// Internet Duct Tape

Problems with searching del.icio.us

Posted in Delicious, Technology by engtech on May 31, 2006

I’ve starting using del.icio.us to keep track of sites/articles that I might be interested in posting to this blog. Especially if I come across them while at work where I don’t have the time to do a post. I’d heard about del.icio.us quite some time back, but this us my first experience using it. I clearly see the advantage of being able to easily share bookmarks between work and home computer. Often I will come across something that looks interesting while at work, but not want to waste the time fully reading it (and as previously mentioned blogging is considered to be a career killer).

Theoretically I could use del.icio.us for a lot of what I’m doing with this blog, but although you can add notes and tags to webpages on del.icio.us, I much prefer writing a summary and posting a link. I think having a summary/synopsis adds more value than a list of dubious bookmarks.

In order to sift through my tags on del.icio.us I can change the URLs in the address bar (see more examples at http://del.icio.us/help/navigation)

That’s great for doing intersection searches of my bookmarks, but what about when I’m trying to exclude a tag? Let’s say I want to find something tagged “emacs” and “wiki” but not “posted” (as you can guess, I’m looking for a way to organize my list of del.icio.us bookmarks to exclude the ones I’ve posted to this blog).

del.icio.us does have another mechanism to search tags, as described here: http://blog.del.icio.us/blog/2005/11/find_the_url_of.html (further discussion at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ydn-delicious/message/216).

I’m going to have to use the del.icio.us search engine instead of URLs so that I can use their additional boolean search syntax.

That works nicely, except it doesn’t catch anything on my page! There doesn’t seem to be a specific way to tell the del.icio.us search engine to target a specific user (although natively it splits the results between your bookmarks and everyone else’s). There also seems to be a lag between when links are added and when they get indexed by the del.icio.us search.

So it looks like instead of having a tag called “posted” on bookmarks that I’ve posted on this blog, it’s easier to work with a tag called “notposted” and apply that to everything by default, then remove the tag from bookmarks that I have posted.

Unfortunately, del.icio.us seems to also be missing a “default tags” feature. So far I’m unimpressed.

Update: I found some 3rd party workarounds.

  • Lazy Sheep bookmarklet
    • This is a bookmarklet generator that will allow you to create a “post to del.icio.us” bookmarklet with a variety of options including setting default tags.
  • fil.tero.us
    • This is a 3rd party search tool that allows you to filter your tags based on AND/OR/NOT/XOR as well as keywords in the URL, description or notes. Exactly what I’m looking for, and I’m still surprised that del.icio.us doesn’t have this functionality built in.

One Response

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  1. nathan said, on July 21, 2006 at 10:38 pm

    I was shocked by the same omission. Simpy does it but serves it up as a feed so you have to parse it.


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