Sometimes on the weekend I’ll post to my blog some of the interesting things I’ve read. One of the problems is that it takes a lot of effort to do this. (Why is Blogger so slow? I waited over 15 minutes after I clicked “Publish Post”, and then gave up... but the next time I tried, it was fast.) I just signed up for del.icio.us today. It makes it easier to keep a collection of links. You can see more of my weekend (and weekday) reading on my del.icio.us page. (Unfortunately, del.icio.us is slow too, but nowhere near as slow as Blogger.)

While signing up, I thought more about how computer folk like hierarchies. Gmail labels, del.icio.us bookmark tags, Reiser groups, and flickr tags all break out of hierarchies (mail folders, bookmark folders, photo folders, filesystem folders) and instead use some sort of label/tagging system. In del.icio.us you can assign any number of tags to an entry. A filename or URL path a/b/c is ordered. Tags in contrast are unordered: a b c and c b a are equivalent. Paths are structured: the b/c part of a/b/c makes sense only within the context of a. You can specify a by itself but not b or c. Tags are unstructured: you can specify any one or many of them in any order. With paths I put something in one “place”. With tags I can put something in multiple “places”. The downside is that with paths I can put places inside of places, whereas with tags I have no containment structure. Once I overcome my own love of hierarchies, I think I will like using tags/labels.

Next I need to sign up for flickr.

1 comment:

Anonymous wrote at Monday, January 24, 2005 at 1:08:00 AM PST

Your Links to Articles that you read for the Week-ends are great and informative! Thanks for sharing with them.