I’d like to propose that Drupal gets more serious with tags. Tags are one of the hottest things of 2005. BBC, Yahoo, Infoworld and Nature publishing (connotea) are just some of the biggest names to adopt their usage.
Drupal currently has the folksonomy module and the awtags module. However neither of these are yet offering an internal tag capability equivalent to the best standards for tagging.
Awtags does seem to cover most base requirements for tagging quite well. However there are still some features not implemented which I suggest are important for a good/serious tagging capability beyond the basics:
First, All tags must have RSS feed (almost a basic reqmt actually – which awtags does provide)
-Apply microformats/microcontent standards, eg xfolk (which allows users to own their tags independent of drupal)
-Searching combinations (intersections) of tags, and allowing drill down through increasing levels (combinations of tags)
-Well designed data model so that large tag sets can be browsed as above efficiently and speedily.
-Ability to browse by user tags instead of all tags (other than your own)
-Ability to browse groups of users tags (eg an Organic Group where you browse the combination of group members tags),
-Ability to browse tag sets for specific nodetypes or groups (eg only nodes belonging to group or only forum nodes etc.
-Export tags to other tag systems like delicious etc (xfolf would resolve this) – per user – not just the whole sites tags)
What would make Drupal tagging standout head and shoulders above any other tagging system would be the ability to leverage the drupal network of drupal community sites, so that a drupal user in one site can decide to browse not just his tags, or his groups tags or another users tags in his community, but to be able to browse across drupal sites that have made them open to this (just like common drupal IDs, common drupal tags). So they could selct search Drupal network tags, (then get a set of options based on the network of drupal sites tags available for aggregation. Eg he may get the following options: Browse ALL tags from across the drupal network of drupal sites, just search drupal site X, or X,Y and Z, include/exclude sX,Y or Z sites.
Why is this valuable? Because its allowing wider and broader collaborative collections to be browsed whilst still allowing browsing of controlled sets of tags (the advantage of a closed drupal tag community over the totally open global tags of say delicious or yahoo.) eg searching tags across ngo type sites would provide a richer set of collaborative tags (yet still with a more ngo flavoured focus). If the userids were carried across also and associated with tags then browsing this way would also open up great social discovery and networking out of the tag information.
Finally, I propose that Drupal base its tagging system on another opensource collaborative project. Im not aware of all the options. Ive heard of delirious, Scuttle (both incorporate xfolk microformat) Ive heard that Nature publishings connotea is open source. One that seems very straightforward to leverage is Freetag by Gordon Luk, which has been disigned to plugin easily with LAMP systems. Though it doesn’t yet do the full set of features mentioned. It is going in the right direction, is used at upcoming.org as well as others and is planning on a distributed model (ie network of sites using the Freetag system). Most important of all would be the value gained from collaborating with another open source community, one that is focussed specifically on the tag capabilities and can bring the specific knowledge of what matters in this area. For example till now our own drupal community has currently seen the “tag cloud’ visualization as something important, whilst in tag communities , this feature wouldn’t have a very high priority compared to other issues such as drill down capabilities, scalability, performance and distributed site tag search and social features that allow tags searching to leverage social network features as well as helping build social networks.
The FreeTag project the site can be seen at
Gordon Luk’s Freetag for PHP 4 is designed to be easily plugged into systems just like Drupal.
I have attached the basic php code also for assessment of current version of this
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