[openstack-dev] [keystone] Pagination

Gabriel Hurley Gabriel.Hurley at nebula.com
Tue Aug 13 21:04:03 UTC 2013

I have been one of the earliest, loudest, and most consistent PITA's about pagination, so I probably oughta speak up. I would like to state three facts:

1. Marker + limit (e.g. forward-only) pagination is horrific for building a user interface.
2. Pagination doesn't scale.
3. OpenStack's APIs have historically had useless filtering capabilities.

In a world where pagination is a "must-have" feature we need to have page number + limit pagination in order to build a reasonable UI. Ironically though, I'm in favor of ditching pagination altogether. It's the lowest-common denominator, used because we as a community haven't buckled down and built meaningful ways for our users to get to the data they really want.

Filtering is great, but it's only 1/3 of the solution. Let me break it down with problems and high level "solutions":

Problem 1: I know what I want and I need to find it.
Solution: filtering/search systems.

Problem 2: I don't know what I want, and it may or may not exist.
Solution: tailored discovery mechanisms.

Problem 3: I need to know something about *all* the data in my system.
Solution: reporting systems.

We've got the better part of none of that. But I'd like to solve these issues. I have lots of thoughts on all of those, and I think the UX and design communities can offer a lot in terms of the usability of the solutions we come up with. Even more, I think this would be an awesome working group session at the next summit to talk about nothing other than "how can we get rid of pagination?"

As a parting thought, what percentage of the time do you click to the second page of results in Google?

All the best,

    - Gabriel

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