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Sticky: please clarify

Perhaps I am misunderstanding how the sticky banner works, but I am long-time user of Joomla 1.0 and do not find the "Sticky" concept intuitive or properly documented.

After trying out the new banner system in 1.5, I could not figure out the sticky function/concept. Google led me to the Joomla forum, where someone else was similarly confused. We were pointed to this page, and it's still not clear.

The "sticky" feature is not explained in the info boxes or help manual in Joomla 1.5. In the documentation here, the phrase "taking priority over" is an incorrect description if in fact *only* sticky banners will display. In the example given in the documentation here, sticky banners display *instead of* non-sticky banners, which will *never* display. Dpk 19:36, 28 May 2008 (EDT)

28 May 2008
I agree that the "sticky" concept is not intuitive. If someone has a better understanding of it (for example, why you would want banners "sticky" or not), please feel free to expand or change the explanation here. Mark

How it works

The sticky bit/flag only groups the resulting banners. Sticky banners take precedence over non-sticky banners in display order like a forum will always display sticky topics above normal topics.

Sticky is not a criteria or filter such as amount (count), client, category, tags, or an exceeded hit-counter. The latter control how many banners are candidates to display at all, with count being the most restrictive :) Within the result set, the sticky banners are then placed "above" the others -- that's it.

If the amount of sticky banners in the result set is larger than the number in count, you'll never ever see any of the other banners using that module. That's why sticky feels like it's acting as a filter or limiter.

The ordering/randomise parameter is applied to each "group": sticky banners and non-sticky banners. (Under the hood this works somewhat different, but the effect is the same.)

Let say the module should display 5 banners and the resulting set from the database looks like this, after all "filters" (client, category, tags, counter limit) are applied:

Name Sticky Order
Red Banner 0 9
Green Banner 1 3
Blue Banner 0 5
Silver Banner 1 4

Duh! Because there are only four banners in the result, they all show up, but "grouped" into sticky and non-sticky.

Sticky,Ordering
Name Sticky Order
Green Banner 1 3
Silver Banner 1 4
Blue Banner 0 5
Red Banner 0 9
Sticky,Random
Name Sticky Order
Silver Banner 1 9
Green Banner 1 3
Red Banner 0 2
Blue Banner 0 5

With only two banners in each "group" there isn't much to randomise. Chances are 50:50 that either Green or Silver will be first.

If there were no sticky banners at all, the result could look like this:

Sticky,Ordering
Name Sticky Order
Red Banner 0 2
Green Banner 0 3
Blue Banner 0 5
Silver Banner 0 9
Sticky,Random (1)
Name Sticky Order
Red Banner 0 2
Silver Banner 0 9
Blue Banner 0 5
Green Banner 0 3
Sticky,Random (2)
Name Sticky Order
Blue Banner 0 5
Green Banner 0 3
Silver Banner 0 9
Red Banner 0 2

As soon as there's one sticky banner in the result, it'll "bubble up" the stack and will show up.

Now why would anyone have sticky banners if they're "the only ones to show up anyway"? If your banner modules are configured to show a single banner only, that's absolutely true. If your page header should feature a large selection of changing banners, but only one at a time, make sure there's no sticky banner in the result set or you're stuck with it until its hit counter runs out.

But if you have a nice spot where the module can display 3 or 5 banners top-down (i.e. left/right sidebar) and has dozends or hundreds of banners to choose from, some of your clients may wish to be in the "pole position" -- and pay more for better placement at the top of that row: make 'em sticky.

You may also want some banners that didn't show up for a while (due to randomisation) to appear more often: make 'em sticky.

--CirTap (talkcontribs) 15:24, 3 June 2008 (EDT)