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  1. #1

    People don't seem to get how multi-word tags work...

    ...or they're using some sort of keyboard that doesn't have an underscore key. Either way, I've seen submissions where what should be an entire phrase is split up into a bunch of different tags, and not even in order because of Weasyl's automatic alphabetizing.

    Don't get me wrong; I like that there's at least official support for underscores, and I assume the search tool is smart enough to know that a search for, say, "five nights at freddy's" should include, if not prioritize, anything with the tag "five_nights_at_freddy's" as well as searching for matches for the individual words. But in practice it doesn't seem to be working out so well. And it's completely unnecessary when there's a much more obvious alternative: using commas to separate tags instead of spaces, and then treating spaces the same as underscores. And then, if you don't want to go through converting all the existing tags, you can just make it so that spaces automatically convert to underscores and back between the front end and the database.


    And while I'm on the subject of tagging, I've been kicking around another idea: The ability to lump tags together to describe, say, a particular character in a picture. I'm not sure how this would work as far as coding, but if someone is looking for a picture of a black fox, or a male fox, or a black male anthro fox, it would be nice if they could at least direct the search tool in the direction of pictures that specifically contain those things instead of just those tags separately. Like, maybe they're looking for a particular piece but don't remember what it's called. Imagine if artists could punch something like this into the tags: "(black,male,anthro,fox,green eyes)" Then people who are looking for that picture won't have to hunt through pictures of female red foxes with male black wolves or something. They'll still be in there, but the picture they're looking for will get priority.

  2. #2
    Solifugid Onnes's Avatar
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    Aug 2012
    You're assuming everyone wants multi-word tags. I prefer to look at tags as extremely broad sets that get combined into more specific searches. This keeps searches simple and tag lists relatively small and straightforward. For a given submission, the set of relevant single-word tags is going to be smaller, usually by a large margin, than the set of relevant multi-word tags (which for search purposes will include, either explicitly or implicitly, the set of single-word tags.)

  3. #3
    Pretty sure there's no benefit to having tags for "and" and "the" in your submission. That's the kind of situation we're talking about here.

  4. #4
    Senior Vae's Avatar
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    Mar 2013
    the sky
    Ludwig Von Koopa
    I don't get why there are underscores in the tagging system, instead of just spaces, either.
    But it does make tagging a bit annoying.
    Resident Koopa Trash

  5.   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #5
    Retired Staff piņardilla's Avatar

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    Jul 2012
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    Claims to be a porpoise.
    The opposite problem that you get when you don't have spaces automatically separate tags is that people that don't understand how else to separate them end up putting every tag they want in a single, really long tag.
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by piņardilla View Post
    The opposite problem that you get when you don't have spaces automatically separate tags is that people that don't understand how else to separate them end up putting every tag they want in a single, really long tag.
    The answer to that is ironically the same as the answer to the OP's problem: just put a quick example under the box:
    "tag1 tag2 long_tag becomes [tag1][tag2][long tag]"


    "tag1, tag2, long tag becomes [tag1][tag2][long tag]"

    Seems easy enough to understand...

  7.   This is the last staff post in this thread.   #7
    Premium User Nanuk's Avatar
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    Sep 2014
    This is definitely something that's worth some discussion.

    I'm curious what you all would suggest as the ideal implementation to help people who want to use / don't know how to use multi-word tags?

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Nanuk View Post
    This is definitely something that's worth some discussion.

    I'm curious what you all would suggest as the ideal implementation to help people who want to use / don't know how to use multi-word tags?
    Over the years I've still had the easiest time with tags that allowed individual ones to have spaces, in the vein of how blogging sites go at it? But since a lot of things could have multiple search terms, it's important to have "and", " or", and "with all words" as ways to find them. A general awareness of how the tag you're looking for could be phrased differently seems a given, but it feels over-simplified here when on an individual word basis only.

    I don't mind if underscores would keep working in the same manner (if possible) but having word by word tags ended up making searches and tagging feel more meticulous than breezy to achieve success. I barely make active searches these days since it's more conscious effort to separate phrases into a single term with however many characters (aand backspaces from making spaces automatically, since I do so near' everywhere else when tagging)... As if it doesn't feel like a natural action? Comma-only seperated tags allow my words to just happen, while underscores give me a feeling of trying to pretend I'm some coding wizard when I'm totally not.

    Like, on a tagging front, I notice journals all the time with the intended word order of tags completely blown because maybe the entry was made quickly or emotionally, and proper characters for creating a phrase just slipped the poster's mind to bother with. I understand that, empathize with that, but also figure it's annoying to notice later.

    And when searching, what I do find on single word, single term basis usually turns out too broad for what I wanted. I'm not saying they're impossible to use. I've gotten places with underscored criteria on sites that use it - but not without having to take extra time just to figure out how to do anything. Which I promptly forget since I don't need it on sites where I post and tag with regular frequency.

    Ex. The other day I wanted to find art of an Animal Crossing villager, "Pashmina" - but even adding ACNL and various other names for the game (like animal_crossing), characters simply named Pashmina still made it in? Plus AC pictures that didn't actually include her and just - I had no idea what I was doing, basically, even with so many terms to narrow it down.

    But the core of the problem to me is that at that time, I didn't have the time to try and find out how to do it right, whether a way to get what I was looking for existed or not. Time needed to adjust to new things is a turn off sometimes, and for me, how searching works is pretty much first on my small list of cons here when - looking at my whole internet experience alongside it, not just this and that gallery.

    TL;DR - it's felt too easy to slip up with tags here, since it's the only site I frequent with a search function like this... being able to search/tag in a more organic manner somehow would be amazing

  9. #9
    Junior Trianine's Avatar
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    Feb 2013
    So, I think it's safe to say that the inclusion or exclusion of an underscore is problematic in regards to how users treat tags.

    A very simple solution, from a user standpoint, would be to have the website handle tags as a site like tumblr would. That is to say that in the tags field, every tag is executed on a return, the completed tag is highlighted, it can be removed but not edited. It can be annoying to sophisticated users, but is more or less idiot-proof.

    An alternative to this is the tried-and-true comma. Separating tags by comma means users can have uselessly large tags merely by typing out their phrase of choice. For this, treating underscores and dashes as spaces will further idiot-proof the implementation.

    Hashtags, popularized by twitter, are also very handy. Each tag is demarcated with a sign (like the #pound ), so all characters strung together count as that tag. It is very easy to use, although not always easily readable. Hashtags have their own aesthetic(for example, a phrase would have all spaces removed), but are functionally almost indistinguishable from the comma.

    Any of these methods can be used to enforce a space/tag policy. User input can be translated to work consistently and logically for users who have different expectations about how such searches are handled, oh, and already existing tags can be made compatible with these methods, which is nice.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Actually, what brought me here is that my usual search string is now returning zero results. But search is clearly still working. Did something change? Is there any public documentation for how to use the search feature?
    Last edited by Trianine; 01-06-2015 at 07:15 PM.

  10. #10
    feline fine Noxid's Avatar
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    Feb 2014
    this may have had something to do with it



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