Previous / Next feature request

@lubos I know this has previously been requested in several posts (linked below) and most recently as just a couple of months ago without an answer.

Having been using this software now (for only) six months, about my greatest challenge is navigation. Because I have made mistakes, or need to change/review past invoices, receipts, or whatever element of the view, I find that I am constantly navigating down to a result and then clicking in, (review/editing as appropriate), clicking back, scrolling back to where I was (I REALLY wish it would maintain the position in the list in some way, or even highlighting where we came from), making sure I’m on the right item and then selecting the next or previous one manually and repeating as necessary.

It is very tedious, cumbersome and time consuming and I would personally be indebted to you eternally if it could be incorporated.

From recent to oldest:

Jan 2017

Although the above request pertains to invoices, it could be of benefit in more “end screens” where a single item is shown, whether it be a purchase or sales invoice, a payslip, delivery docket, emplyee, inventory item, or search result for any and all and more than the above.

Jan 2015

I note your reply says you won’t be incorporating previous/next buttons (I hope that decision isn’t final) but will be working on “breadcrumbs” instead. I don’t see what benefit breadcrumbs could provide that the back button already doesn’t.

In two posts of 2014

It seemed to fall back on “ambiguity” and I would agree with @Brucanna’s proposal of “up and down the ladder”.

I that you are using database and select/queries to arrive at a recordset to display a list of results within which the user clicks into a transaction/record. Whether you are viewing a complete list like “Sales invoices”, or a search result of “Cash Accounts” where Field contains “Direct Debit” (this could easily have been: a complete list of “Cash Account” transactions, or a search of “Sales Invoices” where Field contains “Jones”, or any other results screen within manager), the natural progression of bringing up such a list would be to provide a “◄ / ►” to go to the previous or next within the same record set. It would be unreasonable to expect that if in a view of sales invoices a user explicitly would want to go to the next within only a particular customer. If that would be the case, the user would/could/should drill down through customers THEN sales invoices by customers (UNLESS the search result within sales invoices resulted in a list from said customer only, but you are still progressing through the list by sales invoices meeting a search criteria).

Unless someone else could comment on what other dataset should be traversed with a specific use/case example, the previous/next record in the current recordset would be my obvious (and hopefully soon implemented) choice. :wink:

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Even if Previous / Next buttons are added, they cannot be added without breadcrumbs. Manager has a lot of lists. And all lists can be sorted or filtered (through search function).

So once you click that View button on specific invoice, you probably want Manager to retain the context of the list from which View button was clicked.

For example, if you have filtered list of invoices by custom field and sorted by balance due, you want Next button to send you to the next invoice within that list.

Right now Manager loses the context when clicking View button. When I add breadcrumbs, the context will be retained so Manager knows which list you came from and perhaps offer Next / Previous buttons then. But it’s not possible to implement this feature before breadcrumbs are added.

Thanks, it’s been a while since I’ve programmed in dotNet, I’ve just been looking through how it’s done today. I’m not so fussed on the whole “losing context” idea, I suppose that would have to be an idea I’d have to get my head around, ie as in why it’s done that way now. I like the old idea of record sets and iterating through them, forward, backward, first, last, etc. (That’s not a dig at your style, it’s a pointer that I’ve not done anything in this area for too long obviously). In thinking about how manager works though, I can see the benefit since it would be a memory hog the old way (being able to keep digging forward and changing tact).


thanks for the update. I still can’t wait to see it implemented though (it’s come to the point that I’m doing it again tonight…) :confused:


Context is important. Let’s say you are viewing an invoice and click Next button. What invoice do you expect to come next? It would probably depend on the list you came from. If you are reviewing all invoices where particular item was sold, then you want Next button to give you only invoices with that item. If you are reviewing all invoices to particular customer, then Next button should only show invoices of that customer and so on.

This is not a programming issue. It’s about matching user’s expectations so the program does what you expect it to do.

Sorry about that lubos, I misspoke. It’s my ignorance of LINQ (that I’m continuing to lookup as I’m even writing this). When I wrote the above, I was under the impression there was no context in the modern approach but in my short discovery of it, I’m beginning to understand (and like) it. In saying I wasn’t fussed on the idea, I meant that I wasn’t keen on losing the context which I thought was happening (as opposed to a single SQL/Dataset query and basic navigation).

/Don’t mind me, I haven’t had much sleep in the last 48 hours.

I thought I would revisit this, it’s more than 2 years old and references posts that are even older.

When I have a list of anything, I am still unable to navigate freely between them. A next/previous entity would be an awesome feature without the need for moving the mouse, page back, scroll down, re-find your spot, click the next invoice… oops, wrong one, page back, scroll, look through the list again, and do it all again… Or open tabs upon tabs…

Perhaps this could be in the ideas? (if it’s not already)

Yes I also think this should be in the ideas category. It will improve user friendliness.

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None of the issues related to context that @lubos explained previously have changed in the last two years. They would still make the program behave in ways users did not expect. And that would not be user-friendly.

What are you saying? It’s not a valid idea?

I think it is a very valid proposition, much better than people wanting a calculator in a text field, but people asked and we got it.

If people ask for navigation and we got it, then it’s an improvement for everyone.

I raised it again BECAUSE it was two years old. It’s something that @lubos hinted at would be coming, and I’m just reminding him and the users this idea was out there. But hey, you are the mod. You obviously don’t want navigation, so be it. I will just raise it again in another couple of years.

Apparently it is only you and I that think that

No, I am saying @lubos described two years ago why it was not going to be added—specifically, that context is so important, users would be confused. Rather than hinting it would be coming, my reading is that he told us why it would not.

As a moderator, I don’t make decisions. I try to explain them.

@Tut this is where I said he hinted that it would come. He says it can’t be done before breadcrumbs come and we’ve had them now for about a year, give or take. Possibly more.

At the time when @lubos posted this, I wasn’t really thinking about the context of the lists being any different to filters. I’m still not 100% sure of the difference.

My point has always been, that whatever list we arrive at, if you enter a list item, it would be handy to be able to navigate to previous and next list items within the context of the list you came from (that to me is a given and should not even need to be stated, but I’m stating it for clarity).

For example (and not limited to):

  • suppliers - you click on suppliers and a suppliers list comes up, you enter “acme” and view, edit, update something (maybe, maybe not) but to be able to go to the next or previous supplier in the list would be handy
  • sales invoices - you click on the balance outstanding (for me mostly $0) and can check what payments were made and when, (for me, my sales have two payment components, cash and eftpos, it appears daily for me, one sales invoice totals the whole days activites, and I receive payment via eftpos and cash tendered from the til)…it would be handy that if in the resultant view where I see the eftpos and cash payments of the day, I am able to select the next or previous sales invoice and view it’s payment information
  • you are in purchase invoices, you are looking for a particular invoice that you know involves “$65.00” oddly enough, there are 15 of the, because one of your widgets are exactly $65! You search for “65.00” and the results come up. You go into and view the details of each one and when you realise the one you have on screen right now isn’t the one you want, a previous/next button would be handy.

This would only pertain to lists of things.

This is a great example of the difficulty alluded to elsewhere about context. You might think it obvious that a Next button would go to the next supplier. But someone else could expect the next sales invoice (or whatever you went on to look at for supplier Acme.

Again, why not the next day instead of the next invoice? And if you link to a payment, where does the subsequent Next button take you? To the next payment entered, the next payment against the same invoice, or the next invoice?

For every workflow where Previous/Next make sense to one person, there is some other workflow or reasoning where the same criteria would be quite frustrating. And remember, Manager is a browser, so the only things that really make sense would be Back and Forward.

Because it is purely tied to the list that drove you to that view.

if your previous list was sorted by date, then context have it, you would be taken to the next date. If it’s a list of invoices by supplier, it would only be the suppliers invoice.

Again, perhaps better demonstrated by example from within various screens of manager:

  1. Purchase Invoices, sorted by defaults, no filter. If you view or edit the highlighted invoice and from that invoice you select next or previous, you would be taken only to the next or previous invoice as per the previous list. It will not be the next date, the next supplier, the next highest amount outstanding, it should only navigate up and down the list that generated your view. In the following example, clicking next twice would take you from the Purchase invoice dated 2019-09-01 with no associated invoice number, and it would take you UP (or down, depending on implementation) to invoice 239051, dated 2019-008-29 because that is the list the context is generated from. IF (OTOH) you had sorted that list by date, or amount outstanding, or supplier, then context would be modified accordingly.

  2. Sales Invoice with a filter applied, still default sorting. In this example, clicking next would take you from invoice ending 19323 to invoice ending 19324, because that is where the context exists. You are not navigated to the next sales invoice generally, because this isn’t a general list, it is filtered.

  3. One more for good measure: take the example of Receipts and Payments: from this list, the context of next SHOULD (or I would expect) take you from an amount received of $420 to an amount paid of $24.

I hope that is more clear on what I would expect from next and previous buttons. The list is already created from views from within manager, and I have largely chosen default views, you could have custom sorts and filters applied, I just haven’t provided those examples.

Again, and as per usual, I am not asking manager to guess at what it is I want it to do. I have a generated list, that list is exactly what I want. Now it would be nice to have a way of navigating the items within that list.

I think your comment of my example and someone expecting apples when you’re looking at oranges totally misses the point. The only world where I would expect the next invoice to come up is if I was looking at a list of invoices.

(for arguments sake: For that matter, you could argue that someone looking at a list of invoices could expect the next button to show the next supplier of carbonated drinks that have free delivery. You could argue it, but it’s nonsensical).

I’d much prefer to hear your input on why you think it’s a good or bad idea, on merits alone and not based on absurd hypotheticals and how people would misinterpret it’s usecase. I think I’ve articulated both literally and visually what I mean, I really don’t think I can make my idea any clearer.

At least send it to the ideas category and let people vote on it, even if you think @lubos doesn’t like it or won’t introduce it, let people have a vote on it. When it receives no votes, then I’ll know it was a stupid idea.

what’s the point in having an ideas category if people can’t get their ideas in there? (Without having to repeatedly re-justify it. I really do think I’ve been pretty clear in my presentation of it, and if I haven’t, please let me know how I can improve it and I will do so).

My concern is specifically because I think people will misinterpret based on their personal expectations.

I have always understood your idea. My point has only ever been that your interpretation of what is obvious may differ from what others believe to be obvious. And the developer already expressed his similar concern about context on this exact subject.

I am not going to put something into the Ideas category for voting that the developer has already said he disagrees with. @lubos reads the forum, too. If his thinking has changed and he wants to see users’ votes on this, he can put it into the Ideas category with the 173 other suggestions already there.

I think you have taken Lubos’ words out of context yourself. Since he rarely comments on general issues I suppose we will never know.

I do not read anywhere in Lubos’ statement he would not implement this functionality, or that he doesn’t like it or that he was against it. He only said it couldn’t be done because there was no context until breadcrumbs were in. Breadcrumbs have been in for some time now (April last year).

How about it @lubos, is this an idea that you are opposed to, can’t implement or won’t implement? Ignoring a long standing thread only prolongs the agony. Apparently I or @tut are misreading your earlier comments re contexts. We are both reading it differently, perhaps you might want to chime in for a comment?

If you were to come out and say, “next/previous… not happening” I’d be more than happy to drop it.

Can you quote where he said this?

I will not continue discussing what he might have meant. He can do that.

I see no reason why this topic can’t be in ideas category now. When this topic was posted, I said we need breadcrumbs first before “next”, “previous” buttons can be considered. Now that we have breadcrumbs I’ve moved this topic to ideas.