Tagged Journal Proposal

pgf at laptop.org pgf at laptop.org
Wed Oct 15 18:03:12 EDT 2008

a few random observations that i had today, prompted by scott's

    - while people don't tend to name their jpegs (today), they
	do tend to group them into folders (e.g. "vacation_pix").
	the equivalent of this in a tagged world would be bulk
	tagging.  i assume scott has thought about this in his
	UI, though i don't recall noticing it.

    - likewise, removing all the files in a directory, or moving
	half of them elsewhere (imagine rearranging the photos
	you just pulled off the camera), implies that there
	should be equivalent tag operations for doing bulk tag
	removal, and bulk tag editing.  (note that this need is
	independent of the path-component-as-tag feature -- these
	operations are simply required of any system intended to
	replace hierarchy with tags.)

    - jim made the observation that he found himself using tags
	less and less over time, once he realized that the
	full-text indexer he was using made traditional "filing"
	unnecessary.  i've found the same thing (i index my MH
	mail folders with mairix) -- but i do still use folders
	(i.e., "tag equivalents") to make it easy to retrieve
	things for which i think i may not remember the right
	search terms later on.  and of course i especially use them
	when the tags (folders) can be assigned automatically
	(with sort filters).  all of which is to say that i view
	tagging as an extension of full-text search, not a

    - we need to be mindful of erik's concern that if the goal is
	to solve the problems deployments are reporting, whether
	with file management or anything else, that we not
	over-engineer the design in a way that keeps us from
	finishing the implementation.  while our mission may be
	to build something "better", we shouldn't let that get in
	the way of building something that, while "old", is very
	useful.  (e.g., if we haven't made enough progress on the
	"real" solution, and kids would be best served in 9.1 by
	a file manager activity of some sort, then we should
	provide one.)

 paul fox, pgf at laptop.org

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