The long-term objective of the project is the development of a new kind of organization structure that combines the advantages of classical hierarchical folder structures and tagging systems while mitigating their respective shortcomings. Particularly it aims to
The focus is neither on personal information management nor on collaborative information organization. Instead, the goal is to develop an organization structure that is as broadly applicable as folder hierarchies or tags.
Recently, several extensions to the commercial enterprise collaboration platform Tricia were made that resulted from this project:
With the growing amount and the dynamics of digital information that has to be managed nowadays, the limits of classical systems for information organization, like hierarchical folder structures, become apparent. Fast changes regarding the subjects of stored information items and unanticipated information needs require organization systems that can dynamically be adapted to new kinds of content -- with respect to the information subjects -- and classification schemes respectively.
In the past years, tags (i.e., freely-chosen text labels assigned to information items by users) appeared on the web as a means to flexibly classify arbitrary information items. While there are some success stories, tags are currently only used to a limited extent since with the flexibility come new challenges: It is hard to maintain consistency regarding the usage of terms in an information base since the meaning of a tag is usually not defined. Synonyms and homonyms are thus inherently problematic. Together with the fact that relations between tags are not explicitly defined (e.g., category-subcategory relations) it is hard to browse the contents of tagging systems.
From our point of view, it is particularly desirable that new organization systems still offer modes of browsing and navigation that are familiar to the user. In addition to full-text search, the contents should be made accessible based on the user defined categories in ways that exploit the implicit relations between categories and go far beyond what we know from so-called tag clouds.