Inconsistent item counts in "tag" groups

I just discovered what seems to me like bug.

It appears that the item counts for tag groups (those sporting the yellow icon) do not factor in any tagged folders. You can verify this as follows:

  • Create a simple group.
  • Add, say, 5 PDF documents to the group.
  • Tag the group itself (not each document individually) with a new tag name (e.g. “test”). This now adds up to 6 tagged items overall (the group itself plus the five PDFs it contains).
  • Note that the yellow “tag group” for “test” will indicate only 5 (assuming that counters are enabled in the DT preferences).
  • For comparison, create a smart group to display all items tagged as “test”. The counter for the smart group will indicate 6.

Not a catastrophic issue but a small and potentially confusing wrinkle. (I for a moment feared that my data is corrupted.)

I don’t think it’s a bug. IIRC, when tagging was introduced there were discussions back and forth about this question of including groups in the count badge for tags. When we “tag” a “normal” group we are making the child documents of the group inherit that tag – as long as the document remains a child of the tagged group. Because of inheritance, I think the logic was “when I look at a tag I want the badge to tell me how many documents are tagged”. Groups are not documents – they are containers. It’s a valid design choice.

BTW, with the same logic, the badge for “normal” groups also does not include groups. In the example shown in the image, each group contains one document.

I could see the possibility of a option to include groups in tag badge counts, but I don’t recall it being a frequent request. Personally, I wouldn’t see any information content in knowing how many child groups a parent has – either for normal or tag groups.

@korm, thanks for the good example. Fair enough. But in that case, why do SMART groups (with a tag-related search criterion) actually include groups in their badge?

Because Smart Groups are searches – finding things is a different data structure than listing things – and you can configure a Smart Group to exclude groups with the predicate “Kind is not Group”.

Well, this is becoming an ontological discussion, but I would argue that things are things :astonished: and that, given a criterion for selecting a subset of things, the number of these things should not depend on whether one “lists” them or “finds” them. But I rest my case. Thank you for clarifying how badges in DT work.