Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur

Singleton tags?

Okay, here's a question for thought and discussion. I'm currently designing the Tag feature. Every Thing in Querki can have fields that are "tags", in the usual sense -- they contain whatever short text you would like. Tags will be hierarchical (because that is sometimes useful). And here's the interesting question: should tags *always* be multi-value?

One of the great failings of older databases is that they tend to be single-valued -- you can have only one Author for a Book, and such silliness. The real world is typically much messier, and that's reflected in the fact that most modern systems use Tags as sets of values: you can generally have any number of tags for a given item. Tags are remarkably powerful, and I expect them to be much-used in Querki.

So I'm clearly going to implement TagSet. Is there any reason to have a data type that is only a *single* Tag? The engineer in me says that of course such a thing should exist, since conceptually it's obvious, but the UX designer in me says not to, since you shouldn't expose a concept that is always a bad idea to use.

Opinions? Are there non-strawman cases where you would specifically want to only allow a single Tag on something? Or is it more bother than it's worth to expose this through the UI -- should I just have TagSet as the type that you always use?
Tags: querki

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