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Journal shmournal

Journal shmournal

Posted Oct 30, 2008 7:01 UTC (Thu) by ebirdie (guest, #512)
In reply to: Journal shmournal by tetromino
Parent article: Directions for GNOME 3.0

Your comment got got me excited about an idea to apply tags and web browser alike address fields/bars in file dialogs/browsers. A file "address" field in the dialog/browser could complete and suggest both file paths and file names as you type. Shell alike completion with alt-tab (as tab is reserved in many file dialogs) would be a nice bonus. There could be a library of tags for naming directories and files. Tags could be inserted into the new names. Paths and files could be thus found with couple tags. Nice bonus in the file dialog/browser would be that the listing below the path/file address field is dynamically updated thus giving visually feedback where you are going to put your file, by what name and how other files therein have already been named and classified.

I just wonder, if the above haven't been yet applied to file dialogs/browsers somewhere. I think there isn't any new idea per se in the above description, just that is applied to file dialogs and file browsers.

Well, I hope I didn't resemble Windows file dialog in the above. Anyway the point is to apply those great input and categorizing methods already successfully implemented in shells and web browser address bars.

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Tagging filesystems

Posted Oct 30, 2008 9:34 UTC (Thu) by lab (subscriber, #51153) [Link]

Yes, I've been exited about the idea of 'tagging filesystems' for a long time. The more I think about it, the more tags seems to me to be the best answer for the question of how to categorize the oodles of information we create for ourselves; much stronger than hierachial ordering. I would love for tags to be a natural property of a filesystem, and where that would automagically work with all FS tools, both high- and lowlevel. And yes, easy access to tag, and find by tags, in file-dialogs etc.

Maybe someone has already made this, and I'd love to get some pointers.

Tagging filesystems

Posted Oct 30, 2008 11:07 UTC (Thu) by appie (guest, #34002) [Link]

I wish there where 48 hours in a day (and me being able to actually use the extra 24 hours :), I could use them to hack up a proof of concept: tag oriented file storage is something I've been telling people about for a couple of years. I'm absolutely sure it would be very useful, for power users and everyone else alike.

The whole directory/file mantra is an outdated concept, it works yes, but tags can offer much more flexibility. And after all, using tags isn't that much different from creating a directory tree, in a sense one is already supplying meta data for the files stored in it: work related -> tenders -> customerName for instance.

One has to get used to the idea of describing the data we're working on and retrieving them by describing them ('tenders oct 2008' or 'tenders customerName'.)
Some tags can be auto generated like the date/time created, last consulted, filetype (text document, picture, ...). When for instance camera's get equipped with GPS by default, an automatic tag with the location can be added to every picture we store in the fs.

And it wouldn't be static, if I can only think of a limited set of tags at first and sometime later can think of more and better tags, I can always add them at that time.
Plus, my view on the data probably doesn't reflect someone else's view on it. Tags allow us to have one user describe data with one set of tags and another user describe it with another set of tags. Finally, at least digitally, no arguments on the illogical place where stuff was put by someone else, e.g. your SO :)

From using tags one can go to creating relations between objects stored and their tags.

Most modern file systems already incorporate meta data functionality. What's needed is a way to efficiently index and search the tags.
Plus of course the user interfaces to them.

Tagging filesystems

Posted Oct 31, 2008 15:02 UTC (Fri) by michaeljt (subscriber, #39183) [Link]

If the journal is not the main way to access the file system, but just an additional database of file paths in a file on the filesystem somewhere then the tags could be saved into the journal. Preferably the application creating/saving a file could automatically add a certain number (not least creator application).

Journal shmournal

Posted Oct 30, 2008 12:05 UTC (Thu) by tnoo (subscriber, #20427) [Link]

... you mean something like ido-mode in Emacs? That would be great.

Journal shmournal

Posted Nov 1, 2008 12:30 UTC (Sat) by bfields (subscriber, #19510) [Link]

Dig around a bit and I think you'll find a ton of projects, academic papers, etc., on tagging and metadata.

One problem, I believe, is: most of us have enough trouble just developing a consistent system for directory and file names. So we certainly aren't going to do a good job of assigning and managing a bunch of additional metadata. Except where it's standardized and automatically collected (digital photo timestamps, album info on mp3's...), it's probably a loss.

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