Anyone use the XF tag system to create a categories menu?

sixlxvi

Well-known member
Like most of us, I have the tag system disabled. I think it’s too confusing/unorganized for regular members to be using.

But I’ve been wanting to create some pre-defined categories that can be easily linked to. I’m torn between using prefixes, search forums, or tags.

Prefixes are identified by the node they’re in. So if you use the same prefix in multiple nodes, it’s not easy to link to that prefix in a menu.

Search forums could work but I feel like that’s a “heavy” way to do it. I would rather not have all of those nodes.

Tags seem ideal. They’re like prefixes but they aren’t tied to a specific node. They even have their own page that could probably look pretty slick with some template edits. I found this one that has a simple edit to put them in columns and use only one font size: https://www.sffchronicles.com/tags/



With that all being said, if you use tags to organize categories in a menu or on a special page, I’d like to see it. I’m mostly interested in tag useable where only the admin can apply the tags. If that’s how you do it, mind if I have a look?
 

Kevin

Well-known member
Like most of us, I have the tag system disabled. I think it’s too confusing/unorganized for regular members to be using.

But I’ve been wanting to create some pre-defined categories that can be easily linked to. I’m torn between using prefixes, search forums, or tags.
I'm kind of going down a similar path with a new project. A few things come to mind.

You can restrict who can create new tags. That's different from who can use tags. The user group permission Create new content tag will stop regular users from creating new tags but they can still use existing tags (based, of course, on the various other permissions of what content they can tag). That means if you had a bunch tags like "Ford", "Toyota", "Dodge", and so on they users could use any of them but they could not add a new tag if it doesn't already exist.

The Tag Essentials add-on sold by Stuart Wright and worked on by Xon has a lot of options. One option is to have a default tag associated to a forum prefix. So if you did have a forum thread prefix of "Ford" you could have it automatically add a corresponding thread tag of "ford" (or anything else you might want) when a user creates a thread with the "Ford" prefix. It also has an option to default tags at the node level. So if you have a forum node named "Trucks" you could have it also add a default tag of "trucks" to new threads regardless of the thread prefixes or combined with the default tags based on the prefix. Then there are the XF stock options about requiring a tag or not. Taken together you could have a node named "Cars" with a default "cars" tag and a node named "Trucks" with a default "trucks" tag and a thread prefix named "Ford" with a default "ford" tag that could be used in either the Cars or Trucks nodes and have those nodes require a prefix and at least 1 tag. Now when somebody creates a thread in Cars or Trucks they can specify the "Ford" prefix and if they post in the Cars node then the tags will be "cars" & "ford" and if they post in the Trucks node then the tags will be "trucks" & "ford". That then of course means that viewing the "ford" tag will show threads from both the Cars and Trucks nodes. The "cars" and "trucks" defaults at that point may be overkill but I think the "ford" tag setup would be along the lines of what you're trying to do.

With the above in mind, at the moment there is no good way for users to know what tags they can use if they can't create a new one. Using automatic default tags like described above helps to get around that but if you have a bunch of pre-defined tags that you would want users to select from then it's not user friendly. We're not the first to come across this, check this thread from 2017 & Mike's response.

Even with an add-on like above, it is only for forum nodes. If you are using XFMG or XFRM then you can't take advantage of default tags.

For a plug-&-play menu a widget could be used to display the tag cloud; since only the pre-defined tags would be allowed then the list by default would be only the wanted tags. Maybe a new nav menu would be handy with links to specific tags (eg: a "Manufacturers" menu option with links to the 'ford', 'toyota', etc. tags.


I'm writing this half-asleep so I may be missing some things but it's giving me ideas for the project I'm working on. :D
 
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