Taking the DataTags out of DataTags

For a while we thought this was going to happen, but we were able to put it of. About two weeks ago we had to do it: we deleted DataTags out of the DataTags project. That's actually very good news, and quite surprising as well.

Some explanation is due. "DataTags" may refer to the possible set of tags a dataset may have, to the tagging interview process, to the tagging or interview languages, and to numerous other things in the DataTags system, as well as to the whole system. What we did was removing a java class called "DataTags" from the data tags interview engine. Sounds mundane, right?

That's actually big news for the project. That java class was holding the tags a dataset gets from an interview. The idea behind creating this class was that from the system's point of view there was something special about the tags being applied to a dataset. We were happy to find that there isn't anything special there - these tags are the same as any other value in the system. In other words, the DataTags engine is a general-purpose engine for conducting closed-ended interviews. It can be used for conducting and coding surveys from any discipline, as long as there are no open-ended questions.

Currently, creating a system for general purpose interviews is not on the roadmap, but since we're open source, that should not stop you from writing one. Basically, writing such an engine would amount to wrapping the interview engine with a user interface.

See also: DataTags