Thursday, December 22, 2005

Seven Degrees...

Everything is tied together, like a big sweater – you pull at one string and the entire thing unravels. That is how I felt this morning reading the blog of Alf A Pedersen. I found myself in agreement once again – but would have said it differently. I would have said it as:

Applications come, applications go – the data however, the data stays forever. Erase my .exe files as you wish, but leave my .dbf’s alone – without them I am lost.

Anyway, that blog linked to this article. The article was the subject of the blog but as I was reading it – it got back to the asktom rewrite I’m thinking about 23 our of 24 hours a day right now (still stuck in “thought” mode – lots to consider).

Tags – that is what I got from it. I’ve seen them on flickr and other blogs let people “tag” things. We’ve been talking about metadata tagging on asktom (and how I’m too lazy to do it). Well – I think I’ll let every page be tag-able and searchable by the tags.

Now the only question is – do we have a list of ‘tags’ or do we let the tags be anything anyone wants (which will undoubtedly lead to people tagging items with their names or some unique string – sort of like setting up bookmarks of “their interesting stuff” which in itself could lead to some interesting discoveries (data mining discoveries) in the future.

I’ll have to give this more thought – but I found it interesting that a rant on “it is about the data” (not really a rant…) led to “tags” led back to what I’ve been thinking about. Or maybe it is just that if you are thinking about something hard enough – everything you see will have parallels to it.

Probably the last part – you see what you want to see from something.


Blogger Bob B said....

I thought a limited list of tags would be better than letting any old tag be applied to an article. Now that you mention using tags as a bookmark and tag placement, I'm on the other side of the river. It would still be nice to have a list of most "common" tags (perhaps a regularly scheduled analysis to keep the common tags fresh).

Thu Dec 22, 09:11:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Well, you could always lexically analyze each word as it is typed in and preload a dropdown list of suggested tags...

Thu Dec 22, 09:53:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Scott Mattes said....

I am sure that you have seen, they let users provide their own tags, but show what others have tagged it with. they also allow notes/comments for the tag.

Thu Dec 22, 10:07:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

That "Do We Really Need Application Programmers" post sounded awfully familiar... like SQL in the 80's!

Thu Dec 22, 10:20:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Rob Zijlstra said....

Isn't it possible to have two sets of tags? One completely free (for the user) and one the user must choose from a list of pre-defined ones?
That way you should have the benefits (and the downsides...) of both worlds.

Thu Dec 22, 10:31:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Martin said....

Tom said:

the asktom rewrite I’m thinking about 23 our of 24 hours a day right now (still stuck in “thought” mode

Uh Oh, please go in sleep mode every now and then ;-) We need you to be fresh

Thu Dec 22, 12:07:00 PM EST  

Blogger Eric said....

I visited mr Pedersens web site.
I think he has come up with another answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything with his small data model on the home page. Elegant.

Thu Dec 22, 01:24:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Steve said....

I now wish I would have put a name on my last post in the other thread. I suggested metadata tags. Hope you're not losing sleep through this brainstorm. ;)

How about this for an idea? There is a GREAT metadata reference that we've all used before. The table of contents from Oracle reference manuals. Or, to narrow it down, how about the table of contents from the Concepts manual? Its a stable, well-defined and thorough metadata reference. A dropdown list would not be hard to build, and it enhances the visiblity of the documentation (that we should all look at first, anwyay).

Thu Dec 22, 01:57:00 PM EST  

Blogger Bob B said....

Tagging with oracle documentation references? That could be very interesting ...

Thu Dec 22, 02:02:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Use a predefined list of tags. Some people get carried away, and then you will end up with tags that can be very distracting (like the blinking red banner on some web pages).

Thu Dec 22, 03:31:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Hi Tom,

have you re-thought the idea of publishing snapshots of AskTom regularly as CDROM ? Sure this system never ends ... but most questions should be "finished" after some time. What do you think ?

Fri Dec 23, 02:46:00 AM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

have you re-thought the idea of publishing snapshots

Never, I don't want to make an offline version, support an offline version, allow you to regularly download an offline version.

In addition to being a lot of support work - I'd miss out on the usage of it. The data gets stale, old. Mistakes cannot be commented on. Would need something to index and search it (support work in the largest sense).

Nope, I'm pretty much 100% opposed to the idea.

Fri Dec 23, 08:19:00 AM EST  

Blogger MattyD said....

When it comes to 'tagging' the web check out
It's great for saving websites of interest and grouping/tagging similar sites together.
For example, check .

Cheers and Happy Holidays!

Thu Dec 29, 12:56:00 PM EST  


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