[tomboy-list] Tags filtering in current unstable release
dylanmccall at gmail.com
Sun May 27 21:35:10 PDT 2007
I like the tags stuff in Tomboy 0.7.* (a great start, anyhow!), but the way
of filtering them is, in my opinion, not as useful as it could be.
Feel free to shoot this down (perhaps I'm missing a commonly accepted
standard), but at the moment the filtering is searching SelectedTagA Or
SelectedTagB Or SelectedTagC. This goes against how I use tags: I set up
tags as sort of primitives, such that I may have a Games tag, a Tools tag, a
Software tag and a RealLife tag. Now, if I have something about a hammer,
that is a Tool and it is a Real Life thing, so I give it those two tags. If
I have something about Tomboy, that is Tool and Software.
I'm going out on a limb here, and I will assume that this is normally how
people use tags.
For this method of operating tags (which I assume to be normal) to be really
useful, the filtering needs to work differently, searching SelectedTagA AND
SelectedTagB AND SelectedTagC. That is, as you select more requirements, the
search becomes more and more narrow.
Makes sense, no? If I am looking for a Person, it's going to be pretty easy.
If I am looking for a 'Person' who is a 'Clown' with 'Blue Hair' (maybe
'Blue' 'Hair' if I'm really obsessed with tags), the results will be much
Of course, it's not completely limited to that. If I have a "Family
Vacation" (maybe even "Family Vacation 2007"), I could create a tag for that
and it wouldn't conflict with the system at all; it would just be a way of
sorting the data. Search for Tree in Family Vacation 2007: Boom, that tree
The current implementation suggests the other way of using tags, which is
just putting objects in multiple directories. I, for one, find that way
silly. I may as well just symlink them!
The filtering of multiple items right now with A Or B strikes me as useless.
Basically what we are doing there is opening multiple categories at once,
which is no different than conventional file management. Instead of
narrowing the search by adding more requirements, we are enlarging the
search by searching for more things. Normally when something is looking for
something, they will want a smaller pile to sift through; not a bigger one.
Think of it this way: If you are looking for something, are you normally
looking for 'Everything I have ever written related to Recipes, Mushrooms
and Fish', or are you looking for /that one recipe/ that you remember
involved those three parts?
One example: How do search engines work? If they worked the "Or" way, they
would be quite useless.
This is an important topic for discussion. The method of searching tags
directly affects how people use them, so it would be hard to change this
after a full release.
Is there a standard in place for Tags? (Perhaps in the Gnome HIG?). It seems
that every program thinks of them differently, even though Tags seems to be
a standard name for a feature occurring everywhere!
(Of particular bother right now is Evolution, which uses them /along/ with
categories /along/ with folders, all with presets that look the same and
with chunks of program that act very independently. It makes my head spin!).
I would venture to say Epiphany has the coolest implementation, and it seems
to imply the use of "primitive" tags.
F-Spot also has pretty cool tags, where you can have tags that are children
of others. That way I can have a Vacations tag, then as a child of that have
Family Vacation 2007. This way, I can just tag images Family Vacation 2007,
and those images will also pop up in a search for the Vacations tag. Makes
complete sense and avoids me having to manually apply fifty different tags
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the tomboy-list