I'm working out the relationship between pagination and sortation and wanted to get some
feedback. Pagination has traditionally been a web paradigm, while soration has been more of
a desktop convention. As the distinction between the functionality of web apps and desktop
apps breaks down, it's possible to see both in one place. That creates some friction.
Say you're on the 2nd page of a paginated set of tabular results. Say, Books by Author. You
see Daniel Boorstin's books and decide to sort that page by publication date to see his works
in order. You don't want to lose the books you were looking at, so you appreciate that the
page sorts in place without requiring a page refresh. But then... you decide to see page three.
What constitutes the third page? Is it the original third page of results, say, authors with last
name starting with "C" or is it now the 3rd page as it would have appeared had the list been
sorted by publication date from the beginning? Or, from the date of the last book on the 2nd
Apps like Hotmail address this issue by requiring a page refresh when sorting that sends the
user back to the first page of the newly sorted result set. Apps like Gmail address this issue
by not sorting.
Is there some middle ground where pagination and sortation can co-exist?