Sunday, October 03, 2004

What's wrong with this picture?

I've just been looking up some event info on MSDN, and I came across this page.

Now here's a little exercise:

  1. Read the first 5 menu options, or the first 5 links along the bottom. Just the first five, mind you!
  2. Based on those first five values, take your best guess at how they're ordered.
  3. Find United Kingdom.
Now normally I see this list organised alphabetically. I know that the UK's 2 rows below the USA (I think, it might be 3), after United Arab Emirates.

What crazy ordering scheme lead the web developer here to put United Kingdom between France and Greece?

Well, you don't really have to answer that. I think I've got it figured. The name of the region (France, United Kingdom etc.) is taken from the culture defined by the system. That's fine. That's why there are so many. I can handle that.

Where it falls down, however, is whoever put the page together ordered the list items by the specific culture key (e.g. the 'us' in 'EN-us'). The specific culture key for the UK is 'gb' (That's why the URL in the link above ends in 'culture=en-us') which is why the UK sits between France ('fr') and Greece ('gr', I think).

Would it have been that much hassle to order the list by the output text, rather than the culture name? Oh well. It does give me another thing to remember next time I'm building something with data:

Make sure your lists 'n' stuff are ordered using some sort of sensible, obvious scheme.

Just wanted to share.

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