[wp-hackers] s/categories/tags

Jeff Minard jeff at jrm.cc
Fri Jul 8 05:13:42 GMT 2005

Kai Hendry wrote:
> That's true, but tags are easy. Managing a hierarchy isn't. 

Correction, tags are easIER -- because they are simpler. However, a 
hierarchy is much more flexible and can accomodate much more 
functionality. Without heirarchy, I would have had to go to much more 
trouble make my site which is divided into many sections, each with 
different sub-categories, and each one unique to its parent category. 
Tags, on the other hand, encourage "flat" categorization. For example,

A picture of my computer:
  - pictures, computer hardware, case, metal

An article I wrote about a server case:
  - computer hardware, review, tech, server

You run into the issue that, while these are completely different items 
(one goes in a gallery, the other in a blog section), a "tagging" system 
will lump them both together for "computer hardware" when they are, 
categorically, different items.

Tags are great for lump sum categories where generalization is a good 
thing, but when you are looking for actual control over the organization 
of your information, hierarchies are simply better.

Aside from which is better of nor, WP doesn't force you to do any 
difficult hierarchy management tasks anyway. As of WP1.5, it just isn't 
easy enough to create categories on the fly (like you do when using 
tags) without a plugin.

Solutoins: As in the other email, the tags plugin is great, and the 
on-the-fly creation of categories is something that is being worked on 
for 1.6, I believe.


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