I think a relatively small step toward making keywords (as in the Keyword Nodelet and keyword search, the latter currently "tough beans" for non-pmdev) eventualy much more useful and more immediately somewhat less useful for anonymous abuse, would be the addition of an approved keywords table.

This approach occurred to me in part because it would also make keyword search less likely to become a resource hog. It won't do enough to make keywords /really/ useful, but I think it is a small step in the right direction that could eventually result in a reasonably nice system.

The idea is a new table that only vetted group members could add keywords to. I'd just make a new access rule rather than a new group, at least at first, allowing janitors, sidedocclan, and pedagogues to add/delete approved keywords and delete (at least at first) keywords on nodes. Those wanting access to do keyword approval could join pedagogues. Note that I wouldn't add pmdev as the ranks there are too swolen and unchecked, IMHO.

The other pices to be added, in nearly whatever order, include:

Note that I'm not volunteering to implement this. Just a design idea as a starting point. I'll certainly do some applying of patches, creating of tables based on MySQL definitions someone else works up, etc. Those gods-only tasks, etc.

- tye        

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Re: keywords baby steps
by bobf (Monsignor) on Mar 22, 2007 at 03:23 UTC

    Thanks, tye, for a very well thought out node on this subject.

    In essence you are proposing to construct a controlled vocabulary for keywords. As someone that has been working with controlled vocabularies and metadata for the last two years (see the ISO/IEC 11179 standard for metadata registries or the Wikipedia entry, if interested), I appreciate the effort. If done well and used properly, this could add significant search functionality to the site.

    According to your outline, terms in the vocabulary can be proposed by members of the community but they are approved and maintained by a small group. IMO, this is a very reasonable way to start and it is similar to my experiences in this area.

    I agree that voting on each keyword of each node is probably more effort than it is worth. I'm not sure about voting on the approval status of individual keywords, either, unless many controversial keywords are anticipated. I suspect it will be pretty clear-cut which should be approved, and the others could simply be left as unapproved (similar to our current moderation process). I would hope that the wiki could be used for discussion and to achieve consensus without having to implement a formal voting process, but I'm probably wishing for too much. :-)

    As a start, we could limit keywords to module names, entries in perldoc (similar to the [doc://] tags)), and a few obvious key words (e.g., "data structure"). Key words that are too general (e.g., "Perl") may not be worthwhile.

    I'd be happy to help with this effort if another monk were willing to lead it, but I do not have the expertise required to pursue this on my own.