I'm working on a wishlist system, where users can add items to their various wishlists, and I plan to allow users to re-order the items later on. I am not really sure about the best way to go about storing this in a database while remaining fast and not turning in to a mess (this app will be used by a fairly large user base, so I don't want it to go down to clean up stuff).
I initially tried a
position column, but it seems like that would be quite inefficient having to change every other item's position value when you move them around.
I have seen people using a self-reference to refer to the previous (or next) value, but again, it seems like you would have to update a whole lot of other items in the list.
Another solution I've seen is using decimal numbers and just sticking items in the gaps between them, which seems like the best solution so far, but I'm sure there has to be a better way.
I would say a typical list would contain up to about 20 or so items, and I will probably limit it to 50. The re-ordering would be using drag and drop and will probably be done in batches to prevent race conditions and such from the ajax requests. I'm using postgres (on heroku) if it matters.
Does anyone have any ideas?
Cheers for any help!