Export as Website - Sorting Order (answer: by manual sort)

SYNOPSIS: The “export to website” feature seems to list the exported documents in a given group on the corresponding index page in a fixed way, by “date added to DT”. It would be much more useful, if the index page would display the list in the sorting order chosen in DT for that group.

UPDATE: As Christian points out in a post below, the order chosen is the one used by the manual sorting order (a.k.a. “unsorted” in the menu View > Sort > Unsorted).

UPDATE2: See viewtopic.php?f=2&t=21364 for a method to quickly make bulk adjustments to the unsorted ordering.

The “export as website” feature is a very handy way to quickly generate a structured website with lists of documents. The looks are rudimentary without modifying the css file extensively, but that’s OK for a lot of purposes. In my case, I’m using this method to post some large, frequently updated lists of documents for my colleagues at work. Maintaining and editing the materials is ideal in DT, and the result is quickly exported.

However, I noted one rather serious limitation that I can’t overcome. With the usual caveat of me simply missing something obvious, here we go:

For each exported group, an index.html page gets created that lists (and links to) all the docs contained in said group. The order of that list seems to be fixed by the “added to DT” date and can therefore not be changed (short of fiddling with the “added” date, which is cumbersome). This is a pity. If the export could be made such that it honours the ordering currently used in DT for that group (by data, name, manual …), this feature would be massively more useful.

I, for one would be very interested in a sortable “export to website”.

NOTE: There are some workarounds. For example, I maintain a web-based list of scientific papers for my collaborators, all pdfs. In that case, I don’t use the “export to website” feature, but export the files directly into a file structure on the web server. As there are no index.html pages present in those web directories, the server renders a file directory display, which can be sorted in various ways. But this method falls short in two ways: (1) This is not self-explaining to a wider audience that might use that site and (2) does not provide the automatic format conversion that “export to website” offers: works well with a pile of pdfs, but the occasional RTF would not get converted to html.

So I still think that a somewhat beefed-up “export to website” would be highly useful.


Interesting, “added” is the only one that I did not try, because I didn’t see a script for it. But I don’t think it’s the length of the name either. My documents list exactly in the order I added them to DT, and have a wide range of filename lenghts; they are all scrambled in the list. Somewhat mysterious. Christian might be able to give us an answer.

Funny, I noted that, too, when I started looking for solutions on the forum. I have to say that it occurred to me only recently how useful DT is for putting a structured set of documents on the web (apart from the uncontrollable ordering). That’s the reason why I went into some of the details of what I’m doing with this feature. Maybe someone finds that useful. I always enjoy reading about others’ usage scenarios.

Btw., this is the result of the CircusPonies debacle. I used CP Notebook over the years to maintain some information on the web. While I never really used it as a “notebook” per se, I did like it to make rather elaborate and interconnected websites (no beauty there, but extreme functionality could be created per time unit).

Exporting uses the unsorted order (see menu View > Sort > Unsorted), this order can be customized by the user.

This is one of those “doh” moments. I could swear that I tried that. Maybe the browser cache fooled me? Or maybe I’m just getting old. In any case, I just checked it, and yes, manual sorting indeed controls the ordering on that index. That’s great! I’ll put an update in the first post, so that people don’t have to read through all this to get the answer.