Fwd: REST APIs, and Tags

Gervase Markham gerv at mozilla.org
Mon Feb 15 15:29:42 UTC 2010

On 12/02/10 21:22, Max Kanat-Alexander wrote:
> On 02/12/2010 04:23 AM, Gervase Markham wrote:
> 	* Tags are good.
> 	* Having global tags, private tags, one fixed list of tags, and totally
> unfixed list of tags all together is too complicated.

I think you are sort of right - but who is proposing that anyway?

The design of a basic tagging system is now fairly well established by
other web applications. There are a few variables (space-separated or
comma-separated?) but it's mostly there.

- Tags are unstructured, in that you can define new ones at will;

- Tags are structured by convention, e.g. you can establish that a
hyphen or a colon is your convention to separate key-value pairs;

- Tags are stored as integers, with a lookup table for their names, so
searching is fast;

- You provide fast tagging autocomplete to reduce the risk of typos.

The "global vs. private" distinction is not two separate "lists" of
possible tags, because there is no list of possible tags. All that
happens is that the tag is associated with a particular user ID rather
than NULL in the database, and it's only displayed to that user, or if
someone explicitly asks for all tags on an item.

> So we need a
> solution that starts off with some specific problem statement (like
> bsmedberg's, which was great) and demonstrates why a much simpler
> implementation than this is an excellent solution for both broad
> distributed teams like Mozilla, and in-house corporate shops (who are
> the majority of consumers of Bugzilla).

Why do you think the requirements for a tagging system might divide
along that particular division?

Here's some specific problem statements:


I am unable to easily define or label an arbitrary set of bugs without
having to either a) spam all the CC list of the bug (whiteboard), or
trying to construct a query which will return the exact list (existing
tagging), or adding them one by one (existing tagging). The number of
uses for this ability are many and varied.

I would like to retain the ability that I would have, were I to use the
whiteboard solution, of sending someone else a link to a buglist of all
the bugs.

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