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Christina Gorton for Forem Core Team

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Discuss: Ability to Reorder Posts in a Series.

Ability to manually reorder posts in a series #12400

Hi. While series work great in Dev.to the sorting is solely based on date of the blog posts. It would be really great to have a way to manually order the posts or update existing order in a series.

This is important cause, there are some cases in which you want to post later but have an order to the series which makes more sense.

In my case, I publish 1 blog out of every 3-4 blogs in Dev.to to other platforms like The New Stack which require exclusive 2 week access. So, I have to hold publishing in Dev.to till then. But later add the post as part of the series when the window expires.

Describe the solution you'd like

Ability to manually reorder posts in a series

Describe alternatives you've considered

No alternatives available except not using the series feature in Dev.to

On a side note, I don't see an ability to delete a series.

This type of request has come up more than once.

When authors create a series the posts are sorted by date created. This feature request proposes that authors should be able to manually sort the posts in a series or update the existing order.
I would love to hear peoples thoughts on this type of feature.

Discuss

  • Has this situation been a pain point for you?
  • Would this feature help your experience on DEV or any other Forem instance?
  • Any other thoughts?

Discussion (11)

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choc13 profile image
Matt Thornton

I've just encountered a need for this feature. I wrote a couple of posts and then on the third realised that it was growing into a series. The series is educational in nature, so an obvious ordering for me is by increasing complexity. The third post that I wrote contains the easiest to understand content so I'd like to put it first in the series.

More generally I think it's nice to be able to let a series grow organically. Starting out with grand plans for a series can sometimes work, but often it's through the act of writing the individual pieces and getting feedback that we're able to refine the overall series. Often this means wanting to insert posts earlier on to fill in gaps or to provide a better introduction.

To add to the examples this is my series. It's still a work in progress.

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jdgamble555 profile image
Jonathan Gamble

I don't understand how this is feature request and not a bug. I cannot reorder my posts in a series. This seems like basic functionality that is missing. Imagine spending hours writing a post, and then you realize you forgot something and need to add another post before it. I think this hurts dev.to as it can be really agitating to anyone who regularly uses the series.

As a programmer like the rest of us, I feel like it is bad UX to implement a series feature without having the ability to reorder it from the get-go. Your articles that you organize should not be based on when you write them, but how they fit together. This is basics 101. Please add this to the top of your bugs list, as it is bad practice IMHO that you guys do not have this feature out-of-the-box.

J

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coffeecraftcode profile image
Christina Gorton Author

Hey Jonathan. This is a discussion here so that we can understand the use cases and who needs this feature. As you can see from the comments not everyone agrees that this needs to be implemented which is why we open it for discussion.

I appreciate your feedback here and when we discuss things like this on forem.dev, I am able to show our product team why it is important to users and why we should implement it. We still have a process for everything to be approved so having a place to discuss it first is important.

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jdgamble555 profile image
Jonathan Gamble

Hi Christina. I don't think anyone here is disagreeing that it would be useful. I would bet most people assume they can sort their post if they needed to. In fact, most people don't use the series feature at all. If you do use it, it is a necessity for anyone who is serious about posting to dev.to. After writing enough posts, you WILL need it.

Imagine you're writing a book (not an article) about how to cook, build a model airplane, or even write code (which is basically what dev.to is). I can post Chapter 1 on cooking... chapter 2... 3,... etc.

But, say I realize my recipe is better if I add flour after. Say, I realize the wings snap into place better when done on step 3 instead of step 6. Say, my programming package gets up dated and I have to move the function declaration to a different place in step 4. I need to re-organize what I am writing in every scenario.

For me personally, I don't know what the book is until I write the chapters. Then I can put it into a LOGICAL order, since I am a programmer with a rational mindset.

This is like the IPhone allowing you to use other browsers, but not supporting PWA on anything but Safari.

This is a bug.

J

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coffeecraftcode profile image
Christina Gorton Author

I'm not disagreeing with you. I use the series feature all of the time and would find this feature to be helpful!
However it is still additional code/functionality that would need to be added as Ben mentioned in the comments above:

This was originally considered in the model, and then never really implemented. I'm not sure it needs to because the simplicity of chronological-only probably has value.

Because of this it would still need to go through our RFC (Request for comments) process.

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ildi profile image
Ildi

Can you provide a few examples of how people are utilizing series of posts? I haven't been around long enough to discover many of them and would be nice to study a few different examples.

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coffeecraftcode profile image
Christina Gorton Author

Sure, for forem.dev I have a series for a Changelog here.

I did one for a different organization on DEV before I joined DEV.
#100DaysofCloud series

I would say a lot of organizations do series. But individual authors do too.
Here is one from a DEV author:
Learn AWS with Me Series

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ildi profile image
Ildi

Thank you for the examples and I love this feature!

The quick fix that comes to mind:

forem post series

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ildi profile image
Ildi

Also one more thing... Im not sure if it exists, but I did not find an option to delete a series once you have created one. This was also mentioned in issue #12400.

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern

This was originally considered in the model, and then never really implemented. I'm not sure it needs to because the simplicity of chronological-only probably has value.

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link2twenty profile image
Andrew Bone

It's not been a problem for me personally but I can see the benefits.