nothing intuitive about it! It's a dumb smelly stupid sorting method for ugly stupid jerks >_<

(Oh, and about XP -- I don't have any antivirus software, I never have and I've been using XP since it was released, and I've never got a virus or anything. You sorta have to be an idiot to get a computer virus, honestly. Just use Firefox, disable Javascript, don't go to questionable sites and since its release, install NoScript. Simple pimples.)
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Re: Windows sorting vs Irfanview sorting.

Postby bittyx » Mon Jun 02, 2014 9:24 pm UTC

Actually, that kind of "natural" sort order makes more sense in the common usage scenarios - seriously, your image files have file names which are basically completely random strings (as far as you're concerned), and you're trying to figure out how to sort them? Why do you even care?

If you have numbers in the file name, in my experience, most of the time they either represent:

1) an ordering like "Image-1", "Image-23", "Image-317", etc. (in which case, this kind of sorting is much more intuitive),
2) some kind of timestamp or date (which usually has the same format and number of characters, so isn't affected by this choice of sorting), or
3) they represent nothing important (e.g. a random hash), in which case, ordering by file name doesn't even make much sense.

Of course, the fact is, the vast majority of software doesn't sort strings in that way, which means that users, for the most part, expect a simple alphanumeric sort, and since being consistent to fulfill user expectations is much more important, Windows might only confuse users by sorting files this way. So while I understand why you feel frustrated (ie. Windows hasn't met your expectations about how files should be sorted), and I also think they made a bad choice because of that reason alone, I think you're just a bit overreacting when you say that their choice makes no sense, because logically speaking, it sure does.

Also, websites are far from the only way that viruses spread around. I know a lot of smart people who have had viruses on their computers, so it's kind of insulting to call them all idiots. Besides that, not everyone is a proficient computer user, and that doesn't make them an idiot.

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Re: Windows sorting vs Irfanview sorting.

Postby speising » Mon Jun 02, 2014 9:33 pm UTC

legend has it that there are windows users out there without scientific background. those seldom even know the concept of "leading zeros".

heck, americans write dates mm/dd/yy, it's a wonder that the date sorting in explorer works correctly, never mind that you can't see at a glance any order at all. (or would you prefer a string sort there, too?)

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Re: Windows sorting vs Irfanview sorting.

Postby EvanED » Mon Jun 02, 2014 10:39 pm UTC

King Author wrote:Ugh, that's so so so so stupid. Why would they sort things like that? You could do 01-Foo 02-Bar 10 Baz if you wanted it in that order, catering to that one, minor, rare, specific instance screws up everything else
This is exactly one of the things that annoys me. Yes, to some extent people should learn to use computers. But at the same time, if possible computer should adapt to how people operate rather than the other way around. Leading zeros are both ugly to read (IMNSHO) and obnoxious to set up (in the case where you don't know a priori how many things you'll need). I think that this argument is basically "we can't get natural sorting right in every case, so it's better to be stupid in all cases", which is the sort of thing I tend to really dislike and I think occurs too much in the sort of "hardcore" computing world. Sometimes it is appropriate if getting things wrong is destructive, because then even being occasionally wrong is bad. But picking an unoptimal sorting, as long as it's somewhat predictable, isn't particularly destructive.

And wanting numeric sorting isn't an edge case, I'd argue it's the common case. Tracks on a CD (4 -Time.mp3). Versions numbers of software and otherwise (2.10.3 > 2.9; in fact, GNU ls calls their version of this sort "version" sort). To a lesser extent, dates. Literally the only time I can think of where it's not what you'd want is random names like your example, which at least for me I'm never looking for by name anyway (like what bittyx said).

Logic is meaningless if it's not human-readable. This is why nobody likes Microsoft.
As I argue above, I think it's more human-readable. It's unfortunate that MS doesn't give you an easy-to-find way of changing sorting, but given the choice between always using "natural" sorting and always using straight lex sorting... I think you can guess by now which I would choose. For a long time, I didn't like ls because it sorted in what I considered to be the stupid order, until I learned about --sort=version and set alias ls='/bin/ls --color=always --sort=version -B -h'.

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Re: Windows sorting vs Irfanview sorting.

Postby cphite » Mon Jun 02, 2014 11:02 pm UTC

King Author wrote:
EvanED wrote:
King Author wrote:
EvanED wrote:You at do see how XP is sorting, right? I don't want to get into a debate about whether I think that choice is good or bad, but I suspect XP is at least following a pretty simple and consistent rule that numeric prefixes are sorted numerically. That would at least make it possible to find things in the other pretty quickly. But I don't know any way to change the sorting behavior.


How the heckbutt is 0 > 9 > 3 > 1 simple and consistent? I can't even identify what starfish alien, fucked-up nonsense "rule" XP is supposedly following.

0b3c~.jpg < 99d3~.jpg < 348b~.jpg < 1037~.jpg. 0 < 99 < 348 < 1037. See it now?

Or your later examples:

273ba337fda9cd50b4a1b1b97b8b20fb < 1404_123 < 36563517 < 0821468216892 < 1395030292153

Or how about this...
7f8f650248f88fc63f438d0202b76a9d-d3cfk6v < 510_044.MPG_000000250 < 1384547307418.

Your case is fallout from the fact that windows tries to sort things like 1-Foo, 2-Bar, 10-Baz in that useful order instead of 1 < 10 < 2, which you get if you look digit-by-digit. IMO, by it's very nature such natural sorting is very heuristic, and I suspect this is one of those situations where improving the common case vs a dumb lexicographical sort means that other edge cases are made worse than the dumb sort.


Ugh, that's so so so so stupid. Why would they sort things like that? You could do 01-Foo 02-Bar 10 Baz if you wanted it in that order, catering to that one, minor, rare, specific instance screws up everything else, especially considering how common imageboards are nowadays that use alphanumeric string-ly named files.


Because generally speaking when your average user has a whole lot of files in a folder, it's either pictures or music. And so for example if you have music tracks with numbers at the beginning, you don't need leading zeroes to prevent 10 from coming right after 1 in your list. It's actually a very useful feature except for when you have file names are are completely and utterly random strings such as in your case.

Thesh wrote:
King Author wrote:
I can't even identify what starfish alien, fucked-up nonsense "rule" XP is supposedly following. It makes things impossible to quickly locate, for me, especially in large folders full of nothing but alphanumeric-string-named image files @_@

Can you explain to me what "simple and consistent rule" XP is supposedly following that manages to arrange the following files in the following order


Covert all leading numeric characters into a number and sort, then sort by the rest alphabetically.


Convert! Convert! That's B.S.! Like trying to type a damn Word document and it changes your every fifth word because some idiot computer programmer thinks he can predict what you want to type better than you.

It's essentially padding out numbers with leading zeros. So, so moronic.


Actually what it does is prevent you from needing to worry about padding zeros. So whether your music ripping software, or your digital camera or whatever, puts them in or not, the ordering works either way. Again, it's designed to cater to the way the largest numbers of users will actually use it.

cphite wrote:
King Author wrote:
EvanED wrote:
You at do see how XP is sorting, right? I don't want to get into a debate about whether I think that choice is good or bad, but I suspect XP is at least following a pretty simple and consistent rule that numeric prefixes are sorted numerically. That would at least make it possible to find things in the other pretty quickly. But I don't know any way to change the sorting behavior.


How the heckbutt is 0 > 9 > 3 > 1 simple and consistent? I can't even identify what starfish alien, fucked-up nonsense "rule" XP is supposedly following. It makes things impossible to quickly locate, for me, especially in large folders full of nothing but alphanumeric-string-named image files @_@

Can you explain to me what "simple and consistent rule" XP is supposedly following that manages to arrange the following files in the following order?
273ba337fda9cd50b4a1b1b97b8b20fb
1404_123
36563517
0821468216892
1395030292153

Or how about this...
7f8f650248f88fc63f438d0202b76a9d-d3cfk6v
510_044.MPG_000000250
1384547307418

I see no logic there, no order whatsoever.


As others have pointed out, it makes sense if you combine all of the leading numeric characters into a single number - so for example 7, 510, and 1384547307418 in your example above. It makes less sense with the sort of random file names you have; but the logic is sound.


Logic is meaningless if it's not human-readable. This is why nobody likes Microsoft.


Not readable by you is not the same thing as not human readable ;)

(Oh, and about XP -- I don't have any antivirus software, I never have and I've been using XP since it was released, and I've never got a virus or anything. You sorta have to be an idiot to get a computer virus, honestly. Just use Firefox, disable Javascript, don't go to questionable sites and since its release, install NoScript. Simple pimples.)


The last machine I repaired where the person told me they never use AV software and that they've "never gotten a virus or anything" had approximately 3,000 infected items, and had a rootkit that was logging keystrokes. There weren't any popups or other obvious signs of infection; they just noticed some performance issues.

NoScript is not infallible... There is lots and lots of malware that it doesn't even see.

Now that XP's support cycle is over, the nice folks who bring us malware are going to be working extra hard on XP exploits for quite some time...

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Re: Windows sorting vs Irfanview sorting.

Postby King Author » Tue Jun 03, 2014 2:42 am UTC

Woo hoo! The registry edit worked! Glorious, glorious alphanumerics <3

bittyx wrote:Actually, that kind of "natural" sort order makes more sense in the common usage scenarios - seriously, your image files have file names which are basically completely random strings (as far as you're concerned), and you're trying to figure out how to sort them? Why do you even care?


What I'm doing is this. I have "C:/bluh/guh/duh/images/" open. It's full of images (duh). Many of their filenames are random hashes. I open the first one. It opens in Irfanview. I browse the files in Irfanview, deciding which ones I want to keep and which ones I don't.

When I don't want to keep one, I have a very simple recourse -- press Delete. I can Delete files from within Irfanview. I can't rename them, though, so when I get to a file I want to rename, I have to note its name, switch to the Folder, and find it so I can rename it.

If the files in Windows and Irfanview are sorted using the same logic, I can very easily find the file I want. If they're not, I have to type the filename to find it, and since many of them have visually-similar names (938462853.jpg, 938962753.jpg), this is time-consuming and annoying.

Even if that weren't the case, though, when files are sorted alphanumerically, it's so much more visually appealing. Seeing files that start with 8, 3, 5, 9, 1 and 0 in that order is so ugly. Seeing it as 0, 1, 3, 5, 8, 9 is really gratifying on some psychonumerological level.

And even if THAT weren't the case, it shouldn't be a hassle to change sorting preferences, which it clearly is.

bittyx wrote:If you have numbers in the file name, in my experience, most of the time they either represent:

1) an ordering like "Image-1", "Image-23", "Image-317", etc. (in which case, this kind of sorting is much more intuitive),
2) some kind of timestamp or date (which usually has the same format and number of characters, so isn't affected by this choice of sorting), or
3) they represent nothing important (e.g. a random hash), in which case, ordering by file name doesn't even make much sense.


Yeah, see, I don't have thigns like in 1. That is a good point, though.

bittyx wrote:Of course, the fact is, the vast majority of software doesn't sort strings in that way, which means that users, for the most part, expect a simple alphanumeric sort, and since being consistent to fulfill user expectations is much more important, Windows might only confuse users by sorting files this way. So while I understand why you feel frustrated (ie. Windows hasn't met your expectations about how files should be sorted), and I also think they made a bad choice because of that reason alone, I think you're just a bit overreacting when you say that their choice makes no sense, because logically speaking, it sure does.


Well I'm obviously being facetious with my anger, but I genuinely don't see the logic in the "logical, intutive" sorting way. It is, in fact, counter intuitive.

Also you've basically just made my argument for me -- most people expect an alphanumeric sort. That right there trumps everything else. Nobody (especially not computer users more casual than me) cares if the "intuitive" sort style is more "logical" in some obtuse, abstract way. What matters is what's easier and more comfortable for most users, and alphanumeric sort is just that.

bittyx wrote:Also, websites are far from the only way that viruses spread around. I know a lot of smart people who have had viruses on their computers, so it's kind of insulting to call them all idiots. Besides that, not everyone is a proficient computer user, and that doesn't make them an idiot.


Yeah, I admit I was being tetchy. Still, as I say, I've never had any protection and I've never got a virus, because I simply don't do dangerous things.

EvanED wrote:This is exactly one of the things that annoys me. Yes, to some extent people should learn to use computers. But at the same time, if possible computer should adapt to how people operate rather than the other way around. Leading zeros are both ugly to read (IMNSHO) and obnoxious to set up (in the case where you don't know a priori how many things you'll need). I think that this argument is basically "we can't get natural sorting right in every case, so it's better to be stupid in all cases", which is the sort of thing I tend to really dislike and I think occurs too much in the sort of "hardcore" computing world. Sometimes it is appropriate if getting things wrong is destructive, because then even being occasionally wrong is bad. But picking an unoptimal sorting, as long as it's somewhat predictable, isn't particularly destructive.


Most people don't create their own files, computers create their files for them. It should be effortless for a computer program to shove in the correct number of leading zeroes.

Also, the problem for me is that it isn't somewhat predictable. If I look at a bunch of numerically-named files sorted the "intuitive, logical" way, it looks like utter bedlam. It's so, so unintuitive. Alphanumerically sorted files are so much more sensical to the human brain. Or at least mine. And I think probably most people's.

As for the Img-1, Img-7, Img-23 thing, you can't tell me that it's impossible to create an "intelligent" filesorting system that puts those images in that order, but still knows to put...
0821468216892
1395030292153
1404_123
273ba337fda9cd50b4a1b1b97b8b20fb
36563517
...in that order.

cphite wrote:The last machine I repaired where the person told me they never use AV software and that they've "never gotten a virus or anything" had approximately 3,000 infected items, and had a rootkit that was logging keystrokes. There weren't any popups or other obvious signs of infection; they just noticed some performance issues.

NoScript is not infallible... There is lots and lots of malware that it doesn't even see.

Now that XP's support cycle is over, the nice folks who bring us malware are going to be working extra hard on XP exploits for quite some time...


Setting aside what I said to bittyx above about admitting it was harsh to call such people idiots, the people who bring you those computers are probably idiots. I actually suspect viruses at the drop of a hat (I've never gotten infected specifically because I'm worried about getting infected), so on the rare occasion that my computer is acting weird, I run a virus scan first-off.

I'm quite confident I don't have one infected item, let alone 3000. I'll run something and take a screenshot if you want ;P

To be fair, I live in the suburbs and my Wifi signal is barely strong enough to reach throughout the entire house, so there's no way anyone could be trying to assault me in meatspace. If I lived in a crowded apartment complex, there'd be a much greater risk of someone nearby trying to hack into my compy.

Still, hacking and viruses and stuff are highly unlikely to occur unless you LET them happen, unless you slip up, make a mistake and give hackers a way in, and I don't give those opportunities.
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Re: Windows sorting vs Irfanview sorting.

Postby EvanED » Tue Jun 03, 2014 5:07 am UTC

King Author wrote:Well I'm obviously being facetious with my anger, but I genuinely don't see the logic in the "logical, intutive" sorting way. It is, in fact, counter intuitive.
In your case, yes, I agree. And that's the problem with writing software that tries to be smart... it'll occasionally be more wrong than software that doesn't try to be smart. The question is whether the smart version's successes outweighs its failures... and I think you know where I come down on that point here.

For instance, yes, I could imagine that you could devise a natural sorting algorithm that would sort your cases correctly as well as my cases. But what rule would it use to decide between the two? It shouldn't be is the number a prefix, because then 2-Foo and 10-Bar won't sort "correctly." It perhaps shouldn't be the number is followed by a letter, because then 2Jun and 10Jun won't sort "correctly." So what is it going to be? And remember, you're never going to be perfect, so your rule will be wrong sometimes. Will users be able to figure out what that rule is when it does go wrong?

Which gets to what I mean by "predictable." By my definition, the simpler a rule is, the more predictable it is. A straight lexicographic sort, what you want, is very simple, and thus very predictable. I would argue that the rule Windows is using, while slightly more complicated and harder to apply at a glance, is still quite simple and thus quite predictable. If you give me two files, I can tell you very quickly what order they should sort in. (Depending on the exact file names, perhaps actually faster than straight lexicographic sort as I don't have to do a mental check of whether numbers sort before letters or letters sort before numbers.) If you had a more complicated rule for determining whether to use a "natural" sort or straight lexicographic sort, how easy is it to apply at a glance? What happens if one file looks like it should be sorted "naturally" and another lexicographically? I'm not saying this algorithm would be bad -- it's all about the tradeoffs. But realize that it's doing the same thing as the Windows sorting: it's reducing the number of edge cases (where the sorting feels unintuitive) while increasing their severity.

The other thing I'll mention is that to fix your problem you have to realize there is one; the above discussion assumes that the programmer is in the active process of deciding what to use as a sort algorithm. I suspect that having to deal with the ordering of hash-like file names is a relatively uncommon occurrence. Furthermore, I suspect that one of the primary use cases is yours: photos taken from the internet. And as you point out, it seems that widespread, hashy names are a relatively recent phenomenon, while you're using an OS where the sorting algorithm would have been written probably a decade and a half ago, when I suspect dial-up internet was more prevalent than broadband.

Also you've basically just made my argument for me -- most people expect an alphanumeric sort.
I do not have data to back this up, but I strongly suspect that if you asked people how files with names like 1 - Foo or Foo - 1 should be sorted, they would not pick alphanumeric.

Incidentally, I'm not 100% sure but I think that OS X, Unity, and Gnome all use natural sorting when you sort by name. If KDE does to, and if I'm right, that would mean that all of the really big desktop environments agree with Windows in at least the fundamental position that the default should be not straight alphanumeric. ls doesn't count, because it doesn't do any sorting by default, and just returns the files in whatever order they're stored in the file system's internal structures. (Which, I'll point out, is often entirely unpredictable even if you know everything about the files: the same two files might appear in a different order depending on the history of how other files were created and destroyed in that directory.)

Most people don't create their own files, computers create their files for them. It should be effortless for a computer program to shove in the correct number of leading zeroes.
I don't know about you, but I pick the names of lots of files in an average day. I've also written software that have picked even more names, and zero-padding is extra work when it's even possible. There are times when there is literally no way of knowing how many zeroes you need! So you either have to pick a number that will probably be big enough, and deal with the maximum number being 0009432, actively rename things, or just rely on things being sorted reasonably.

Still, hacking and viruses and stuff are highly unlikely to occur unless you LET them happen, unless you slip up, make a mistake and give hackers a way in, and I don't give those opportunities.
There have been plenty of remote and "semi-remote" exploits over the years for XP. Heck, I've seen articles showing how if you do a fresh install of XP and immediately go to patch it, unless you are behind a good firewall there's a good chance you'll have a compromised machine before you can even install the patches for the things that people are exploiting on your box. I don't know if this is still the case, but I bet it still is.

I'm not saying you are infected by any means. Just that (1) even the most careful can slip up, and (2) you don't necessarily have to slip up.
Last edited by EvanED on Tue Jun 03, 2014 5:18 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Windows sorting vs Irfanview sorting.

Postby Thesh » Tue Jun 03, 2014 5:16 am UTC

Also, just because you disable plugins and javascript doesn't mean you are safe.
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Re: Windows sorting vs Irfanview sorting.

Postby speising » Tue Jun 03, 2014 11:35 am UTC

King Author wrote:I can Delete files from within Irfanview. I can't rename them, though, so when I get to a file I want to rename, I have to note its name, switch to the Folder, and find it so I can rename it.


does your keyboard not come with an F2 key? or do you have a special build of irfanview?

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Re: Windows sorting vs Irfanview sorting.

Postby Nyktos » Tue Jun 03, 2014 4:53 pm UTC

EvanED wrote:Incidentally, I'm not 100% sure but I think that OS X, Unity, and Gnome all use natural sorting when you sort by name. If KDE does to, and if I'm right, that would mean that all of the really big desktop environments agree with Windows in at least the fundamental position that the default should be not straight alphanumeric.
Testing on my machine, Xfce and KDE both appear to have this behaviour. So yeah, definitely not a Windows-specific thing.

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Re: Windows sorting vs Irfanview sorting.

Postby King Author » Tue Jun 03, 2014 5:46 pm UTC

EvanED wrote:
King Author wrote:Well I'm obviously being facetious with my anger, but I genuinely don't see the logic in the "logical, intutive" sorting way. It is, in fact, counter intuitive.
In your case, yes, I agree. And that's the problem with writing software that tries to be smart... it'll occasionally be more wrong than software that doesn't try to be smart. The question is whether the smart version's successes outweighs its failures... and I think you know where I come down on that point here.

For instance, yes, I could imagine that you could devise a natural sorting algorithm that would sort your cases correctly as well as my cases. But what rule would it use to decide between the two? It shouldn't be is the number a prefix, because then 2-Foo and 10-Bar won't sort "correctly." It perhaps shouldn't be the number is followed by a letter, because then 2Jun and 10Jun won't sort "correctly." So what is it going to be? And remember, you're never going to be perfect, so your rule will be wrong sometimes. Will users be able to figure out what that rule is when it does go wrong?

Which gets to what I mean by "predictable." By my definition, the simpler a rule is, the more predictable it is. A straight lexicographic sort, what you want, is very simple, and thus very predictable. I would argue that the rule Windows is using, while slightly more complicated and harder to apply at a glance, is still quite simple and thus quite predictable. If you give me two files, I can tell you very quickly what order they should sort in. (Depending on the exact file names, perhaps actually faster than straight lexicographic sort as I don't have to do a mental check of whether numbers sort before letters or letters sort before numbers.) If you had a more complicated rule for determining whether to use a "natural" sort or straight lexicographic sort, how easy is it to apply at a glance? What happens if one file looks like it should be sorted "naturally" and another lexicographically? I'm not saying this algorithm would be bad -- it's all about the tradeoffs. But realize that it's doing the same thing as the Windows sorting: it's reducing the number of edge cases (where the sorting feels unintuitive) while increasing their severity.


Hmm, this is actually an interesting problem. I have some mild programming ability; when I get the time, I'm gonna see if I can kludge together a filesort system that handles both cases well.

EvanED wrote:
Also you've basically just made my argument for me -- most people expect an alphanumeric sort.
I do not have data to back this up, but I strongly suspect that if you asked people how files with names like 1 - Foo or Foo - 1 should be sorted, they would not pick alphanumeric.


True, but if you asked them about...
273ba337fda9cd50b4a1b1b97b8b20fb
1404_123
36563517
0821468216892
1395030292153
...I'm quite confident not a single person would dream of putting them in that order. Virtually anyone who looks at those filenames would say they were unsorted, not in any particular order at all.

EvanED wrote:Incidentally, I'm not 100% sure but I think that OS X, Unity, and Gnome all use natural sorting when you sort by name. If KDE does to, and if I'm right, that would mean that all of the really big desktop environments agree with Windows in at least the fundamental position that the default should be not straight alphanumeric. ls doesn't count, because it doesn't do any sorting by default, and just returns the files in whatever order they're stored in the file system's internal structures. (Which, I'll point out, is often entirely unpredictable even if you know everything about the files: the same two files might appear in a different order depending on the history of how other files were created and destroyed in that directory.)


If the major OSes agree with Windows that doesn't necessarily mean Windows isn't stupid, that could mean they all are, heh. I'm at least expectant that the Linux distros would have an easy way to change the algorithm.

EvanED wrote:
Most people don't create their own files, computers create their files for them. It should be effortless for a computer program to shove in the correct number of leading zeroes.
I don't know about you, but I pick the names of lots of files in an average day. I've also written software that have picked even more names, and zero-padding is extra work when it's even possible. There are times when there is literally no way of knowing how many zeroes you need! So you either have to pick a number that will probably be big enough, and deal with the maximum number being 0009432, actively rename things, or just rely on things being sorted reasonably.


Hence why I said most people. You're clearly not most people if you're writing software. Also, you know what would help here? Advanced batch-rename. I've wanted something like that for so long. Being able to select a mass of files, and choose how to manipulate their names.

Like, one thing I always wanna do is, some hash-named files include all alphanumerics. Obviously, this means you'll occasionally get a file with words in them. "ass" and "fuk" are pretty common. I wish there were a way I could take an entire folder full of such files, and do some find-and-delete-vowels rename function to them. Something that would rename every selected file, deleting all vowels in their names.

EvanED wrote:[
Still, hacking and viruses and stuff are highly unlikely to occur unless you LET them happen, unless you slip up, make a mistake and give hackers a way in, and I don't give those opportunities.
There have been plenty of remote and "semi-remote" exploits over the years for XP. Heck, I've seen articles showing how if you do a fresh install of XP and immediately go to patch it, unless you are behind a good firewall there's a good chance you'll have a compromised machine before you can even install the patches for the things that people are exploiting on your box. I don't know if this is still the case, but I bet it still is.


Heh, my XP install isn't patched. It's running the SP2 it came installed as, I've never updated. Never saw a reason.

Newer versions of things just bug me; they always change things for the stupider. I'm still running Firefox 3.6 'cause all the new versions have annoying dumb stuff I don't like.

EvanED wrote:[I'm not saying you are infected by any means. Just that (1) even the most careful can slip up, and (2) you don't necessarily have to slip up.


I guess. I still think, though, that in most cases, most people who get viruses get them because they don't know what they're doing.

Thesh wrote:Also, just because you disable plugins and javascript doesn't mean you are safe.


Aside from XP itself, I don't use any Microsoft programs or products, so none of that stuff affects me. I think a major reason I've never had a virus is because hackers usually target stuff like Internet Explorer and Word, since grannies and such use them and don't know how to protect themselves.

I mean, I appreciate what you're saying, I know there's tons of ways you can get infected, but the fact that I've gone ten years without a virus is testament to the fact that I simply don't do the sorts of things and use the sorts of programs that hackers typically target. As I say, as flippant as I sound, the reason I've never got infected is because I'm wary of being infected.

speising wrote:
King Author wrote:I can Delete files from within Irfanview. I can't rename them, though, so when I get to a file I want to rename, I have to note its name, switch to the Folder, and find it so I can rename it.


does your keyboard not come with an F2 key? or do you have a special build of irfanview?


Huh. Never noticed that. Nice.
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Re: Windows sorting vs Irfanview sorting.

Postby Xenomortis » Tue Jun 03, 2014 6:07 pm UTC

King Author wrote:True, but if you asked them about...
273ba337fda9cd50b4a1b1b97b8b20fb
1404_123
36563517
0821468216892
1395030292153
...I'm quite confident not a single person would dream of putting them in that order. Virtually anyone who looks at those filenames would say they were unsorted, not in any particular order at all.

Indeed.
But on the other hand, across all of my computers, I have exactly zero files I care about that are named in such a way.

King Author wrote:Hence why I said most people. You're clearly not most people if you're writing software. Also, you know what would help here? Advanced batch-rename. I've wanted something like that for so long. Being able to select a mass of files, and choose how to manipulate their names.

Like, one thing I always wanna do is, some hash-named files include all alphanumerics. Obviously, this means you'll occasionally get a file with words in them. "ass" and "fuk" are pretty common. I wish there were a way I could take an entire folder full of such files, and do some find-and-delete-vowels rename function to them. Something that would rename every selected file, deleting all vowels in their names.

Of course, you're representative of "most people". :roll:

King Author wrote:I mean, I appreciate what you're saying, I know there's tons of ways you can get infected, but the fact that I've gone ten years without a virus is testament to the fact that I simply don't do the sorts of things and use the sorts of programs that hackers typically target. As I say, as flippant as I sound, the reason I've never got infected is because I'm wary of being infected.

You actually don't know that.
Sure, it's not improbable your computer is clean, but as far as I can tell, you have no way of knowing, or even being sure.
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Re: Windows sorting vs Irfanview sorting.

Postby ahammel » Tue Jun 03, 2014 7:32 pm UTC

FF3.6 has known code execution vulnerabilities that don't depend on javascript, FWIW.
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Re: Windows sorting vs Irfanview sorting.

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Jun 03, 2014 8:52 pm UTC

Yeah, aren't a great many patches for security vulnerabilities in particular? One of the biggest reasons to keep shit up to day is that hackers have figured out all the ways they can exploit older versions of things.
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Re: Windows sorting vs Irfanview sorting.

Postby cphite » Tue Jun 03, 2014 9:45 pm UTC

EvanED wrote:
This is exactly one of the things that annoys me. Yes, to some extent people should learn to use computers. But at the same time, if possible computer should adapt to how people operate rather than the other way around. Leading zeros are both ugly to read (IMNSHO) and obnoxious to set up (in the case where you don't know a priori how many things you'll need). I think that this argument is basically "we can't get natural sorting right in every case, so it's better to be stupid in all cases", which is the sort of thing I tend to really dislike and I think occurs too much in the sort of "hardcore" computing world. Sometimes it is appropriate if getting things wrong is destructive, because then even being occasionally wrong is bad. But picking an unoptimal sorting, as long as it's somewhat predictable, isn't particularly destructive.


Most people don't create their own files, computers create their files for them. It should be effortless for a computer program to shove in the correct number of leading zeroes.


Correct. Most who have groups of files that they care about sorting are dealing with either music or photos. And, while it may not take a ton of effort to apply leading zeros to everything, the fact of the matter is that there really isn't any standard. Some music ripping software will name files 01-SongName, 01-SongName - while other will name them 1-SongName, 2-SongName. Same goes for digital cameras. And since Microsoft doesn't create all of the various photo and music and other such software that people use to create files, they don't get to decide that leading zeroes be there.

Microsoft didn't apply their sorting algorithm just to fuck with you. What they did was say "hey, since most of our users have collections of files that are numbered and may or may not have leading zeroes, let's have it sort file names the same way whether or not there are leading zeroes!"

And so, for the vast majority of users, it's a useful thing. For people who have random crazy file names that follow no discernible pattern, it's not as useful.

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Re: Windows sorting vs Irfanview sorting.

Postby FLHerne » Tue Jun 03, 2014 11:27 pm UTC

King Author wrote:True, but if you asked them about...
273ba337fda9cd50b4a1b1b97b8b20fb
1404_123
36563517
0821468216892
1395030292153
...I'm quite confident not a single person would dream of putting them in that order. Virtually anyone who looks at those filenames would say they were unsorted, not in any particular order at all.

Sure, you could write that as:
0821468216892
1395030292153
1404_123
273ba337fda9cd50b4a1b1b97b8b20fb
36563517
And after looking at it for a second or two, people would recognise that it's sorted numerically.

The question is, does that serve a purpose? The point of sorting is to make something easy to find when you know the name, and I bet no-one memorises 20-character random hashes*.
Since you have to look up the gibberish anyway, you can just copy-paste the name into a searchbox - since you have the exact name, there's no reason to scan through lines of gibberish trying to match arbitrary characters; people are very slow at that, and select-middleclick-leftclick (on here) is a lot faster.

*If anyone looks at them enough to memorise, and doesn't rename them before that point, they're crazy. :P

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Re: Windows sorting vs Irfanview sorting.

Postby Xanthir » Wed Jun 04, 2014 12:55 pm UTC

King Author wrote:Which gets to what I mean by "predictable." By my definition, the simpler a rule is, the more predictable it is.

That's a reasonable first-level definition, but it's not actually correct. The definition of "simpler" is surprisingly complex, because the human mind can do some relatively complex things really easily, like recognizing strings of digits as a number. This is the reason why everyone else keeps saying that "intuitive" sorting really is more "intuitive", because it's very easy for humans to see and understand why "1.txt" is followed by "2.txt" and then by "10.txt", because we see the numbers as whole units.

On the other hand, your preferred sorting mechanism is only "simpler" in that it does a naive sort on the numerical value of the encoded filename. Easy for computers, because they're always working with the encoded filename, but the details of the encoding are complex and opaque to humans. For example, in the "asciibetical" sort, "B.txt" comes *between* "A.txt" and "a.txt", because all the capital letters appear before all the lowercase letters. Symbols sort in random orders - % is less than 1 is less than ? is less than A is less than ^ is less than a is less than ~. Those orders don't make sense by themselves, and which ones are placed between and around the letter/number ranges is just nonsensical.

True, but if you asked them about...
273ba337fda9cd50b4a1b1b97b8b20fb
1404_123
36563517
0821468216892
1395030292153
...I'm quite confident not a single person would dream of putting them in that order. Virtually anyone who looks at those filenames would say they were unsorted, not in any particular order at all.

Exactly, so don't worry about the order, and lean harder on searching rather than visually scanning.

Hence why I said most people. You're clearly not most people if you're writing software.

Your preference here absolutely does not match most people. Usability studies prove that - the "intuitive" sorting works better for most people.

EvanED wrote:I've also written software that have picked even more names, and zero-padding is extra work when it's even possible. There are times when there is literally no way of knowing how many zeroes you need! So you either have to pick a number that will probably be big enough, and deal with the maximum number being 0009432, actively rename things, or just rely on things being sorted reasonably.

Nah, it's easy to make this work. Zero-padding is just using an unary prefix, but since 0 sorts before other digits, it has to count down, which is why you've got a finite number of digits. If you use a prefix that sorts after digits, you can have one that increases without bound and still does the job. After the last time we discussed this here on the board, I wrote a blog post about save-file numbering summarizing the discussion.
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Re: Windows sorting vs Irfanview sorting.

Postby Garbeld » Sat Jun 07, 2014 2:12 pm UTC

Humans normally don't zero pad things, because for the vast majority of cases, the need to do so is an entirely, exceptionally modern concern of the past few years, as "working with a computer" became a normal thing. Automatically sorting vast amounts of abstract data, as a thing happening inside everyone's pockets every day, is fairly new.
Intuitively, we expect a written symbol to carry information (otherwise it's easier to just not write it). Zero-pads contain, as far as a human is concerned, no information, thus defying that intuition.
Normally, alphabetical symbols carry information which numerical symbols cannot, numerical symbols carrying strictly numerical information. Alphanumeric sorting makes sense if both types of character carry the same type of information, which, again, is in defiance of intuition. Filenames are generally designed to provide informative descriptions to humans, and abstract IDs do not do that.

Hence why I said most people. You're clearly not most people if you're writing software.

You're clearly not most people if your primary concern for naming schemes is making sure that IrfanView and Windows Explorer are in coordination.
As an amatuer coder, I've written a batch program to rename, zero-pad several hundred images which were generated by other software (very big, commercial, large-audience art software) for a less geeky classmate who couldn't even understand why his files were not being read in "proper" (numerical) order by another program (and it was Windows that passed them in alphanumerical order to begin with; the second program didn't particularly expect alphanumeric ordering).

The fact that it's not an easy fix is bad, I'll certainly agree. It's quite atrocious, really, how uncustomizable most software in general is. But there's nothing unintuitive, generally, about the default behaviour here.


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