I’m having trouble sorting by name in DT. I try to name everything beginning with a date yyyymmdd, but sometimes an item doesn’t have an exact day or an exact month so i’ll use yyyymm (for montly items) or yyyy (for yearly items). so in a particular folder i could have the following (with sort by name ascending):
Steve, that’s a sort of universal sorting convention built into most alphanumeric sorting routines.
I use this convention for dates: today is 080706 (yymmdd). That would likely work more to your expectations. I would probably write your “whole year” date as 070000 to make it fit well into the scheme.
thank you for the quick responses. unfortunately i have a couple thousand documents and renaming them can be pretty time consuming. the current sort seems pretty counter-intuitive (do you agree?), and is not consistent with Mac Finder or Windows explorer (or other programs i’ve used as a browser for my documents). is there any possibility of using that sorting algorithm (if not now, maybe in a future release)?
Actually, it’s very consistent with the Mac Finder. I just created folders named with the names you listed above and it sorts precisely the same way.
The reason, I believe, is that OS X likes to treat numbers as numbers, rather than strings. A date, like 2007 or 20061030, is a string and not a number, which is why OS X gets confused. It knows that 2007 is smaller than 20,061,030, so it puts the former first.
DEVONthink likely inherits OS X’s methods of handling numbers in string form. This is nice, because it makes this list:
So there’s a definite tradeoff – either dates are completely screwed up, or numbers are sorted in a completely jacked-up way. I think they assume that people are going to format dates more rigorously than they’re going to format numbers. And sequential data, from scripts and so forth, is more likely to be arranged numerically than by “string” numbers like dates.
If you’re using a file renamer utility (seems like one might be helpful in this case) be aware that some of them will delete Spotlight Comments. Name Manger (which I like a lot but don’t use much) supposedly preserves them though I haven’t confirmed it yet.