[uf-discuss] multi-word tags

Scott Reynen scott at randomchaos.com
Tue Sep 25 09:28:19 PDT 2007

On Sep 25, 2007, at 8:05 AM, jim at eatyourgreens.org.uk wrote:

> delicious uses + to combine multiple tags.
> Eg. all links tagged with 'microformats' and 'accessibility':
> http://del.icio.us/tag/accessibility+microformats
> So spaces could be encoded as +, but + could not be automatically  
> parsed as
> a space in a single tag name.

I think this can be confusing because the term "tag" within the  
context of del.icio.us doesn't mean quite the same thing as it does  
within the context of rel-tag.  In rel-tag, the tag is the last  
portion of the URL, which is always a single value.  So http:// 
del.icio.us/tag/accessibility+microformats is still a single rel-tag  
tag of "accessibility microformats".  That this single rel-tag tag  
happens to be a document that describes the intersection of two  
separate del.icio.us tags is outside the scope of rel-tag, which only  
defines the relationship between the two documents, not the meaning  
of either.

This is further confusing because we can often assume the same  
meaning for a given tag in multiple tag spaces, creating the illusion  
that the meaning is universal.  It can be useful to take a tag from  
one space and relate it to the same tag in another space (as Operator  
does).  But that's not something defined by the rel-tag spec and not  
something we can rely on.  In some cases the same tag can have very  
different meaning in different tag spaces.  For example, the tag  
"bright" in the context of Flickr tends to refer to visual  
brightness, whereas the same tag on del.icio.us tends to refer to  
intelligence.  Similarly, a space or any other character can take on  
different meaning in different tag spaces.  This contextual meaning  
is a good thing, in my opinion.  But regardless of the goodness, it's  
not something we could standardize even if we wanted to.


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