[sugar] Journal: two quick suggestions

Eben Eliason eben.eliason
Thu Feb 28 14:41:23 EST 2008

> while toying around with the Journal today I had two ideas about the
> "anything" and "anytime" filter functions:

Both interesting ideas...

"anything": Apart from offering activities and file-types as
> filter-options I'm thinking that it might make sense to also offer an
> option for different subjects that kids will have at school. So things
> like "Maths", "English", whatever... My thought is that many activities
> will be started and resumed in a certain class-context and offering
> such a filter could help them to quickly find related matters.

One of our fears here is the proliferation of options within this menu,
which could eventually limit its usefulness, and is the reason we chose to
limit to some "primitive" types and the installed activities.  One can
imagine that the "subject" of an activity is actually subjectively defined,
and even when it's relatively clear, we might wind up with some for each of
"math", "geometry", "trigonometry", "algebra", etc.

To make a similar functionality available, though, we've chosen to allow
developers to supply a list of tags within the .info file for any given
activities, which could include several subject related words, as well as
more abstract or general terms like "game", "simulation", or "language".  We
hope that the ability to search by broad terms such as "math" or "games"
will then turn up a list of appropriately related activities.

Having just typed this and then reviewing the wiki, I notice that this part
of the spec doesn't appear to be there yet!  Can those familiar with this
respond about the presence or absence of this capability?  If this isn't
there, it should get a ticket.  It should be a pretty straightforward
addition and simple to implement, it seems.

"anytime": Here it might make sense to add more informal filters such
> as "5 grado", "2nd semester" or something along these lines.

This one is actually much harder to do in a general way.  We chose, on
purpose, to treat time in the relative sense with respect to the Journal.
 Instead of seeing a story you wrote on November 28, 2007 you might find a
story you wrote "3 months ago".  This approach was chosen, in a sense, to
internationalize (or perhaps simply generalize) the Journal with respect to
time, so that school systems with widely different schedules (some might
have class daily for one of every 3 months, for instance) can all take
advantage of it.

Of course one could also argue that such information could be
> explicitly added via the tags but I think a more implicit mechanism
> could potentially make more sense.

You can see how, in the former case, the tag model is still implicit, in a
sense, when installing an activity.  In the latter case, I don't see any
good way other than explicit tagging that doesn't have additional UI
overhead/management to function.  I'm open to ideas here.

Thanks for your feedback!

- Eben
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