Simpson AND Homer AND NOT O.J. AND NOT Ashley November 21, 2010 7:33 PM   Subscribe

Pony filter: Combine tags so as to EXCLUDE questions that have some specified tag.

1) Click on the tag "apple", and you'll see all questions tagged with "apple". You'll also see a list of "Related tags".
2) Now click on the "Related tag" called "mac" and you'll be switched to all questions tagged with "mac", as though that had been the tag you clicked in the first place.
3) Alternatively, click on the "+" next to "mac" and you'll be shown all questions tagged with BOTH "apple" and "mac".

4) Could we have a "-" next to the plus sign, which would show all questions tagged with "apple" BUT NOT WITH "mac"?

Related tags:
mac + - (555)
osx + - (253)
macbook + - (137)

Sometimes a fellow is looking up questions about fruit.

Thanks in any event! It seems like the kind of thing that would be extremely helpful to every user once in a blue moon, but that perhaps no single user would find helpful enough to bother requesting for his own sake.
posted by foursentences to Feature Requests at 7:33 PM (15 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

Anyone who posts a question about apples (the fruit) should use "apple" and "fruit" tags in case this feature doesn't get implemented.
posted by John Cohen at 7:38 PM on November 21, 2010

I have wanted this for a long time, but I believe it's been discussed before and they said it would be a hassle to make it work (could be remembering this wrong).
posted by LobsterMitten at 7:58 PM on November 21, 2010

one previous discussion of boolean tag search in which jessamyn and cortex say this is on the "maybe someday" list; more positive than I remembered.
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:00 PM on November 21, 2010

I would ride this pony.
posted by reductiondesign at 8:13 PM on November 21, 2010

Some way to combine tags in a boolean search would be useful. As it stands now, being able to filter on one tag not as useful as it could be, given that the dictionary of tags is at the user's discretion.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:20 PM on November 21, 2010

I do think it'd be nice to be able to exclude tags, but I'm not sure the tag you'd want to exclude would appear in "related tags" enough to make the addition to the page worthwhile. Apple + Mac is a perfect example of when you'd want it on the page, but I'm not sure that's common. The number in parentheses is the number of posts that contain both tags, would we need to add the number of posts with the exclusion? Our URL path method here makes this a little tricky too, but maybe a - could indicate the excluded tag.

I think adding a URL variable with tags to exclude might work, but I feel like this is a power-user feature that doesn't necessarily need a permanent home on the page for discovery.
posted by pb (staff) at 9:08 PM on November 21, 2010

I would ride {Objects which are here} ∩ {Objects which are ponies}.
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:29 PM on November 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

potato - taters
posted by special-k at 9:59 PM on November 21, 2010

hardcore -taters +potato
posted by not_on_display at 10:16 PM on November 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

Boolean searching would rock. Of course, I think in Boolean...
posted by QIbHom at 8:16 AM on November 22, 2010

Pony tag: you're it!
posted by galadriel at 8:51 AM on November 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

You can also use google with a query something like: " +apple -mac -hdtv -usb -iphone -ipad -itunes".
posted by SpookyFish at 9:02 AM on November 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

I would really like to be able to search with what I think is called "inclusive or", so I can search on a tag and its pluralised or alternative form at once (eg "owl OR owls", "trousers OR pants", "color OR colour", "newyork OR NYC").
Being able to build a complex query like "apple or mac or osx but not (iphone or ipod or ipad or pippin)" would be better still. I don't there are query builder GUIs that are available that would be easy to assimilate, or whether this would be best done by hand-crafted URLs.
I can imagine a search form with two boxes, one for Good Tags and one for Bad Tags, with results below. It would be possible to refine searches by adding and removing tags to the boxes. There might be a radio button next to the Good Tags box to select between AND and OR behaviours, or the current interface retained for AND queries.
posted by nowonmai at 10:19 AM on November 22, 2010

Because you can't depend on tagging as much as you can depend on people typing the useful words in their questions (and answers), you're always going to need a text search like Google's.

apple -mac -macintosh -computer -ipad -ipod -touch

(You can't do -jobs in this case or you'll get nothing because of the Jobs link on every page.)
posted by pracowity at 11:13 PM on November 22, 2010

Google is a good call for now. Pb, if you wind up implementing a URL feature like that, let me/us know -- in the meantime thanks either way.
posted by foursentences at 3:30 PM on November 23, 2010

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