[Exherbo-dev] Tags vs. categories

Ciaran McCreesh ciaran.mccreesh at googlemail.com
Thu Jul 10 23:55:34 BST 2008


On Thu, 10 Jul 2008 11:26:47 +0200
"Bryan Østergaard" <bryan.ostergaard at gmail.com> wrote:
> Categories and tags aren't as closely related as you seem to imply
> here. The way I understand tags (while not at all well-defined yet) is
> that tags are pure metadata about what a package is (Hey! I'm a
> library, written in C++, providing bindings for libfoo and being able
> to read/write PDF files) whereas categories is used to make a somewhat
> clean filesystem layout of the repository and simultaneously allow
> multiple packages with the same name. Tags have nothing to do with
> filesystem layout. The way I see tags are much more like the
> DESCRIPTION variable in exheres.

Right. If tags are just a metadata key containing a set of words,
adding in tags is trivial. You'd do something like this in the exheres:

TAGS="cplusplus python pdf"

and be able to search with it using inquisitio as normal.

Or we can be more structred:

TAGS="
    written-in:
        programming-languages/cplusplus
    api:
        programming-languages/cplusplus
        programming-languages/python
    works-with:
        file-formats/text/pdf
    "

From a package manager perspective, they're largely equivalent.

But the question is, are tags merely a search / browse utility? Or are
they used in identification too? Both of the above are only the former.

> Package aliases are however as interesting to me as they've always
> been - allowing the apache httpd to be known as both net-www/apache
> and net-www/httpd and making sure the package manager knows it's the
> same package would be fairly cool imo. But that only makes it easier
> to find the package if you know (one of) its name. Tags (as applied to
> searching) would allow you to search for packages based on what
> features the packages provides.

The only problem with package aliases is persistence. If you install
apache, and then someone aliases httpd to apache, and then something
deps upon httpd, how do we know that the installed apache is also known
as httpd?

-- 
Ciaran McCreesh
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