08/05 Update

Just got back from a great anniversary weekend in South Padre =).

In the meantime, most of what I’ve done since the last update has been hooking up commands in the new infrastructure. In git, most of the commands work now, including remote stuff. I’ve started work on the aliases, and it’s pretty straightforward, but there’s some rough edges that need to be handled before I put it up.

One thing that I’ve tacked on to this (eventual) release is that I’d really like it if tags would stop being useless and awkward.

In 0.8.x you can use :add-tag to effectively alias or categorize a current full tag. So it’s useful for saying “Slashdot = news” and “Hacker News = news” and then either seeing those items in a single tag or using transform voodoo to be able to view those items sorted by maintags (aka feed default tags). That transform voodoo sucks.

In addition, there’s currently no way to tag individual items with anything, as would be useful if you were going to manually sort or tag items (i.e. star/favorite/delete items), or even if you were going to, say, teach a Bayesian classifier to tag individual items interesting for you. This requires a bit more thought, but is something that should’ve been possible before but hasn’t ever had support added and it needs some support from the database format (or abuse of currently existing state stuff).

So, my current thought is to add the capability to tag individual items to the daemon, which should be trivial because it already deals with items in multiple tags it just doesn’t have the protocol to do it from a client instead of the config. Then, to change the client such that when you change tags, they’ll still be grouped by maintag (feed), but internally filtered to only show items in the selected tags. Basically it will no longer be

=== News (user tag) ===
- slashdot item
- reddit item
- hacker news item

Instead, it will default to

=== Slashdot ==
- news item

=== Reddit ==
- news item

== HN ==
- news item

The original view will still be possible, but won’t have any sugar behind it.

My reasoning here is that, in the first example, the fact that the items are in a ‘News’ tag is actually redundant. You’ve chosen the tag to display, you already know what you’re looking at (although it should probably be displayed in the tag header anyway). So, you don’t lose anything by grouping by maintag (except a small amount of vertical screen real estate) and you gain context (knowing where the story is coming from) and I gain simplicity. A win-win.

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