Blogger Hacks, Categories, Tips & Tricks

Thursday, August 17, 2006
Auto-Tagger: Tag Suggestion for Delicious
Rather than letting grievances fester, I'm all for rolling up the sleeves and making a contribution. I guess I'm just a positive person like that. Last week I complained about the limitations of the delicious interface when it comes to managing tags. This week, I've started poking around further in their interface, figuring out more "improvements". By way of proof of concept, I've integrated Knallgrau's tagthe.net automatic tagging webservice (see earlier experiments) with this Delicious.

First, a few words on the wisdom of doing this. Delicious actually does a reasonable job of prompting you for tags under their "full-screen edit" (albeit not in their inline edit mode). It's also not particularly useful to have people ("sheeple") copying tags wholesale - and even less so when those tags are machine generated. That said, this might be useful for those times when you have "tagger's block" or you've sourced a bunch of URLs and want to get some quick-and-dirty structure across them before refined tagging can begin.

In light of recent developments, I'm also expecting a rush of people retro-fitting tags to their content, so it's good to get some practice in with this. It's also a nice little learning project for me on hacking the delicious interface to handle the much-needed batch-mode. Finally, it's just plain cool watching all those empty text fields magically fill up with content!

Oh, and I doffs me hat to the folk at Knallgrau; the tags their baby generates aren't half bad in most cases. It errs on the side of verbosity (so do I!), but that's beneficial for this situation. Let's hope they stick at it and don't go the way of Tagyu.

The use of it is pretty straightforward: visit your delicious page and press "edit" on any bookmarks you wish to treat (as many as you like). The code is activated by clicking a bookmarklet on your browser. (Alternatively, you can just paste in the javascript for a one-off effort.) The bookmark's title and tags are automagically populated and you can make further changes before clicking save. It also works in the "full-screen edit" mode (where you have just one bookmark to edit and you get a list of your tags plus suggestions).

Installation is easy and takes just a moment. If you're running FireFox, you should be able to just drag the link below onto your links bar. If not (or your stuck with IE), just drag any old shortcut out of your Favourites folder and onto your links bar while holding down control (this makes it a copy). Then, right-click the link below and copy it (eg "copy shortcut"). You should now have the code on the clipboard. Finally, do a right-click and edit-properties on your cloned favourite. Make the name something like "Auto-Tagger" and then paste the code into the URL field (it should start "javascript: ... "). You may be prompted something about safety - just click OK.

That's it! Take it out for a test run and see what it makes of your existing tags.

As usual, feedback, troubleshooting and suggestions in the comments please.

Auto-Tagger (drag or copy this link)

Source Code

Oh - and sorry about the name "Auto-Tagger". I acknowledge it's unbearably lame but it's nearly 2am here and I'd be delighted to changed it to something suitably witty tomorrow.

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Posted at 10:43 AM by Greg.
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