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Tagging System

edited November 2006 in Vanilla 1.0 Help
I know I've seen discussion about this before, but I thought I'd bring a fresh discussion to this matter. Why? Because this is one request that I really would like on my website. Search engines seem to like "tags," because it lets them know what the underlining content is about, if not in full, at least partially.

This is what I'm looking for in a tagging system:

I would like to see a tagging system where the user sets the tags (i.e. keywords) for the thread. Commenters would also have the option to add tags, but by default, tags are left blank for them, unless they fill them in. This would be good if the discussion begins to change directions and a commentor can add his own personal tags. Or if a commentor believes the original poster forgot to include a tag, he could additionally add how own.

This extension within Vanilla would display a "tags" tab on the top navigation bar. When the "tags" tab is selected, it would display a "tag cloud" similiar to where larger text links indicate the more popular, and small text links indicate the lesser talked about or tagged items.

Since I am very specific on what additional features I'd like to appear on my forum website, I am willing to work with anyone here to develop these add-ons. I am actually a beginner when it comes to PHP, but years ago in high school, I did advance through a couple comp. programming languages. I do have a more than basic understanding of html, xhtml and css coding.

To anyone who can help, thank you in advance.


  • Gonna bump this cause it's such a popular request and this guy seems actually willing to get it off the ground if someone can help.
  • TreyTrey Charlotte NC New
    I would also like this feature because it could help some people find some discussions that met their needs faster and easier. One thing that would be cool for it would be to also add it to the search pages of the site, like searching for specific tags woudl return whatever discussions had that tag. or like you said have that one page like has with the most popular tags bigger. Maybe having them as a link to the search page to show all the discussions with that. I am willing to help out with it, but I dont know how much help I would be. I do have a good understand of xhtml and css, and basic understanding of php and mysql. I'm just not any good with writing or working with classes in php. I would be guessing we would have to add another column to the comments table to have all the tags in it, and for better preformace to index that column. Maybe having a little tags box below the actual comment box here for what the user could put in for the tags. It would be nice to see what tags are associated with each discussion too somewhere within the discussion page, either on the side menu or above the whole discussoin.
  • edited July 2006
    A possible way to do this would be to integrate delicious into the forum itself. For instance, when I update my site the latest posts are sent directly to delicious including the tags I have added. Because of the advanced delicious API this info can then be fed back into my site any way I deem fit (category search, tag clouds etc). It also has the added benefit of giving every tag an RSS feed courtesy of the delicious system.

    Just an idea, might make things easier and more functional without programming everything from scratch.
  • remoukremouk New
    edited November 2006
    A tag cloud in the panel should be really cool. A nice implementation of tags (and the way they are added by anyone) can be seen at Wordpress Support Forum (you must be registered and logged to see how it works). Btw, great idea, I hope something will come out from this.
  • @Obvious - I like your idea of integrating with Do you have any ideas of how we would go about it? I'm not too familiar with the API or PHP (though I'm learning).

    @Trey - I definitely like your idea about making it search-able. What would be the point of having them if the users couldn't search through them, too? I mean, it might help the search engines index one's forums a little bit better, increasing visibility to people outside the forum. But tags are definitely useful to locate subjects you want to know about.

    Who's willing to work on this tagging system? Though I lack an adequate amount of PHP experience, I can definitely try and learn as I go to help further this project.
  • I kind of love\ hate tags. If tagcloud will grow pass 10 it will seize to be useful Something better should be developed.
  • 3stripe3stripe ✭✭
    edited July 2006
    What about a tagcloud that also visualised how often people were clicking it's links as well? So if there were tons of pages tagged "really cool", but no one had clicked them for ages, "really cool" would start shrinking, or fading out...?
  • Hmm... reminds me of's batting average.

    Font size could indicate popularity, color contrast/darkness could indicate the 'batting average'.
  • I like JSM Tags on his National Gazette mockup - I can't stand traditional tag clouds, they're so hard to scan.
  • This would be a good extension, but labeling/sub-categories would be even better...wonder how difficult it would be to create both of these....
  • edited July 2006
    I've got a keywords extension that I ported from a WP plugin. Mark helped me resolve the final problem with it. Now I just have a usabilty concern with it. If you would like to try it out, please let me know and I'll email you the file and instructions on what needs to be changed for your site. Email me at jwurster at comcast dot net.
  • I just sent you an email
  • Same here.
  • Here is a pretty comprehensive list of delicious based tools: Perhaps you can get an idea of what is possible from them. Delicious has its own API documentation here: I just had an interesting thought... If delicious was integrated into any future tagging ext then all Vanilla tagging forums would instantly show up in delicious. This means that if by default every vanilla post was tagged with 'VanillaForum' then searching for this tag in delicious would give you an overview of the entire Vanilla Tagging ecosystem. It would be a basic way to combine Vanilla forums into a larger community and allow people to discover topics of interest via the relevant tags in delicious. Might be pretty special. This guy has implemented a clone of delicious onto his own server. I think its freesource, but better check. A vanilla delicious tagging community? Maybe:
  • Thanks for this Obvious. I'll definitely check this out. Maybe it will help or inspire me to create something or team-up with another developer on here. In the next few days I'm going to work on (hopefully) an extension where it adds an "Add to" link for forum users to add a particular comment or discussion to their bookmarks. I have something like this on my US Homes Today web blog for every post.
  • I'll nag a little bit ... where is this tagging thing? anyone working on it?
  • Toivo,

    The coding I think is a little too advanced for me right now. If another developer here kinda coached me or helped me out, I might be able to produce this with their assistance. I would love to see this extension an actual reality one day soon.
  • Any progress on tagging? :)
  • I like the tagging in the open source bookmarking app Scuttle. Tags can be sorted alphabetically or by popularity (always with bigger text=more popular) as seen here.

    I think subcategories add confusion, as discussions can often belong in multiple categories. But, with either tags or subcategories, there will always be the problem of misclassification.
  • Unfortunately I don't have the expertise to help with this, but I for one find that often, a combination of both categories and tagging is best. In my mind the category is automatically set as a tag.
This discussion has been closed.