[Debtags-devel] I want a X to Y Z

Justin B Rye jbr@edlug.org.uk
Thu, 9 Jun 2005 12:49:47 +0100

Enrico Zini wrote:
> I was thinking at a possible supersimple package search interface that
> allows to do phrases like "I want a X to Y Z".
> We already have facets to define Y (use::) and Z (media::).  We don't
> have a proper facet for X (although role:: kind of qualifies).  And this
> could be a good opportunity to fix role::.

(I've been tagging things and wondering
-- why is uitoolkit separate from interface?
-- why is media separate from format?
-- why is data separate from role?
...but I can come back to questions like these some other day)

> So, I was considering some example such phrases we could compose:
>   I want a program to edit text
>   I want a program to view raster images
>   I want a library to edit raster images

(By the way, "raster images" is a good watertight category, but it's
not a term ordinary users are likely to set out looking for.  I
suppose you could arrange for "porn" to be a synonym...) 

>   I want an applet to search dictionaries
> Question 1: Can you point out examples with more tricky cases?

Ys where Z isn't a data type; "I want an X11 app to monitor
processes" (gps, tkps...).  Or where it's a rare and obscure one
("to download webcomics", "to convert TNEF attachments").

> Question 2: Can you point out examples in which such a phrase will be
>             absurd?

Intransitive Ys, like "timekeeping" or "dialing", which can lead to
searches like "I want a commandline app for chatting dictionaries".

A trickier variant is "converting", where you'd naturally want to
search for both input and output Zs.

> Question 3: Do you want to play with the python building [...]

That's an easy question!  No.  Thanks for asking, though.
Ankh kak! (Ancient Egyptian blessing)