Re: Of tags and topics

On Sun, 2006-03-05 at 17:42 +0200, Ari Torhamo wrote:
> One thing that propably will confuse people here is that often when they
> deal with there files/objects, the line between what might be a tag and
> what might be a topic is very blurred. You may separate these two by
> definition, but can you base a user interface on this kind of abstract
> thinking? User interfaces should be very easy to grasp for everyone
> after all.

Yeah, that's what I'm looking in to. We struggled enough as it is with
the topic entry for the next Epiphany release, so I'd like to see
applications work together on this. Even if they don't standardise on a
single user interface, they should at least standardise on some
behaviours. :)

For example, Matthew once mentioned that topics should be created
automatically from what the user types, whereas I argue they should need
an explicit "create new topic" action. Looking at my definitions I can
agree that tags should operate as Matthew suggested, but still think
topics should operate how I suggested.

> You suggest that the names of the people on a photo might be tags. Many
> people propably wouldn't intuitively consider names as "a property
> observable by all". Often the names of the people on a photo may be the
> only thing that just you know (for example two of your friends standing
> on Trafalgar Square).
> For many objects you just couldn't name just one topic. Often there's
> not one main characteristics for an object, but many of them. If you
> keep on thinking which one is the main characteristics, you get a
> headache. Isn't the current Epiphany bookmark system largely based on
> this observation?

Sorry, Matthew noticed the same mistake in my definitions. I meant to
write "*a* label that you would think of first" rather than "*the*". And
you've made a good point about "property observable at all". So tags
should be any *fact* about the object, and topics should be those few
labels that you would think of first when trying to recall the object.
The end result is that tags can be used for exploring when you don't
know what you're looking for exactly, and topics are used for navigating
when you do.

Thanks for that!

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