# What is the logic behind the sorting of topics within a question?

Asked by bobbinhood (5894) February 17th, 2011

Whenever I look at the topics listed under one of my questions, I cannot figure out how they ended up in their current order. They are not:
– in the order I listed them
– alphabetical
– ordered by the number of people with that topic
– ordered by the number of questions with that topic
– ordered by the length of the topic’s name

So, how does Fluther decide how to order the topics? It seems like a random ordering would be counterproductive (why write the code to order them randomly when the order in which they are originally input is essentially random). Other than that, I’m out of ideas.

Are they just trying to drive the OCD among us crazy?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

Depending on the phase of the moon and the number of topics written, they generate a set of partially random numbers that determines the order the topics appear in the question. Yes, they are trying to drive the OCD jellies crazy.

wundayatta (58525)

More popular topics go first, considering the sum of number of questions and number of people with the topic.

bob_ (19584)

@wundayatta So that’s it! Of course! I can’t believe I didn’t figure that out myself.~

@bob_ If you just look at this question, that seems like a reasonable assumption. However, I randomly chose three of my questions to test this idea, and two of them were counterexamples.

bobbinhood (5894)

The placement and color of the topic is representative of the number of jellies who ate breakfast before 7AM on the last full mon.

wilma (16391)

@wilma You have multi-colored topics!?! I want some!

bobbinhood (5894)

Doesn’t everyone? ;-)

wilma (16391)

Purple.

chyna (39849)

@bobbinhood Huh… interesting. Then I’d like to change my answer to yellow.

bob_ (19584)

@chyna Aww…man! I wanted to be purple. I guess I’ll have to settle for blue.

bobbinhood (5894)

No fair! I picked blue!
Is it the order the OP writes when they enter the question?

LuckyGuy (34599)

@worriedguy No, it’s not. That’s what got me wondering in the first place; I noticed they had switched the order on me when I had been very intentional about the order in which I entered them.

bobbinhood (5894)

Interesting. I figured people entered the topics as they pop into their heads. Logically the most popular would go first. Quite a fluther conundrum.
Now I have something else to worry about! ;-)

LuckyGuy (34599)

42

janbb (51184)

The topics on my page show up as burnt umber.

You’d think I’d know the answer to this… but I don’t. Bad manager. I’ll see if I can find someone who does, though!

Also, green.

augustlan (47376)

@janbb Ahhh…I get it now! I should have known that would be the answer.

@YARNLADY I’m officially impressed that you know the name for that color; I wouldn’t have come up with it.

@augustlan Come on…you’re supposed to know everything!

bobbinhood (5894)

@bobbinhood ; She does, she’s just messin’ with us.

JilltheTooth (19687)

or