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Hierarchical organization

Hierarchical organization

Posted Jan 30, 2013 20:16 UTC (Wed) by jospoortvliet (subscriber, #33164)
In reply to: Hierarchical organization by dskoll
Parent article: Seigo: Plasma.next()?

It's 2013 and you claim to not know what Aaron means when he says we've bumped into the limits of hierarchical organization, pointing at Google... You must've noticed the demise of 'hierarchical search engines' on the web?

Search is search. You can use a hierarchy to find things, but this scales badly. That's why computer science has moved on to other search methods - indexing and analysis of links between pages is what google used to do. Full text indexing, metadata-extraction, semantic analysis, tracking of user habits and explicit tagging is what Plasma Active uses. These technologies might be a tad more complicated than a simple hierarchy but they scale beyond the 1.44 mb floppy disk.

And again, in case you still don't understand it - nothing gets lost, as 'folders' (hierarchical or not) are nothing else than exclusive labels.

Note how Gmail (which uses tagging) works just fine with IMAP (which uses folders): mails which have multiple tags just show up in all the 'folders' in traditional UI's. Works just fine.


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Hierarchical organization

Posted Jan 30, 2013 21:45 UTC (Wed) by dlang (subscriber, #313) [Link]

> Note how Gmail (which uses tagging) works just fine with IMAP (which uses folders): mails which have multiple tags just show up in all the 'folders' in traditional UI's. Works just fine.

however, you note that people still use the concept of folders (and sub-folders) to navigate the tags.

You could do exactly the same thing with traditional IMAP servers via single-instance-store of the file at multiple places in the filesystem.

Hierarchical organization

Posted Jan 31, 2013 3:18 UTC (Thu) by raven667 (subscriber, #5198) [Link]

I'm not sure what you are describing is functionally or technically different than tags, it's just semantically different. Well, trying to shoe-horn a filesystem (with hard-links for example) into a tagging system brings along baggage such as enforced parent/child relationships that artificially constrain and complicate the system and should probably be worked around by using something designed for tags.

Hierarchical organization

Posted Jan 31, 2013 4:58 UTC (Thu) by dlang (subscriber, #313) [Link]

my point is that tags are not something magic that achieve things that could never have been done before, and they don't require you to throw away the filesystem info.

Tagging is extremely useful to supplement filesystem location info, but trying to have it substitute for that info is wrong.

Hierarchical organization

Posted Jan 30, 2013 22:43 UTC (Wed) by dskoll (subscriber, #1630) [Link]

Search is search

Search and categorization are two separate things. My collection of files is not a massive glob of data that I content-search very often.

I'm all for indexing, full-text searching, etc... bring it on!

But don't hide the hierarchy as if it's some ugly stepchild.

Hierarchical organization

Posted Feb 1, 2013 20:41 UTC (Fri) by pboddie (guest, #50784) [Link]

The funny thing is that the Internet as searched by Google is organised hierarchically. It's just that Google exposes it through terms produced by their indexing activity. And when someone wants to access a specific resource, and especially update such a resource, they typically don't navigate to it by trying to fish it out using a combination of search keywords. It isn't a matter of "scp article.html editor@[linux,news,lwn,latest]" and hoping that it connects to the right place.

One can argue that this hierarchical organisation is imposed by physical constraints and that beyond the first level, one could use tags, terms, categories or whatever just as successfully as a path to a particular resource, but the issue is convenience for the specific task being performed.


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