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Old 20 Apr 2005, 20:07
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Categorizing threads and forums

Allow users to categorize threads and forums, then allow the forums/thread-display to be restricted to the categories. Also, there can be predefined associations with certain categories, and as such, manual additions.

For instance, a forum discussing plants and animals, if a person posts a thread about cross-breeding a German-shepherd with a golden-retriever, they would categorize the thread: GERMANSHEPHERD,GOLDENRETRIEVER,BREEDING,HYBRID,EVOLUTION

As such, GERMANSHEPHERD has builtin (predefined) associations. Here would be some associates: DOG,PET
So, likewise, DOG is associated with: MAMMAL,VERTIBRATE (AND THEN EVERY OTHER DOG ASSOCIATED SPECIES LIKE WEINER-DOGS AND GREYHOUNDS, ETC.)...or, something along these lines.

It's sort of like a search-engine, but spilt. So, forums can be categorized, and then categorized to the sub-forums and threads they will display. A forum categorized as "MAMMAL" will show up as a subforum under a forum that accepts subforums whose category includes "MAMMAL". So, a forum denoting "MAMMAL" might be a portal to subforums/links to "DOG","CAT","WHALE","HOMOSAPIEN", etc.

Such forums can deny threads, as they may only wish to be portals. It should then be possible to use the search tool to search by such categories. Essentially, threads and material are no longer owned by forums--they're free floating based on their category custom fields.

Suppose someone enters into the DOG forum, and then within the dog forum there are areas for discussing "BREEDING","TAMING","DIET","EXERCISE","CARE", etc. The care forum should, although there are "DIET" and "EXERCISE" forums, include threads based on "DIET" and "EXERCISE" anyway...perhaps "DIET" and "EXERCISE" can be predefined associations to "CARE"...whatever.

If a user posts a thread in the dogs' "CARE" forum, it should automatically fill in some of the fields. "MAMMAL,DOG,CARE" etc. That way the user can modify and add onto it and it already set up the category of their thread.

See, "DOG" should always be associated with "VERTIBRATE", because all dogs are vertibrates. However, for whatever crazy reason a user wishes to modify an association, they should be permited to do so. They could do something like, "DOG:VERTIBRATE". In that case, the colon is used to "destroy" dog from associating itself with vertibrates.

But, you might think...then what about vertibrates? If dog is associated with vertibrates and someone posts something categorized by "VERTIBRATE", but it's not associated with "DOG", then what will happen? Well, if "DOG" is associated with "VERTIBRATE", but "VERTIBRATE" is not predefined to be associated with "DOG", then that gives users flexibility. Posting a thread on a vertibrate will not be associated to "DOG" unless the user specifies "DOG", because "DOG" is associated with "VERTIBRATE", and not the other way around.

Suppose "DOG" is associated with "VERTIBRATE" and "MAMMAL". If a user wants to post something categorized as "DOG" but lacking "VERTIBRATE" and "MAMMAL" both, they would, instead of putting a comma, add another colon: DOG:VERTIBRATE:MAMMAL

The system would read "DOG" and then exclude "VERTIBRATE" and the "MAMMAL" association. Whenver a user adds a comma to the categorizing, it denotes a new category. So, with a following of several colons without any commas in it means that it is still the same option, and allows the user to modify systematic things (predefinitions and associations).

If a user wants to make associations their self, they can use a * (an asterik) or a dash or something. So, if a user wants to post a thread about German-shepherds and golden-retrievers, but doesn't want it to become separated, they could put this in the category field: GERMANSHEPHERD*GOLDENRETRIEVER

In that case, a forum displaying German-shepherds would not display this thread unless that forum also displayed golden-retrievers.

So, the thread is actually narrowed, rather than spread, when using an asterik (whereas if the asterik were a comma, the thread would show up in more forums because it has a wider range of categories). This would be for specification, and although it wouldn't make much sense to do this with the example I gave, such an option should be available because I'm sure it has its use.

If the user wants the thread to be displayed in a forum showing German-shepherds and golden-retrievers, in a forum showing German-shepherds, but not in a forum denoting golden-retrievers without German-shepherds, the user could categorize their thread as, "GERMANSHEPHERD*GOLDENRETRIEVER,GERMANSHEPHERD", and such a capability would be possible.
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