Originally Posted by Marvin
I'm sure it was Leap I used.
You really have to try a lot of other tagging programs because they each have their own strengths and weaknesses. Leap has some things I really like but it has some pretty funky things about it as well. It isn’t necessary the model program.
“Right but a fixed location means you don't have to look at the contents as the file has a unique location.”
No I still think you look at the contents in a folder. Otherwise why would there be so many different ways to view the file from with the Finder?
“What happens when you get too many tags?”
You would have the option of sorting the tags in groups like you do in Lightroom. It’s true that I am making a hierarchy with the tags in a somewhat similar fashion as I am with folders in the Finder but this doesn’t bother me like the Finder’s hierarchy does (limited wording vs throughly planned out keywords so that nothing falls through the cracks.) It is just more logical. The Finder is chaotic and incomplete. Also you can filter tags just like you can filter files so that the tag list isn’t so long. Leap worked this way (as well as Lightroom.)
“I reckon it would be a bit of nightmare for a software developer as computer programs generally rely very heavily on a rigid hierarchy”
Then the developer software would enable developers to browse a hierarchy from with in their development software. That’s doesn’t mean it would have to be forced on the end user.
“What could happen is that the hierarchy remains but is never visible to the end user.”
“The way the list would work of course is that the tags with the highest file count appear first”
That could be one way to do it. Tag clouds that show bigger text for higher file count would also work. I would like to have the option of viewing the tags alphabetically as well. Leap shows alphabetically as well as by highest file count. Maybe that is why they use bigger file to represent high file count, it lets you both browse alphabetically and easily see the what has the biggest file count at the same time.
“It's not a problem narrowing it down to what you want as long as you know what you called it”
...and because tags support several names you will know at least two or three of those names if you tagged the file with about 10 or so tags. Searching through files requires you to know the EXACT file name. There is no margin for error if, say, the word you are searching for is a synonym to what you named the file. File search through folders has no safety net if you don’t know the exact words in a file.
“If I'm looking for an image and I remember what the image looked like but I have no idea at all what I named it because I haven't gotten round to tagging it properly, how do I find it?”
Those files would go into a untagged folder at the top of the sidebar like they do in LittleSnapper. I try to tag those files as soon as I can though. Right now I only have 3 unprocessed files in LittleSnapper out of 250 files. It would not be wise to let those files add up of course. I don’t let them sit there for more then a couple of days at most. If you are doing a search and can’t find the file you are looking for then the untagged folder should be the first place you look. However the onus is on you to not let those untagged files pile up. You need to be at least somewhat responsible.
“What I do is the same thing I do when I lose my keys - check where the last place I visited that I knew where it was.”
You only have one or two sets of keys so this is a manageable goal. With hundreds of projects you won’t remember the last place you were. Since you don’t remember what it was called either you are up a creak without a paddle. Are you really telling me that you never forget where you put a project in the Finder? This problem happens to me constantly. It is especially troublesome when a client is sitting next to me wanting to see a project I am working on and I keep fumbling around trying to find that file that they want me to bring up.
“If I use a tag system, the only way I can go back to where I was is to remember the tags (out of 4000 tags) that I selected to get to that result set e.g did I pick vacations + 2008 + beaches and browse near the middle or did I pick voyeur + nudist + teen. With a fixed hierarchy, I can figure out where I was much more readily.”
Your problem is that you are only applying three tags to a file. All through out this thread I have been suggesting applying 10+ tags to a file. What you need to do is apply all six of those tags to that file (It would probably be best to apply more then that but I haven’t seen your files so it would be hard for me to suggest the exact amount that would be reasonable to apply.)
Remember you don’t have a limit to tags that you apply but you do have a limit to the VISIBLE number of characters in a file name. File names have a limit of 255 characters but only 45 of those characters are visible. Looking at the extensive tagging list is helpful because I might decide that I want to search by one of the tags I have in a selected file in order to find more alike files.
Also there is no reason that you can’t save tagged sets. Lightroom lets you apply saved sets of tags to photos upon being imported. There is no reason you couldn’t apply a set of tags to a search as well.
“This wasn't referring to the identical filename issue but the idea of having one-level deep folders.”
I used to think that one-level deep folders was a problem too. I wrote a nasty review of iPhoto that said how much I hated iPhoto being one-level deep but then it occurred to me almost several years later after using many more tagged based applications that it was iPhotos crappy tagging that I really hated. I don’t think that the one-level deep events are a problem at all. After using the new iPhoto today I am pleased to have learned that Apple has done absolutely nothing to improve tagging in iPhoto at all. It still uses the same lame tagging window that is buried under some menu item and not right within the iphoto interface. I thought this was the company that is supposed to be so great at UI design and they have had this lossy tagging solution for, what, the past 3 or 4 versions? But anyways I am getting a little off subject here.