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Advanced Sort By

When trying to sort an article_custom tag, I was frustrated by the unpredictable behavior when using both a sortby=“a,b” and a sortdir=“desc”.

As it turns out, the “sortby” attribute is a direct interface to the database language SQL. That means you have all the sort power in the world.

If you know PHP/SQL, the field just works into the query “ORDER BY “ . sortby . “ “ . sortdir (publish.php line 622).

Enough about how it works, here’s how to hack it:

  • If you want to sort by comments and title, with the most comments first and title from A-Z:
    • sortby=“comments_count DESC, Title ASC” sortdir=”“
  • If you want to sort by the first category from A-Z, and the title from A-Z:
    • sortby=“Category1 ASC, Title ASC” sortdir=”“
  • If you want to sort by custom fields 3 from Z to A, 4 from A to Z, and 7 from Z to A:
    • sortby=“custom_3 DESC, custom_4 ASC, custom_7 DESC” sortdir=”“

For my movie reviews blog, I keep the movie’s release year in the custom_3 field — so to sort by titles grouped in 2005, 2004, 2003…, I used sortby=“custom_3 DESC, Title ASC” sortdir=”“.

Hope this helps!

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15 Jan 2006

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