Adding a separate rank-order column in a separate table to the side of the main table makes updating list tables much easier. Especially for the many country lists with over 200 rows. See:
*[[Category:Lists of countries]]
But adding a separate table with a rank-order column in it only works for some tables. Read why in the info in the above links.
A better solution would be an integral rank-order column that acted like row numbering. Header rows would not be numbered. See bug 2315 and bug 10433. In other words the row numbers stay in order (1,2,3) when other column sort buttons are clicked.
The rank-order column would still have a sort button, and its order could be changed when, and only if, its sort button is clicked. It would never change its order when sort buttons on other columns were clicked. It would always be in either ascending or descending order.
Maybe we need a new value added to the data-sort-type forced-sort-mode function of tablesorter. Maybe something like this:
For info on the data-sort-type forced-sort-mode function see:
See data-sort-type info and an example table here: