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@mmckegg %gTHLf3Rlc48RSjwATVDJZpe9VlWGfxMmio1+o3KXvjA=.sha256

Proposal: turn channels into tags (and groups)

cross posted to

The current channel system has a number of problems, where it is somewhere between groups and tags. But not really very good at solving either problem.

The question keeps coming up "how do I add multiple channels?". And it would be really nice to have channels that had some kind of identity outside of its text name (a key).

So I propose we turn what is currently channels into tags. That is, existing posts with channels will count as having a single tag (the channel name), and new posts will use channel mentions (#hashtags) to determine their tags (and maybe set the first tag mention as the channel for backwards compat reasons).

Tags can do virtually everything that our existing channels can do and more. They'd also be much easier to understand.

Once we get "groups" or something similar, I think patchwork gets taken to the next level where suddenly it becomes possible to use it instead of something like slack. Non-group chat becomes general social network stuff. And groups become like subreddits or slack rooms, each with (potentially) a whole unique community associated.

Some thoughts about groups:
They wouldn't have to be private (or require membership) for this to be useful. Just need to be able to assign an actual ID to groups (maybe based on the id of a type: 'group' message) rather than them being text based. This would allow people to rename groups with about messages :tada:

It would also solve the problem of name conflicts (e.g. #ferment for music vs #ferment for umm.. sourkraut!)

Also maybe following a group would be like following a pub in that you replicate the other members of that group.

@mix %zmkBICjwKH3Z+fRYE+bte4rA0GWBSM48mM5tE+ykuvs=.sha256

Nice observations @matt - I think you might be right about groups surpassing channels.

I'd like to mention groups in some way ... maybe we need another character. I'd really prefer we defer any change untill after groups are in.

@mikey %0uEcwBaRoOCHxBnrLA7FrrnMNAUFn5Zddl0H4gKZCaY=.sha256

yay, i think tags and groups complement each other really well:

  • tags: when you want to categorize information
  • groups: when you want to join a space
@cel %gPq8Bak3SEZpmZjLJE2ZSc8qmkNZkR29eoJev1YmDDc=.sha256

also replied on the github thread. points:

  • how/where to implement querying messages by tag?
  • cooperatively/subjectively computing group membership
@Lenny Abramov %yCfgvTwz7y/eOoUjM8SgPkgXriBe9b2XvtaOYBgYdd0=.sha256

I’m in favour of groups but against channels and tags, as I think they contradict the subjectivity principle.

It's true that any community is free to interpret, say, "patchwork" its own way - as a piece of software or a thing made of fabric or whatever else. But when I type #patchwork I'm not just talking to a human community, I'm also talking to a mechanism that assumes that the referent of my "patchwork" is the same as that of every other "patchwork" in my network. This is a strong anti-subjective assumption.

For example my real-life social network includes both Italian and Spanish speakers. I might be talking about "burro" in Italian ("butter"), and about "burro" in Spanish ("donkey"). Or the ambiguity could be much more subtle, for instance when talking about "god". No algorithm could disambiguate that. I might believe that you and I are talking about the same thing when we say “god”, but you might think otherwise.

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@Linas %M+Ji0yZtiVIg4qyW5WOKuU+6sdnjIGXpWI4mTr4x9qw=.sha256
Voted # Proposal: turn channels into tags (and groups) _cross posted to https://
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