Custom Tags vs. Keywords: Suggestions for my conundrum?

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DerangedChef
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Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:56 am

Custom Tags vs. Keywords: Suggestions for my conundrum?

Post by DerangedChef »

I am trying to make my own tagging system efficient, but run into limitations. Maybe other users have suggestions or this discussion could lead to some new feature implementations :)

So Keywords in Bookends are great for several reasons:
- they can be used for tag clouds
- each (multi-word!) entry is on a new line, thus allowing easy term list support
- when used in a column in the main window, all entries can be viewed on one line separated by ";"
- automatic prevention of duplicate entries

But I need to use my own tags/keywords that are distinct from the keywords that often are auto-filled for books and journal articles. Neither do I want to erase the auto-filled original keywords from my sources; it's still somewhat useful data. To distinguish my own tags, I used a prefix "#", so my own tag "#Development" is different/distinct from any auto-filled keyword like "Development" or "Developmental Theory". Alas, special characters are ignored in Bookends searches, if I remember right because of the indexing of the database engine or such. Live searches and queries for my prefixed tags find the non-prefixed words, too.

So I cannot just simply add my own tags to the "Keywords" field, as I would not be able to create exact hits on my own tags. As a workaround, I have put these custom tags in another field (User4, renamed) which allows me to specifically search and find my own tags. OK, so far so good.
But I am missing out on all the features listed above that a keyword field offers. I cannot even create line-by-line entries in my custom field because I would not be able to view them unless I click in the field to scroll down below line 1. So I add the tags space-delimited :(

I would love to use my custom tags like fully featured keywords. Any suggestions for a good workaround? I can imagine the following:
- Use an alphabet-character prefix like "x" instead of a special character, and append all my custom tags to the keywords field. -> Ugly, but probably the most functional
- Swap data between the Keywords field and my custom tag field. -> I lose the ability to use original keywords in a tag cloud view
- Feature request to be able to designate one or two user-fields as "separate terms" field like Keyword or Authors, to at least get easy term list support and visibility in the main list view. (for the detailed record view, the field height would have to be higher in order to see a few lines, or have some other display trick)
- Feature request to at least allow "#" as a non-ignored special character if the database allows that; this would be great as it mimics hashtags that are so commonly used in social media
- I cannot use file tags for this purpose since not all of my references of interest have an attachment necessarily

Any ideas or comments? Thanks.
I hope I explained my conundrum efficiently.
--
Stefan L. :roll:

Jon
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Re: Custom Tags vs. Keywords: Suggestions for my conundrum?

Post by Jon »

Did you know that any field in the first tab can have a Term List (including the User fields)?

And did you know that you can search for exact text matches (avoiding the index) in live search by using quote marks? "#mytag"

Jon
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DerangedChef
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:56 am

Re: Custom Tags vs. Keywords: Suggestions for my conundrum?

Post by DerangedChef »

Jon wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 10:05 am
Did you know that any field in the first tab can have a Term List (including the User fields)?
Yes, and I would like to use a term list, but the problem is visibility of the terms in my custom field. Terms only work as they should when each entry in a field is on a new line. Many of my references have multiple tags, so I would only see the first one (see example image). That's why I have to use the workaround with space-delimiting each tag, just for the sake of visibility. That workaround makes using term lists not that helpful.

Image
Jon wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 10:05 am
And did you know that you can search for exact text matches (avoiding the index) in live search by using quote marks? "#mytag"
I assumed so :D but alas that kind of search seems to be broken. Initially this is what made my decision to go with my own custom #-prefixed tags. But live searches seem to not respect special characters anymore, even if in quotation marks. "#Development" finds zero records, even though I have many records with that tag in the field. (Using "Development" finds records, but also all the other keyworded ones I don't want to find.) Did a regression happen?

Thanks,
-Stefan
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Stefan L. :roll:

Jon
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Re: Custom Tags vs. Keywords: Suggestions for my conundrum?

Post by Jon »

You can temporarily enlarge any field by mousing over it and clicking the enlarge icon.

More importantly, you can have that field displayed in the summary view on the right -- the edit pane is NOT intended for viewing the reference's contents (although I suspect most people use it for that). There are 2 views in the right pane that you can configure and use.

I'll look at the search.

Jon
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Re: Custom Tags vs. Keywords: Suggestions for my conundrum?

Post by Jon »

The problem with the search is that the string search looks for whole words, not a string of characters. For example, from the docs: "Likewise, "heath" will match "Heath" but not "Heathrow". Since # isn't a legitimate word character, this search won't find it. If you do a Find (Command-W) you can search for "characters", in which case a #tag will be found.

We could change the behavior of live search so that quoted text is searched for *without* ensuing a word boundary.

Does anyone think that's a bad idea?

Jon
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DerangedChef
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Re: Custom Tags vs. Keywords: Suggestions for my conundrum?

Post by DerangedChef »

Jon wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 4:57 pm
You can temporarily enlarge any field by mousing over it and clicking the enlarge icon.

More importantly, you can have that field displayed in the summary view on the right -- the edit pane is NOT intended for viewing the reference's contents (although I suspect most people use it for that). There are 2 views in the right pane that you can configure and use.
Guilty as charged :oops: I only use the Edit pane most of the time, partially out of habit, partially because I do a lot of little edits while working with references, especially new ones. So switching to the summary view was something I hardly ever felt a need for.
Now, with the tag business and multiple-line entries, I will try to change my workflow to work with summary views more often. Great, by the way, how they can be configured in the preferences with "before/after" text. (I am also contemplating to make my own format that would allow more fine-grained control with rules about when to display what, instead of using the "standard" setting.)

But the summary view also allows to edit when clicking into the corresponding location of field data! A strong feature I had not discovered yet or had forgotten. Everybody's mileage might vary with these views. Whereas I like that all fields that are relevant and contain data can be shown together in summary view, I notice that I read that page slower because field data will move around when switching records, depending on the record's content; the Edit pane remains constant and has more structure. Well, screen real estate is limited – one cannot have everything and all functions in one area.

I noticed a little peculiarity with the summary view: Field data that contains words starting with "#" become blue, clickable links – linking to nowhere. I guess this function is supposed to work for record IDs in the "Links" field, such as #12345. It is somewhat disturbing though because the field data cannot be clicked for editing, if there are no other regular words

Greetings,
Stefan
--
Stefan L. :roll:

DerangedChef
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:56 am

Re: Custom Tags vs. Keywords: Suggestions for my conundrum?

Post by DerangedChef »

Jon wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 5:36 pm
The problem with the search is [...]
We could change the behavior of live search so that quoted text is searched for *without* ensuing a word boundary.
Does anyone think that's a bad idea?
Thanks for the thorough explanation. I noticed that "Find in Library" (Cmd-F?) and smart groups honor special characters, and that is very helpful.

I am all for expanding the quoted-text live search; it seems none of the former functionality would be harmed? One could then also find terms like "AC/DC" or a price like "$50" if so needed.
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Stefan L. :roll:

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Re: Custom Tags vs. Keywords: Suggestions for my conundrum?

Post by Jon »

Actually, I see that the live search for quoted text was changed to whole words recently (13.2.2). I don't remember why this was changed, but I'm sure it was in response to user requests. So before reversing that, feedback from others would be welcome.

Jon
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DerangedChef
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:56 am

Re: Custom Tags vs. Keywords: Suggestions for my conundrum?

Post by DerangedChef »

DerangedChef wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 9:04 pm
I noticed a little peculiarity with the summary view: Field data that contains words starting with "#" become blue, clickable links – linking to nowhere. I guess this function is supposed to work for record IDs in the "Links" field, such as #12345. It is somewhat disturbing though because the field data cannot be clicked for editing, if there are no other regular words
Thanks for fixing this in release 13.3.1: :D
Release notes: "Hyperlinks to unique IDs in the Summary view will only be created if the # in the abstract or notes is followed by a number."

Alas, it seems that no #12345 ID links are working anymore in any field, neither in the 'Links" field (very useful there). :? They are not blue/underlined and not linked.
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Stefan L. :roll:

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Re: Custom Tags vs. Keywords: Suggestions for my conundrum?

Post by Jon »

I don't see any change in behavior from earlier versions of Bookends. You should contact tech support with your library and screen snaps showing what you're doing...something that worked in 13.3 but not 13.3.1 in particular.

Jon
Sonny Software

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