Labels return.

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
Well, Unsanity did it again--they've released a haxie that gives labels back in OS X.



It is amazing to me how popular these guys have become by simply LISTENING to what the Mac public wants, and then providing it...something that Cupertino is not particularly known for.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 62
    rokrok Posts: 3,519member
    yes! i just noticed that and emailed all of my friends! i know some people never used them, but they were a boon for reminding yourself something simple like a file had been backed up to a file server or something.



    also, here's a trick for those who don't know...



    i hated the colors that labels made some of my pretty icons. the solution? any label that is a shade of GRAY is completely invisible! so what's the point, you may ask, of making an invisible label? simple... when i do a fresh install, the first thing i do is open my hard drive window, select all, command-option-shift-right-arrow to open ALL folders on my machine...



    if you have a slower machine, go grab a cup of coffee now.



    when you get back, select all, and label EVERYTHING with a gray lable that's designated something like "clean install." since you can search based on label information, you can then do all sorts of tricks for finding items that have been installed since your clean install... without having to look at thousands of pink icons everywhere all the time.



    [ 10-10-2002: Message edited by: rok ]</p>
  • Reply 2 of 62
    kalikali Posts: 634member
    HURRA ! HURRA ! HURRA !



    ALLELLUIA !



    This was about time ! Why did Apple never implemented this in OS X is beyond me. I simply can't understand this. Labels are so fundamental to me, I'll pay the 128 $ upgrade to Jaguar just because of this !



    This axie will definitely find a home on my Mac ! I hope it wont screw my system or slow it down. Did someone tried it ? Any problems with it ?



    %?$#@&! This is a major thing for OS X.
  • Reply 3 of 62
    kecksykecksy Posts: 1,002member
    I heard Apple is working on something better than lables for the next release of OS X. Wonder what it could be and whether it's true?
  • Reply 4 of 62
    kalikali Posts: 634member
    How can it be better ? By sticking an animated "stamp" on an icon ? By making it glowing, flashing, jumping, rotating ?



    Another gadget that will slow down the system. You'll need four 2000000 GHz processors to have Apple's labels on your system.



    Doh !
  • Reply 5 of 62
    damnit. ubb ate my post.



    Well, basically I was dscribing the excellent metadata accessible in the BFS. HOPEFULLY we'll get something nice like that... mmmm....
  • Reply 6 of 62
    kalikali Posts: 634member
    [quote]Originally posted by Brad:

    <strong>HOPEFULLY we'll get something nice like that... mmmm....</strong><hr></blockquote>



    What ? The 2000000 GHz processors ?



    Not even a 2 GHz <img src="graemlins/oyvey.gif" border="0" alt="[No]" /> Maybe in 6 years from now. We'll see a 1.33 GHz, after that a 1.5 GHz, and after a 1.52 GHz, and a 1.525 GHz, and a 1.5252 GHz, and a 1.5253 Ghz, etc... Oups ! Sorry, I'm off topic here.



    PLease, who tested the labels haxie ? Is it safe ? Stable ?



    [ 10-10-2002: Message edited by: Kali ]</p>
  • Reply 7 of 62
    ebbyebby Posts: 3,110member
    [quote]Originally posted by Kali:

    <strong>How can it be better ? By sticking an animated "stamp" on an icon ? By making it glowing, flashing, jumping, rotating ?</strong><hr></blockquote>



    &lt;Pictures hundreds of spinning icons in a window&gt;

    AAhhh!!! :eek:

    *Passes out on the floor*
  • Reply 8 of 62
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    [quote]Originally posted by Kali:

    <strong>How can it be better ? By sticking an animated "stamp" on an icon ? By making it glowing, flashing, jumping, rotating ?</strong><hr></blockquote>



    No, by making it more intelligent.



    Labels are, frankly, a crufty little hack utilizing a single byte of Finder info attached to files. Non-extensible, non-portable. Bleah.



    As metadata goes, labels are pretty blasted pathetic... and yet they're very useful. Imagine what *real* metadata will be able to do for you. Think iTunes style browsing, but for any file on your system. The Finder's 10.2 search field is a small teensy step in that direction, but imagine being able to slap any tag you wish on a file, and *multiple* tags, ala iPhoto, and then say "Give me all files with the Project1 tag and the Project2 tag, but not the Project7 tag, regardless of name, location, document type, etc."



    This level of metadata is what BeFS approached, and since the brain behind that is now working at Apple... this is what folks have been alluding to. Frankly, I miss labels... but I'm not willing to introduce Yet Another Hack into my system that I end up relying on when I know that a much better replacement is around the corner, and I'll just have to re-do everything *again*.



    For a preview taste of the types of metadata Apple seems to be going for, open up Project Builder, and take a gander at the File Types preference pane.



    Yeah, Unsanity is to be commended for bringing a feature to the system that people have wanted... but I can't give many points for their vision. :/ In the long run, I think that this will end up being a negative for many folks. *shrug*
  • Reply 9 of 62
    kalikali Posts: 634member
    To me, the labels colors are a visual aid which is VERY quick. I mean, by a simple look, I can manage all my files in the same folder, especially in the list view (which I use very frequently). I NEVER do a search by labels.



    For example, I may have many new files I didn't had time to test, mixed with many other tested files in the same folder. When I open that folder, I see instantly which file I have to try, without reading its name. I'm a visual person, so the labels are fundamental.



    I hate to scroll down a long list of files in a folder to search a specific file, while I don't know its name. If the file is important enough to me, I put it in red (or another color) so I can identify it very quickly. That's why I use labels a lot.
  • Reply 10 of 62
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    [quote]Originally posted by Kali:

    <strong>To me, the labels colors are a visual aid which is VERY quick. I mean, by a simple look, I can manage all my files in the same folder, especially in the list view (which I use very frequently). I NEVER do a search by labels.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Um, because you can't?



    [quote]<strong>For example, I may have many new files I didn't had time to test, mixed with many other tested files in the same folder. When I open that folder, I see instantly which file I have to try, without reading its name. I'm a visual person, so the labels are fundamental.



    I hate to scroll down a long list of files in a folder to search a specific file, while I don't know its name. If the file is important enough to me, I put it in red (or another color) so I can identify it very quickly. That's why I use labels a lot.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    And... that wasn't the point. A visual feedback (like color coding) is independent of how the labels are implemented. One is the UI, the other is how the metadata is defined and executed. Of the two, the latter is much more important for how the system can be used and extended.



    The idea of color coding files is great... the implementation of labels blew chunks. I can only hope that Unsanity chose to improve on it.



    Rich metadata has the potential to be a huge leap in how we interact with the system. Color coding is one way to present tags on files, but it suffers in that it only lets you show *one* tag at a time. Each file gets one single tag, and that's it... great for really simplistic situations, but not nearly powerful enough for serious uses.



    Of course, even with an incredibly rich metadata you can provide a nice simple presentation like color coding, and I do hope they keep that as an option.



    My point was that labels are extremely limited in what they *could* do, if revisited and intelligently designed... which is being done.



    I used labels extensively under 9, and definitely know the usefulness of them. But, I don't want to install a temporary patch now, only to have to do a full setup *again* when the rich metadata is implemented in the filesystem.
  • Reply 11 of 62
    zozo Posts: 3,115member
    YESSSSSS LABELS!!! THANK YE FLIPPING GODS
  • Reply 12 of 62
    chuckerchucker Posts: 5,089member
    Ooooh, Metadata discussion.



    I think it was LimeWire who added a feature to Gnutella called "schemas". It's an xml format (.xsd, I think) for generic file types such as "Application", "Movie", "Music", etc. Shareaza (PeeCee-only, sorry) uses it for filtering searches.



    Apple should implement that. As schemas are xml files, the schmeas known to the OS can be extended just by adding more schema URI's.



    Another thing I thought of: add "likelihood" to metadata searches.



    For example, I have a folder of downloads, which include apps, text files, songs, ...



    I'm searching for a song (=&gt; schema "music"; this schema provides additional fields such as "length" and "artist"), which I'm certain isn't any longer than 8 minutes, and at the same time definitly longer than three. I *think* that its artist is Bruce Springstein (intentionally misspelled).



    Finder then lists all songs with a length of three through 8 minutes. It shows those from Bruce Springstein (if any) first and highlights them with a special color, but it *also* shows those with "Bruce Springsteen" (which are certainly *more*, so you'll learn this way that this is probably the right spelling), and even those with a totally different artist (but highlighted in a yet different manner).
  • Reply 13 of 62
    rokrok Posts: 3,519member
    admittedly, i have not checked under jaguar to see if you can or not, but, kickaha, you've always been able to search via labels under os 9 and its predecessors (hence my little tip at the top of the thread). maybe they removed that...



    and labels are buried somewhere in the system for sheer backwards compatiblity. notice that you have been able to reveal the "label" field of a list view since os 10.0, even though you couldn't apply them. that's because it had to be able to see the label on your os 9 files if necessary (or rather, that's what i figure it's there for)
  • Reply 14 of 62
    torifiletorifile Posts: 4,024member
    Honestly, what's all the fuss about labels? Why can't you just stick a custom icon on 'important' things? xicons.com has hundreds of neat looking ones. If it's just a visual cue, why not spruce it up a bit?
  • Reply 15 of 62
    rokrok Posts: 3,519member
    [quote]Originally posted by torifile:

    <strong>Honestly, what's all the fuss about labels? Why can't you just stick a custom icon on 'important' things? xicons.com has hundreds of neat looking ones. If it's just a visual cue, why not spruce it up a bit?</strong><hr></blockquote>



    i think that would be a fine idea, so long as someone created a contextual add-on that made appllying a custom icon almost a one-or-two click affair.



    abd by the way, you're not the threadkiller. I AM. i like to think it's because i contribute items of such blinding brilliance that everyone collectively shrugs and says "well, i guess that explains that."
  • Reply 16 of 62
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    [quote]Originally posted by rok:

    <strong>abd by the way, you're not the threadkiller. I AM. i like to think it's because i contribute items of such blinding brilliance that everyone collectively shrugs and says "well, i guess that explains that." </strong><hr></blockquote>



    Naw, keep trying.



    [quote]<strong>admittedly, i have not checked under jaguar to see if you can or not, but, kickaha, you've always been able to search via labels under os 9 and its predecessors (hence my little tip at the top of the thread). maybe they removed that...</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Yes, you could, but you can't under X because they don't exist in any meaningful form.



    [quote]<strong>and labels are buried somewhere in the system for sheer backwards compatiblity. notice that you have been able to reveal the "label" field of a list view since os 10.0</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Nope, gone in 10.2. There is no evidence of labels left in the UI.



    The byte for label information is still embedded in each file migrated over from OS 9, but that doesn't mean that there's any 'backwards compatibility'. As of 10.2, they are gone, gone, gone.



    [quote]<strong>even though you couldn't apply them. that's because it had to be able to see the label on your os 9 files if necessary (or rather, that's what i figure it's there for)

    </strong><hr></blockquote>



    Nope. It was merely a bit of detrius left over from the UI design decisions.



    Labels are gone, as of 10.2. There is no UI support, there is no underlying support to speak of, and certainly none that can be counted on for future use. Labels are deprecated. I'm sure that single byte will continue to hang around for years strictly because the HFS+ Finder info field is already established, but don't be shocked if it's suddenly used by Apple for something else at some point somewhere down the road. (Vague enough for ya? )



    And torifile, the biggest problem with the custom icons is that the OS has no inherent idea what an icon *means*. You've lost all search capability.



    Metadata isn't about visual cues (although that is one way to display metadata easily), it is about adding semantic meaning to existing files such that they can reasoned about, searched on, filtered, and otherwise organized.



    Think about how most users currently organize their files: Images, ProjectA, FinancesFor1999, etc. The problem is, we are restricted by a hierarchical approach: the assumption is that a folder contains other files and folders that all conform to the concept explained by that folder's name, so anything in the Images folder is an image, anything in ProjectA has to do with ProjectA, etc. But where do you put an image associated with ProjectA? Do you put it in the Images folder, or the ProjectA folder? What if a file is used by Projects A, B, and C? Do you make three copies?



    Now the 'obvious' solution is to use aliases... and in many cases that works fine... but you can't search on alias relationships to their enclosing folders (where the name of the enclosing folder is the semantic tag used to help describe the file). With metadata, you can.



    Labels were a first, tiny baby step towards metadata, as were file and creator types.



    Imagine instead a single metadata system that lets you attach any sort of tag you can think of to a file, both filetype and creator app, a viewer app preference, projects, personal data, and, of course, simple labels. This gets us more than we *ever* had under 9.



    And I can guarantee you, from every hint coming from the Fruit Co, that it's coming our way as soon as is possible.



    They're deprecating the older styles of metadata to prepare everyone for a huge leap... the transition kind of sucks, but that's to be expected.



    In the meantime, there's Unsanity's Label haxie for those that feel the need. To me, it feels a bit like eating dry crackers while looking through the window of a steakhouse restaurant. *shrug*
  • Reply 17 of 62
    Kickaha is my new god. Sorry, groverat.



    You have managed to respond to this topic exactly as I had thought and have said it more eloquantly and consicely than I probably would have.



    Gracias.
  • Reply 18 of 62
    mrmistermrmister Posts: 1,095member
    Bah. At least Unsanity offers crackers.



    I think Cupertino is pigheaded in the extreme if they strip out labels, kill them dead and then make us W A I T for a replacement.



    Why couldn't we have KEPT the labels until such time as they had something better?



    Wait...that sounds...sensible!
  • Reply 19 of 62
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    mrmister: No, actually, it doesn't.



    If you're rewriting the system from scratch, why rewrite, from scratch, something that you know is going to go away soon anyway, and that you need to wean your customers off of in any case?



    Labels are dead, zombification attempts by Unsanity notwithstanding.



    Now, I agree that crackers are better than nothing if you're starving, and labels *do* have their (limited) usefulness. But to expect Apple to continually and endlessly support a dead feature, when they haven't *prevented* another party from stepping in and filling the temporary need (as Unsanity has done)? Bah. Classic case of a third party opportunity, and one that was successfully fulfilled. Seems to me like everyone did their part. Apple efficiently used their resources (reserving the majority of them for a serious metadata system), Unsanity filled in a (small) UI gap, and those users that want to use it can go do it.



    If you find labels critical to your workflow, then by all means go use the Haxie! I don't, and quite frankly am waiting for a real honest to god metadata system before I start tagging things in a serious way. Call me crazy, but I don't like doing the same task multiple times.



    [ 10-11-2002: Message edited by: Kickaha ]</p>
  • Reply 20 of 62
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    [quote]Originally posted by Brad:

    <strong>Kickaha is my new god.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    MUAHAHAHAHAHA! BOW DOWN BEFORE ME, PUNY HUMANS!



    Oh, damn. *smacks forehead* Internal voice! Internal voice!
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