When to use aliases (versus comments)

Hey folks,

I continue to remain confused over when and alias is useful for me and when the same word in the comments field is better.

  • One can search comments, but not aliases.
  • Despite entering multiple aliases, Im under the impression that its the first alias entered that is picked up with wiki-links. May be this is because I sometimes use the same alias on multiple documents (tell me Im wrong).

This confusion has me entering the same ‘tags’ in aliases AND comments. Will this create a problem?

You’re right, DT is using the first matching alias and therefore aliases should be unique (and not used for tagging).

I use multiple aliases for wiki links and it works fine as long as the aliases are unique. For tagging/metadata, I’d use the comments field.

OK that makes sense, thanks to both of you.

Two more things:

When I first started using DT I was putting whole paragraphs of text into the comments field (summaries and such), I suspect that is counter-productive and reduces the effectives of focused ‘tags’… would that be correct? Should I really be just putting in key-words.

Is it possible to create smartgroups based on aliases? I notice there is a script for creating smartgroups based on comments. Im implementing a tip from these forums where I can gather similar documents together based on ‘tags’ using smartgroups, but because I have already entered multiple aliases on many docs already (but haven’t duplicated those in the comments) it seems many of those dont get picked up. It would be nice to pick those older docs up as well in the smartgroup.

Andrew, aliases are used as an alternate to a document name for Wiki linking. They are not really tags except for Wiki purposes.

I rarely enter keywords as for most purposes I find what I’m looking for using searches of text contents, or have classified material in my organizational scheme so that I know where to look for some kinds of items, or have used smart groups to find other specific material that’s pulled together by a search query ‘smart group’ script. I’ve got over 21,000 documents in my main database. I’ll often dump in hundreds of items resulting from a DEVONagent search and don’t bother with tagging individual documents except by group location.

I do sometimes use a temporary form of tagging, such as assigning a State to the sections of a writing project so that I can quickly identify unfinished sections. Or use a label tag to mark some items related to a project in progress. I make it a habit to clear State and Label tags after I’ve finished a project, so that they are unambiguously available for similar use in the next project.

Thanks. I think Im underestimating the search power in DT even without comments based ‘tags’. Its me imposing another level of structure.