Surfulater Pre-Release version 220.127.116.11 is now available. This has been the longest gap between releases that I can think of, and the greatest overall changes to the code base for some time. This release includes the ability to add Tags to Articles and view Articles based on their Tags. It also includes the start of a move to a new embedded SQL Database engine. The last fewÂ Blog posts have largely been about tagging and are worth a read if you haven’t already done so.
We have done this as a pre-release to elicit your comments on the new Tagging system and to resolve any issues prior to a full release. This release sees changes in a broad number of areas and although we feel we have tested most every aspect, real world use will help sort out anything we may have missed. We also want to resolve a few more outstanding bugs and possibly add some more new features before a full release. And most importantly we want to get your feedback on the new Tags implementation.
This release is backwards compatible with previous releases. You should backup your Knowledge Base files before using this release, in addition to performing your daily backups. A thirdÂ file which containsÂ the new SQL Database is now used with each Knowledge Base.Â As we move forward, the current three KB files will be merged intoÂ a single SQL Database file.Â This will also enable backups to be done with Surfulater running as well as making for an even more robust database system.
A new Tags field has beenÂ added to each Article template, except the Notes template. Simply add your tags here and they will be added to the database. Any duplicate tags or invalid characters are removed when the article is saved. Auto-suggestÂ makes it quick and easy to enter existing tags.Â
The new Tags Tree displays all of your tags along with the articles associated with each tag.
Â Â You can also manage your tags here using the Tags Tree context menu.
Tags can be renamed and merged with existing tags, deleted and new tags added.
You will notice that the sample Tags Tree above includes some TagsÂ nested below the top level tags. These are tags which are in the articles in the top level tag. For the tag Borneo, one or more articles with this tag also include tags Asia, Sabah and Travel. In other words the nested tags form an and relationship.Â Their articles contain Borneo and Asia, Borneo and Sabah and Borneo and Travel respectively. This lets you easily seeÂ and navigateÂ to interesting relationships between tags. The best way to understand this is to use it.
In addition to the inclusion of these related article tags, I have been thinking of enabling you to specifyÂ Tag search expressions, which would appear as virtual Tags in the tree. For example you could specify â€œcar and ford and not 2006â€³ and all matching articles would be displayed. This may well be added in the future, but first I want see what folks think of the current implementation.
I know many Surfulater users have been eagerly awaiting the ability to Tag content and I very much look forward to hearing what you think of this first release with tagging.
Full release notes are in the Surfulater Help and a new topic: The Basics | Tags and Tagging Articles has been added. Known problems with tagging are in the release notes. Note that some keys have changed in this release. See the release notes for details.
Click hereÂ to download this pre-release and when you have used it for a while do let us know how well it meets your needs, or doesn’t!
8 Replies to “Surfulater Pre-Release Version 18.104.22.168 is here. Tags come to town”
fantastic nev, looking forward to trying it out. I’m going to download it onto my other computer tho for the beta testing 😉 but I’ll play with it extensively.
Hi Jak, I look forward to your comments. This release is stable, so you shouldn’t be concerned about running it on you main PC.
I’ve made a change to the Tags Tree to remove the root node and the vertical tree lines at the top level tags. IMO and others this is a much better presentation. You can see a screen shot in this forum post: http://www.softasitgets.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1565
Another new release coming soon.
I like the tagging feature — but am wondering whether it would be possible to have tag levels. For example, rather than have country files under news, history, etc. I’d prefer to have a main tag called “Country” with subtags for each country.
Is it possible to have both trees open at the same time?
And given space limitations is it possible to have a hoisting feature?
The latest release is very good.
I hope that you may be looking at the possibility of developing metadata further, with metadata showing up in vertical columns.
Do keep us posted over at the Yahoo GTD group.
Do you plan to add a timer to surfalator so that journalists can keep track of hours worked on various projects using the program?
I did seriously consider hierarchical tags but in the end decided that it added a level of complexity most folks would find confusing and wouldn’t use.
In your example you can tag the relevant articles with “Country” and a second tag for the specific country. The Tag’s Tree will include a top level tag for “Country” and then subtags for each country, in effect giving you want you want without you have to specify any hierarchies. In addition each country will have a top level tag. Give this a try and let us know what you think.
At present you can only display one tree at a time, but we may well change this.
Re. hoisting. I’ve heard this term but never quite understood it. Could you please add a post in the Suggestion Box on our Forums and explain precisely what you are looking for here. See: http://www.softasitgets.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=14
We are looking at alternate format views in the Content window. What Metadata are you interested in? Again the Forums are the best place to raise and discuss this.
Thanks for the feedback.
A timer is an interesting idea, but seems pretty far from the core of what Surfulater is about. There is no lack of time-tracking programs and services out there, which fit the flow and needs far better than anything we could do.
You say to Daly about his suggestion of tag hierarchy:
“I did seriously consider hierarchical tags but in the end decided that it added a level of complexity most folks would find confusing and wouldnâ€™t use.
In your example you can tag the relevant articles with â€œCountryâ€ and a second tag for the specific country. The Tagâ€™s Tree will include a top level tag for â€œCountryâ€ and then subtags for each country, in effect giving you want you want without you have to specify any hierarchies. In addition each country will have a top level tag. Give this a try and let us know what you think.”
I support his idea…
You have a Sabah article… and you need to tag it with Sabah, Borneo, Travel
If I add an article about my trip to Sabah, actually i have to remember to add the tag sabah plus borneo plus travel.
If it was in a hierarchy, only adding the tag sabah would give us the ability to find it below borneo or travel.
We have to make the work, when the computer could do it for us!!
That is the whole point.
Comments are closed.