Habari and Structure
Follow the conversation on Habari Dev's Google Groups.
Here's the reason I feel that Habari should be using categories in addition to tags:
Categories, as archaic as some may think they are, are useful in giving sites a basic structure to build on, to navigate by, and to design around. And, I believe most importantly, gives users the ability to extend Habari better than with tags alone.
I've always believed that a content management system should be able to 'go beyond' it's basic premise. Textpattern is more than a blogging platform. And Habari can be, too.
But does this jive with the Habari mission statement? The first part reads:
Habari represents a fresh start to the idea of blogging. The system is fast, easy to use, and easy to modify. New users should have no problem using and enjoying Habari. Advanced users should have no problem tweaking Habari to do exactly what they need it to do.
So it's a blogging platform with the promise to do exactly what they want. Going on...
User-created plugins make Habari do nearly anything imaginable, and a robust theme system permits the use of several popular templating solutions.
But in order to do anything I want, Habari needs structure. And tags aren't structure. Well, they're a basic categorization system. But tags are very limited.
Let's say I'm going to be writing a series of articles in my blog. Since it's a specific series, I want the posts to look different. Now I can probably do that with tags, using conditionals. (If tag="series" body-backgroundink" type stuff in the template or css.) But what about a landing page? Or maybe I want a list of all the articles in the series in the sidebar of all posts in the series? Do I make a tag-series.php.tpl in my theme folder? (I'll admit, I may be able to use a 'page' for the landing page.) And what happens if I have more than one tag that has conditionals?
With categories, I can assign the post to the 'series' category and then modify cateogries and single temples. Not perfect, but better. (Chris Davis is working on a WordPress MU series, and I wonder if having some sort of structure would help out there. Because it is a beautiful site, but will it be hard to tell what's part of the series?)
Going beyond blogs, could you do an online magazine/newspaper with just tags? No. You need to differentiate sections. Technology from Food and Wine, April from May, etc. You need structure.
Maybe the answer isn't just categories. Maybe it's the ability to assign different content types to posts. I don't know the answer, but something needs to be put in place to go beyond basic blogging.
I like Habari, and I want to see it succeed. I don't want it to sit stale like a lot of other blogging systems out there. Perhaps this is where 'forward thinking' comes into play.
Have the ability to be more than just a blogging platform.
That's all I ask.