GEPS 011: Tagging

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This page is for the discussion of a proposed enhancement of GRAMPS by adding tags.

Analogy with mails

For people using gmail, tags will not be something new. Instead of classifying mails into folders like in Outlook (Windows) or Evolution (Linux), mails are classified by assigning tags to them. So instead of having a disjoint N:1 classification (a mail can be in one and only one folder, and a folder can contain many emails), in gmail there is a N:M classification (a mail can have several tags, and a tag can be applied to several mails)

Likewise, when you have a big tree, you might want to make subsets of the tree, and these subsets might be overlapping. For example, the subsets of your father's family and your mother's family, some subset of your family that emigrated to the USA, or the famous people in the tree.

The idea is to assign a different tag to each subset: FATHER, MOTHER, USA and FAMOUS for example.

Difference from Markers

Markers are like the folders for mails. A person can be given at most one marker. Tags are thus like multiple-valued markers.

Difference from Filters

Tags and filters both create subsets of the tree. However they have practical differences.

Specifying your father's family using filters is an easy thing; there are already filters based on some logics that do it. On the other hand, specifying the people that emigrated to the USA is harder, while for the famous people in your family it is simply impossible as there is no logical rule. Tags are much more practical here.

However filters have the advantage of being "dynamical". If you add an ancestor of your father in the database, it will be automatically added to the filter. On the other hand, tags are "statical". When adding a famous person in the tree, you have to explicitely tag it as FAMOUS.

Private tag

Private is a binary attribute of the objects. It can actually be thought of as a tag.

What can be tagged

The most immediate object that comes to mind are the individuals, and that is also the most useful. However, other objects could be tagged:

  • Places: For example "places to visit",
  • Source: For example "sources in german",
  • Notes: For example "notes in progess", or "notes in german",
  • Media: For example "Picture belonging to Uncle Alfred".

Operations with tags

Here are a few ideas of operations that can be done with tags


The most obvious use (and only finality that I have thought of) is that of filtering.

Tagging a selection of objects

Due to the "static" nature of tags, it might be useful to add a tag to a selection of objects. For example one should be able to select a number of person in the Person View, and add them a new tag or an existing one.

Tags Column

It would be useful to have a "Tags" column in the views of objects that can be tagged. The content would be a comma-separated list of the tags of the objects.

Proposed design

To be completed