Hierarchical tags

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Hierarchical tags

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Edited: Aug 20, 2006, 2:45am

One thing that could come in handy would be hierarchical tags, where a tag qualifies as both itself and as a broader tag that is a substring of the tag. e.g.: I could tag things as ({Mythopoeic Fantasy Award} finalist} 2003 and be able to see things tagged {Mythopoeic Fantasy Award} 2001 and {{Mythopoeic Fantasy Award} finalist} 1999 when accessing the hierarchy. Similarly, I could tag books in the Foundation series {Foundation} 1, {Foundation} 2, etc., see all the books when viewing the tag Foundation, and get them all in the correct order when sorting by tags.

The tricky bit from a user interface standpoint is selecting an exact tag rather than the hierarchy, such as if I wanted to look at Mythopoeic Fantasy Award winners without seeing the finalists. Tags in a hierarchy might be rendered with an accompanying glyph that is a link to see the exact tag rather than the hierarchy.

Edited: Aug 20, 2006, 2:03pm

I like this idea, but I've been accomplishing basically the same thing with the current system.

I use tags like like "Nobel Prize winner" and "Nobel Prize nominee", or "Newbery Medal" and "Newbery Honor" and then just use a tag search of "Pulitzer*" or "Newbery*" to bring up books in both categories.

If you make the tag specific, then using a wildcard allows you to bring up the more general group all at once.

Perhaps not as elegant, but it works for me.

Aug 26, 2006, 4:41pm

+1 for hierarchical tags; it's also the way I tag knowledge in my own system.

@wildcards: that's a marginally acceptable solution, but I sure hate having to tag a book with both taiji and martial arts, or programming and java, etc.

Ideally we could all contribute to an LT ontology and make it easier to use other people's tags, but this rarely seems to work in "real life." :)


Aug 26, 2006, 9:03pm

I don't think we will ever do a hierarchical tag system in the strict sense of the word. We may end up coming at it from the back door though.

What you are wanting is really not tagging so much as it is a user-modified taxonomy/ontology. THAT is probably much more likely, and could live side-by-side in rainbowed harmony with tags.

As you said though....getting an open taxonomy to work is always a bit of a problem. </understatement>

Aug 27, 2006, 1:07am

Whoops, dunno why I said ontology :/

Well, I've had (small-scale) success w/ simple voting systems and mass simultaneous editing of global structure.

Fist fights happened only rarely.