Martin Atkins (mart) wrote in suggestions,
Martin Atkins

General Categories via Filters

General Categories via Filters

Short, concise description of the idea
Add an extra layer atop tags and custom security for user-defined categories.

Full description of the idea
With the current tags system it is possible to filter by a single tag or multiple tags (with boolean OR). The former is supported by an easy link from entries and layouts, but the latter involves manual URL editing or the user to make special pains to create a link.

It would be useful if a general category system were built on top of the many entry differentiation features now available. These include (but are perhaps not limited to) tags, user picture keywords and custom security.

The proposed system would allow the user to configure one or more categories for a journal. Each category would be expressed as a boolean expression featuring tags, keywords and custom security. The user should be able to mark each category as public, friends only, custom security or private.

As with tags, the list of categories and links to view them will be provided to S2 layouts so that a category list can be presented. Categories will have more descriptive names than tags as they are entirely for display. (They will, however, feature in URLs; the characters allowed may have to be limited)

It may also be beneficial to allow the categories to be arranged into a heirarchy, though that heirarchy would be purely for display and have no special meaning.

An ordered list of benefits
  • Provides users more flexibility in providing category views based on various criteria.
  • Allows other entry metadata from before tags to be leveraged as a filtering mechanism.
  • Gives an easier interface to filter configuration than would be offered by having users hardcode bare tag OR/AND URLs into layouts.
  • Cleaner URLs, and more URL lastability, as the filter implementation is hidden away.

An ordered list of problems/issues involved
  • An extra layer of complexity above tags.
  • May require users to understand boolean logic, though pre-rolled “easy” filters can probably be provided.
  • Yet another thing for all layouts to support; adds more clutter. (but users can opt not to use categories if they dislike this)
  • Layouts are already being modified to display a list of all visible tags in a journal. They'd have to be modified to allow that to be optional, since displaying tags and categories together would in many cases be redundant.

An organized list, or a few short paragraphs detailing suggestions for implementation
  • Most implementation thoughts are covered by the full description.
  • I imagine URLs like /users/username/cat/Programming .
  • Entry categorisation would be automatic based on the presense of relevant tags, a user picture keyword or a particular security level.
Tags: entry management, security, tags, ~ submitted - needs retagging
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