Can I get meaningful page links using will_paginate?

Let's say you search for "dengue fever." Your search returns 137
pages, ordered by date, but labeled with a page number. You decide to
look at articles written just before and after the Haitian earthquake
(Jan 12, 2010). Should you start on page 65, or 125?

That's nuts.You should have the choice of 137 pages with the date of
the first post on the page displayed as the page link. Start on page
"Jan 7, 2010" and read forward. That's easy. Jakob Nielsen agrees with
me, so there! http://rooh.it/PageNumbersMeaningless

I can do that with Bruce William's Paginator gem (http://
groups.google.com/group/rubyonrails-talk/browse_frm/thread/
7267090150ef6cc7/5c75c93d0324f356). However, will_paginate is the de
facto standard.

How do we get semantically-meaningful page links using will_paginate?
Or should I stick with the paginator gem?

Ron

I can do that with Bruce William's Paginator gem (http://
groups.google.com/group/rubyonrails-talk/browse_frm/thread/
7267090150ef6cc7/5c75c93d0324f356). However, will_paginate is the de
facto standard.

How do we get semantically-meaningful page links using will_paginate?
Or should I stick with the paginator gem?

You can supply a custom LinkRenderer class to will_paginate, which
controls how page links are displayed. You might need to do some
messing around in order to get the data for each page link - i think
the link renderer is given the will paginate collection object and the
fact that this is the link for page 23. Does it matter that if there
were suddenly a lot of articles about a given subject that you'd then
have several page links all with the same title ?

Fred

RonPhillips wrote:

That's nuts.You should have the choice of 137 pages with the date of
the first post on the page displayed as the page link. Start on page
"Jan 7, 2010" and read forward. That's easy. Jakob Nielsen agrees with
me, so there! http://rooh.it/PageNumbersMeaningless

What I think is even more nuts is to have to slog through 137 pages of
results without having a decent way to filer that down to just a few
pages at most.

For example. I very rarely make it past about page 3 or 4 of a Google
search result set. I'd never make it to page 125.

Ok, I am thinking search by title, then the results are sorted by
date, so I want to label pages by date.
There's a series of screenshots at http://www.flickr.com/photos/21409535@N08/
to show what I mean.

If I expect lots of search results in a field to be identical, then I
like to index by some other logical ordering. If that's not possible,
then "title" must be the only identifier that is human-readable. In
that case, how does the user decide which one he wants even after he
searches?

Ron

Exactly! If you search for some term, and then specify an ordering of
the results, the pages should be labeled with your ordering, not
numbers.

Let's say you search for "dengue fever" and then order by author. The
page links should show the name of the author of the first article on
the page. Then it's easy to home in on Robert Abernathy, followed by
Robert Walker, then Frederick Cheung. Why make us guess that "Walker"
is going to be around 125, then click from page to page? Just label
the pages with the sorting field.

Ron

RobertWalker wrote:

What I think is even more nuts is to have to slog through 137 pages of
results without having a decent way to filer that down to just a few
pages at most.

For example. I very rarely make it past about page 3 or 4 of a Google
search result set. I'd never make it to page 125.

RonPhillips wrote:

RonPhillips wrote:

Ok, I am thinking search by title, then the results are sorted by
date, so I want to label pages by date.
There's a series of screenshots at
http://www.flickr.com/photos/21409535@N08/
to show what I mean.

If I expect lots of search results in a field to be identical, then I
like to index by some other logical ordering. If that's not possible,
then "title" must be the only identifier that is human-readable. In
that case, how does the user decide which one he wants even after he
searches?

Ron

Sorry for the crazy posting. I'd just never realized that the Google
Group is actually a reflection of this forum (I mostly lurk.)

Anyway, the flickr screenshots will show what I mean, I hope. How does
one
do that with will_paginate?

Ron

Well, I still think it's silly to make users play "guess the page
number," so here's how you can make nicely labeled page links with
Paginator.

In your controller:

http://pastie.org/980498

and in your view:

http://pastie.org/980519

Perhaps this isn't so easy using will_paginate. So, another question: Is
there any disadvantage to using Paginator?

Ron