Labels vs Tags vs Community Tags

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Francis | Forum Activity | Posted: Fri, Jan 2 2015 3:10 AM

I have written several times about my frustrations with regard to the inability to get useful search results when searching user documents. In my view, this means that Logos has not delivered on the promised feature since it is not fully usable in its present form (it is difficult to exploit tags when you cannot search them adequately).

Community Tags can be used in resources. I am personally not very fond of the idea because I find that tagging preferences and practices differ too widely among users and it makes for a mess. The advantage of community tags over user tags right now is that the former is available in resources (thus you can get full search results if you search resources for them) but the latter is not. I am not sure why it is so. It is regrettable.

For the time being, when I want to tag passages in resources I own in relation to specific projects, I have to make a note entry and tag that entry. But then of course, I'm back to the problem above (limited search capability). I have been using a work-around that provides a limping "solution". I use T-<tag entry> as tags, where T- is a prefix so as to be able to use CTL-F to differentiate between these tags and occurrences of the same words in annotation texts. But I am well aware that I am growing a number of entries that are T- tagged and that if later, hopefully, Logos fixes tag searches, I might want to get rid of all these prefixes, and it by then, it could be a painful job. So, I am still really intent on asking Logos to look into this and sooner than later.

Labels can be used as a middle ground between community tags and tags. They can be more "personal" in formulation and use than community tags and can be used in resources as opposed to user documents. The problem with labels is that they require prior definition (style, text, attributes...). You can't just quickly add a new label. One could presumably use a generic label (label = "interesting stuff" attribute = what you would normally put in a tag or a short description). But then different types of entries would not be sufficiently differentiated. So I don't think this works as a replacement solution.

Two purposes for writing the above:

(1) Please Logos RESPOND.

(2) I am looking for input from other users. How do you use these features. Have you found solutions around these limitations? Do you have enlightening examples of how tags (for instance) can be used extensively when we cannot search them effectively?

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Dave Hooton | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 2 2015 4:32 AM

Francis:
The problem with labels is that they require prior definition (style, text, attributes...). You can't just quickly add a new label. One could presumably use a generic label (label = "interesting stuff" attribute = what you would normally put in a tag or a short description). But then different types of entries would not be sufficiently differentiated. So I don't think this works as a replacement solution.

This is the only point with which I disagree because if you rely on other peoples' tags - whether Community or Faithlife - you are stuck with their interpretations and priorities. Labels provide the opportunity to tag what is relevant to you in the way that suits your study needs. It takes some planning for best results but Labels are completely searchable.

Highlights are also completely searchable (in Logos 6) and a bit of ingenuity with style names and colours/effects can provide a simple system of tagging e.g. I can find all the typos I've recorded with the Typo highlight style.

Dave
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Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 2 2015 4:43 AM

Dave Hooton:
This is the only point with which I disagree because if you rely on other peoples' tags - whether Community or Faithlife - you are stuck with their interpretations and priorities. Labels provide the opportunity to tag what is relevant to you in the way that suits your study needs. It takes some planning for best results but Labels are completely searchable.

Thank you for your reply, Dave. I am not sure in what way you see disagreement here. I totally agree with you with regard to the contrast you make between community tags and labels. What I find a limitation with labels (which in my view makes them unsuitable as a tag replacement) is that styles have to be worked out and defined before they can be used. Tags are easier and faster to work with in that you only need to enter a tag in its field whether you have used it before or not. And of course, you can use ; to add multiple tags at once. So, in my opinion, IF tags were more searchable and usable in resources (not just user documents), they would be an easier alternative than labels. Labels, however, have a place by virtue of their graphical component (which has its use) and the fact that it is linked to highlight styles and thus allows different exploitation.

Would you not agree therefore that it would be mighty handy to have tags available for all resources and more conveniently searchable? And, would you not, for that reason, agree that it is glaringly missing and somewhat difficult to understand that it has been implemented with such limitations?

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toughski | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 2 2015 5:22 AM

Francis and Dave, what are your occupations?

Dave Hooton:
Highlights are also completely searchable (in Logos 6) and a bit of ingenuity with style names and colours/effects can provide a simple system of tagging e.g. I can find all the typos I've recorded with the Typo highlight style.

Dave, can you provide some practical examples for using highlights.

  • I'd like to know how you track typos
  • how can one tag a quote by using highlights that can allow for multiple tags (quote on Prayer and Humility, for example)
  • other examples that you wish to provide

Francis:
I have written several times about my frustrations with regard to the inability to get useful search results when searching user documents. In my view, this means that Logos has not delivered on the promised feature since it is not fully usable in its present form (it is difficult to exploit tags when you cannot search them adequately).

This is my greatest frustration with Logos and Faithlife - their sub-par commitment and support of user documents. I think their implementation of searching in user documents stinks.

Francis:

Two purposes for writing the above:

(1) Please Logos RESPOND.

Unfortunately, I am afraid you are going to get "We are sorry our product is not meeting your needs." Despite regular requests for change, this issue continues to be unadressed since L4.

I personally am starting to transition to labels, but feel that I have to become a programmer to use Logos as a Pastor. On the other hand, my best user experience came from software designed by users for users.

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toughski:

Francis:
I have written several times about my frustrations with regard to the inability to get useful search results when searching user documents. In my view, this means that Logos has not delivered on the promised feature since it is not fully usable in its present form (it is difficult to exploit tags when you cannot search them adequately).

This is my greatest frustration with Logos and Faithlife - their sub-par commitment and support of user documents. I think their implementation of searching in user documents stinks.

Francis:

Two purposes for writing the above:

(1) Please Logos RESPOND.

Unfortunately, I am afraid you are going to get "We are sorry our product is not meeting your needs." Despite regular requests for change, this issue continues to be unadressed since L4.

We know that the display of search results in user documents is extremely poor right now. It's on our "soon" list of problems to address but I can't give any sort of timeframe. (It seems simple in theory but there are some complicating factors.)

Just out of interest, what would expect to see as the search result preview if you searched for a tag attached to a note/highlight or clipping?

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toughski | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 2 2015 8:49 AM

Bradley Grainger (Faithlife):
Just out of interest, what would expect to see as the search result preview if you searched for a tag attached to a note/highlight or clipping?

Thank you for your reply.

For Clippings and Note result preview I would like to see something very similar to Verse view in Bible Search:

1. I just wanted to draw attention that it it should look like Verses view, rather than Grid, Aligned or Analysis.

2. Display the name of the Clipping/Note file

3. For Clippings you can display the linked name of the original source of the quote. For Notefile - either the Biblical reference, or the name of the resource that was highlighted/annotated

4. Give us at least a sentence (3 line maximum) with the text including the search term.

5. Highlight the searched term.

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Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 2 2015 9:29 AM

Bradley Grainger (Faithlife):
Just out of interest, what would expect to see as the search result preview if you searched for a tag attached to a note/highlight or clipping?

Thank you for the reply Bradley. I am glad to hear it is on the soon list of problems and I hope it will be very soon indeed.

With regard to main text in annotations or clippings, user documents search results should display just as for resources. However, with regard to tags (labels? community tags?), it is not the tags themselves that are of interest but what is tagged. So, I would NOT expect to see a tag highlighted in the same way we see a main text search term highlighted in previews. However, I think it would be good to see previews indeed with links.

This would on the one hand, provide for quick navigation and decision between entries that prove more interesting than others. On the other hand, it would allow users to use search previews to locate easily specific entries they might be looking for. 

Of course, since I have had no chance to use this as of yet, I don't know what practical issues may surface once I and others do. 

Perhaps others will have additional suggestions.

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toughski:
4. Give us at least a sentence (3 line maximum) with the text including the search term.

5. Highlight the searched term.

What if the searched term is a tag? How would you envision the highlighting working for that? Just append the text "Tags: tag1, tag2, tag3" to the end of the note/clipping and highlight the one that was searched for?

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toughski | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 2 2015 1:23 PM

Bradley Grainger (Faithlife):
What if the searched term is a tag? How would you envision the highlighting working for that? Just append the text "Tags: tag1, tag2, tag3" to the end of the note/clipping and highlight the one that was searched for?

I am sorry, I got confused. In my opinion, it is not necessary to append tags and highlight them. As far as text - provide at least some to help us locate what we were after at a glance - a sentence, up to 3 lines. Obviously, it would not include the search term since it is a tag. I misspoke earlier

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SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 2 2015 9:03 PM

toughski:

Bradley Grainger (Faithlife):
What if the searched term is a tag? How would you envision the highlighting working for that? Just append the text "Tags: tag1, tag2, tag3" to the end of the note/clipping and highlight the one that was searched for?

I am sorry, I got confused. In my opinion, it is not necessary to append tags and highlight them. As far as text - provide at least some to help us locate what we were after at a glance - a sentence, up to 3 lines. Obviously, it would not include the search term since it is a tag. I misspoke earlier

Since we would presumably be able to simultaneously search for multiple tags, I think there should be some visible indicator of which tag (or tags) applies (or apply) to a given result. I think that this is what Bradley is suggesting.* What should that be?

*Or I'm completely lost, which is also quite possible.

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Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jan 3 2015 2:02 AM

SineNomine:
Since we would presumably be able to simultaneously search for multiple tags, I think there should be some visible indicator of which tag (or tags) applies (or apply) to a given result.

I understand where this idea might come from but I have a hard time seeing how this could work practically. Taking as basis the way searches already work and results are currently displayed for common searches in resources -- and unless one looked at an overhaul of that, which is both unlikely to happen and would actually be in the way rather than helping implementation of better tag searches -- we have to look at the current model: Ranked, by Resources, Count. These display results either according with the resource title or the pericope/section heading, followed by a preview of text in which search terms are highlighted.

However, tags are not within the main text of resources or user documents. Hence, they cannot appear highlighted in the preview text. Where then could the tags be shown? I don't think we would want them to replace resource titles or section headings. And adding them as a new field might be too complicated.

But I wonder if it is really necessary that the tags show in the search window previews at all. Let's say that I search tags like this: DSS AND (Josephus OR Philo), it seems to me that I would only do such a search if both results in Josephus and in Philo could be relevant to what I am after in my study. Why then would it be important for search results to indicate whether one particular preview matches Josephus or another Philo? I would tend to think that my interest would be in the text preview to see whether it is a useful hit, not which tags applies to which hit/preview. Of course, once I click on a result I find interesting I would be able to see which tags apply to it anyway (if this much is not clear already from the preview or the actual text in the resource/document). So, I cannot see any real need to display what tags are looked for in the search results. 

Then of course, it would always be possible, if need be, to do two searches: DSS AND Philo and then, DSS AND Josephus, if for some reason it was that important to me to keep the results distinct. 

Or do you have a different kind of use in mind? If so, perhaps you could clarify in what way showing the tags in the results would be necessary in some kinds of queries. 

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Dave Hooton | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jan 3 2015 2:50 PM

Francis:
Would you not agree therefore that it would be mighty handy to have tags available for all resources and more conveniently searchable? And, would you not, for that reason, agree that it is glaringly missing and somewhat difficult to understand that it has been implemented with such limitations?

The disagreement was that labels are unsuitable merely because they have to be worked out before they can be used. Tags also have to be "worked out" if they are to be useful. Their biggest limitation is that they apply to a section of text (e.g. a clipping, annotation) with no way to indicate the boundaries of each tag. If you want to extend their use to resources how do you indicate the section of text? How would it be different to highlighting with a style name that acts as a tag? How would it be different to applying a label whose name is a tag, or a label with a single attribute tag whose value you can select from a list of "tag" values? You can also apply multiple values to tag and because they are in a list you don't have to track them manually (which Faithlife realised when they gave us autocomplete for library tags).

Which leaves us with the problem of highlighting search results in user documents (clippings, notes)! I think that a portion of the relevant text should be highlighted which would be sufficiently different to normal search highlighting (e.g. see results of Label searches), but otherwise provide the same context.

Dave
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Dave Hooton | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jan 3 2015 3:53 PM

toughski:

  • I'd like to know how you track typos

I have a style called Typo

Apply the highlight to that style and search for them with {Highlight typo}

Note that the style name is case sensitive i.e. not "Typo".

toughski:
how can one tag a quote by using highlights that can allow for multiple tags (quote on Prayer and Humility, for example)

This is beyond the "simple" system that I stated i.e. you could apply multiple highlight styles to the quote but your search would like like:

{Highlight Prayer} ANDEQUALS {Highlight Humility}

Labels have one Highlight style but allow multiple "tag" values e.g.

{Label Quote WHERE tag ~Prayer AND tag ~Humility}

You can use the 'tag' attribute (or property) in multiple labels and the label name will qualify its use i.e. 'tag' can have a different set of values.

Dave
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Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 4 2015 6:57 AM

Dave Hooton:
The disagreement was that labels are unsuitable merely because they have to be worked out before they can be used.

I did not mean that Labels are unsuitable altogether. I did say I could see a purpose for them. But it is not as quick as tagging can be.

Dave Hooton:
Tags also have to be "worked out" if they are to be useful.

I am not sure what you mean. So I will simply describe what I do and why I see tags being more suitable for that application. I read a passage in a resource that I want to be able to find again or pull up easily as part of a larger project. Currently, this may translate into a clipping or an annotation attached to text. In either case, I decide which text (and its boundaries) I want to include. When I clip, then I add tags. I am reading about methodology, I find a good statement about implied readers, I put "Implied Reader" as a tag. I may add "Narrative Criticism". If the quote interfaces with say, historical criticism, I may also put "Historical Criticism" as well. All this attached to the one clipping. Same for annotations with the difference that I use annotations where I want indeed to add comments as well and clippings when I just want to keep a selection of text. 

In this scenario, all I need to do is to be consistent in my tagging system. I don't use "Narrative Criticism" along with N. Criticism or Narr. Critcm. I have chosen how I format my tags and that's all I need whenever I feel a new tag is needed. So, there is no preparatory work to apply new tags, all I need is to think quickly about how I want to tag (that is, use a text label) and then I can immediately enter it and that's it.

With labels, different deal. Let's say I wanted to do a label for narrative criticism, I have define a style for it and then create it before I can use it. To use it, I have to either define a shortcut (which becomes impractical as the collection of tags grows) or go find it in the list in the highlight panel to apply it. It's already a much more cumbersome procedure. Then what if I want to use a new referent I never used before? I have to create another label all over again. I suppose I could have a generic label that just asks me to enter text as an attribute, but then it loses all the stylistic functionality. It would be like highlighting everything in one color and only differentiate between highlights with the attached attribute. Not a great solution.

Moreover, tags are better than community tags in two important ways. 1) They are not limited to a short phrase or a few words. I can select a whole subsection of a chapter in a resource and topic-tag it as it were. 2) Because they have a bit of a different function, they do not depend on searching the pull-down menu of already existing topics (factbook style) which slows down and constrains. In other words, with tags, I don't have to choose out of a predefined list of values, I can make them up on the spot as I go, just as quickly as typing that text and pressing enter. Very fast and effective.

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Dave Hooton | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 4 2015 3:21 PM

Francis:
In this scenario, all I need to do is to be consistent in my tagging system.

This is what I mean by "worked out" in order to be useful. You can apply the same system to labels (see "tag" example I gave to another user, above).

Francis:
With labels, different deal. Let's say I wanted to do a label for narrative criticism, I have define a style for it and then create it before I can use it. To use it, I have to either define a shortcut (which becomes impractical as the collection of tags grows) or go find it in the list in the highlight panel to apply it. It's already a much more cumbersome procedure

You could have one highlight style for all your label tags but it would be obviously beneficial to have different styles for different purposes.

Francis:
Then what if I want to use a new referent I never used before? I have to create another label all over again. I suppose I could have a generic label that just asks me to enter text as an attribute, but then it loses all the stylistic functionality. It would be like highlighting everything in one color and only differentiate between highlights with the attached attribute. Not a great solution.

Once you commit to a system you can decide if tag values will be pre-defined (in a list) or free text entry. And you can apply multiple values of the tag attribute to one label when you apply the highlight (tick "Prompt to enter attributes" when you define the label in Highlighting) e.g. enter

Tag  Implied Reader   ---> Tag should be defined when you first created the label.

then type:

Tag  Narrative Criticism  

into the prompt box for a new attribute!

But you could equally define a new attribute and value.

(See multiple Name below)

Francis:
Moreover, tags are better than community tags in two important ways. 1) They are not limited to a short phrase or a few words. I can select a whole subsection of a chapter in a resource and topic-tag it as it were. 2) Because they have a bit of a different function, they do not depend on searching the pull-down menu of already existing topics (factbook style) which slows down and constrains.

You decide if want to use tags in Clippings because that is the way you work in a particular situation. Your need for tagging resources directly would suit a different purpose and the length of text you highlight would be different.

Tagging thru Labels is quite flexible, not as onerous as you make out, and fully searchable.

Dave
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Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 5 2015 1:09 AM

You are making some good points here Dave. I will have to give it some thought.

The suggestion to use a label called "tags" and use {Label labelname} to obtain full search display is a good one for resources. AND using the drop down arrow in annotations, labels can be used there as well. However, labels are not available for clippings yet. The resulting question is whether labels should replace tags altogether. Perhaps other users can also chime in as to whether they can see if usage would be totally equivalent or anything would be missing. After all, it is possible to use a marking system similar to community tags (whose appearance look very much like labels). For instance, one could use a dotted underlining (different color to distinguish from community tags) to achieve the relative discretion of that marking yet have some kind of visual signal of the presence of a label-tag in a resource.

Since I am not that experienced with working with labels, I experimented a bit and ran into a problem. In the image below, I create a visual style (label) called Tag. The attribute name is also Tag. I used a dashed blue line as style and T as the shortcut. I labeled two differnt verses with accusations against Jesus, entering "Accusation" as the Tag value. Then I went to do a search. I do NOT get individual instances listed (whether I use ranked, by count or by resource makes no difference).

All I get is one resource listing with the number of hits (for instance, I don't see verse 52 as a separate instance in the search results window). Moreover, giving results for a whole resource (as opposed to individual hits) nullifies the "AND" condition I applied. Instead of giving me what I wanted: places where the label is accusation and the text has "demon", it gave me a resource where both appear. As you can see "demon" in v. 49 (NA28 window) is counted as a hit although it does not have a label. I know I could use the search "next" arrow in the resource window to navigate to the next search result, but then the preview aspect becomes useless to quickly sort and choose hits in the search window. 

Am I missing something? Because if this is label search results are displayed, it is not very useful and would not work as a suitable replacement solution (for tags) either. See picture below:

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Dave Hooton | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 5 2015 2:09 PM

Francis:
Instead of giving me what I wanted: places where the label is accusation and the text has "demon", it gave me a resource where both appear. As you can see "demon" in v. 49 (NA28 window) is counted as a hit although it does not have a label.

A Bible Search will provide verse identification and eliminate v 49 since a label does not appear in that verse.

However, your search could be improved e.g.

 δαιμόνιον WITHIN {Label Tag WHERE Tag = Accusation}

assuming that  δαιμόνιον is part of the text you highlighted for that label/tag.

Dave
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Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jan 6 2015 1:03 AM

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Dave Hooton | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jan 6 2015 1:34 AM

Just emphasises the poor state of searching our documents as the information is definitely available; same applies to Highlight styles.

Dave
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Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jan 6 2015 1:46 AM

Thanks Dave for all your input. As we sharpen our conversation, Bradley (and perhaps others) can get a better sense of the current limitations. Although I think it is actually more than just limitations. When you are supposed to 1) use labels and 2) search labels and you can't get them to show in results, something is defective. 

Nevertheless, I believe our discussion brings out some potentially useful avenues of application (once repairs are done by faithlife!). I did notice that labels in annotations work a bit differently than those in resources in that one DOES NOT HAVE TO create a style prior to entering a label. Clicking on Add label opens a dialog box in which one can enter directly a name for the label, attributes and values. This makes sense since it is not possible to apply visual marking in this case. However, it also brings these labels closer to document tags in the way they work. I suspect that this difference in usability could be the reason for the bug, ie, the normal label search syntax does not work for this modified version, but I can't be sure of that.

Compared to tags, I find it somewhat bothersome to have to wait for the list to populate when I enter a value (it searches for precedents). Not unlike behavior that has been noted in other places when using Logos, speed varies: sometimes it is instantaneous, others it takes a few seconds and one is forced to wait idly. This is a drawback of the auto-complete feature and attempts to link to Factbook entries. It may be useful to have "use auto-complete" as an on/off option in settings...

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