Tag localization question


@Jessie, Thanks for your continued hard work with TaskPaper. I just downloaded your new beta version 3.7.7. So far I can see no real changes in how I am using it but if I see any, I will let you know.

Your blurb about adding tag values to the sidebar brings up another question. I was just working on learning more about Curio this morning. And, the question of tags came up. Curio uses tags internally to good effect. But then, so does TaskPaper, and BusyCal.

I also use tags to track things system wide. I use HoudahSpot to use saved searches with tags for projects, things recently scanned in but not named properly, etc.

My question to you then is, why are tags used local to an application such as TaskPaper and why is that that so few developers allow their apps tags to be seen in the system macOS?

There must be a reason for this as it would make so much better sense to have all your tags, in files and in an app, to coordinate so that a good system level organization app such as HoudahSpot, Leap, etc. could be used as a console of sorts to manage all ones projects.

As it is, I am delighted to have TaskPaper and it’s use of tags of course. No complaints there. I was just curious why this seems to be not generally done. Can you say a little about why not?

Thanks again for an ongoing great product and development cycle.


I never thought of having the tags included into the files, but now that you mention it, it sounds like it could be very useful.

The problem is the philosophy behind certain markup languages. Specially Markdown and TaskPaper. Part of the beauty of it is the fact that one can open and understand the files without the need of any special programs or formats. That limits certain things that can be added into the files themselves. As markdown has matured and evolved, some people have gone around some of the limitations of the philosophy behind by creating bundles and other sort of standards while keeping the nature of Markdown the same. Using bundles, one can go around some of the limitations of a markdown document by including the images, styles, etc, that your markdown document uses. The standard behind the Markup bundle is called “Textbundle.”

Now, tagging files used to be less standard. Back in the day, the files you tagged in certain computers had problems transferring to others. Maybe it was something to do with the filesystem, I honestly don’t remember nor am I very knowledgeable in the inner working of tagging files. It maybe that those problems have been solved now. The fact remains that the tagging of files happens at a different level than what is easily determined. But adding those TaskPaper tags and information and moving that into the “additional information” of the file may not be the best option with TaskPaper now.

As things mature and certain features are not possible with the limitations of the files themselves, some additional information has to be included in other places. I believe that what is taking place with the “Textbundle” and is where a lot of open markup standards will end up in the future while offering backward compatibility. I just don’t know if TaskPaper has ran into as many issues and limitations as markdown has; and if adding those features in TaskPaper will merit changing things into something like the “Textbundle” that is now becoming a standard in Markdown.


If I understand correctly…

You are asking about Finder tags compared to TaskPaper tags. I think generally the two ideas aren’t very compatible because finder level tags are meant to work at the level of individual files, while TaskPaper tags are meant to work at the level if individual lines within a TaskPaper file.

I don’t think that translating from Finder tags to TaskPaper tags would make much sense… for example what does it mean within a TaskPaper file if the finder has tagged the file with “Office”. I don’t think it means that @office should be applied to each line in the TaskPaper file.

Similarly, I’m not sure if there are many cases where it makes sense to transfer back the other way, from TaskPaper files into Finder file tags. I guess the only clean mapping that I can think of is… find all tags that are used in the document, and also apply them as Finder level tags when you save the document. But I’m not sure if that would really have much meaning… TaskPaper tags are meant to mark individual parts of the file, now the entire file.


You have. I can see it being more Finder-centric than changing anything done in TaskPaper per se. With BusyCal it is a little different. When I begin using tags in BusyContacts or in events it would be nice if a HoudahSpot search for “any tags containing …” could find those tags too. BusyMac doesn’t like the idea as they feel it messes with how the keep their files on a server.

I will keep playing with the idea. In BusyCal I cannot search events with tags in HoudahSpot so I am shut out there. But in TaskPaper, perhaps if I had HoudahSpot search for any document with text of “@TaskPaperTag (whatever)”, AND any tags that are related to the idea on my mac?

Hmmm …


I think at one point in a former system I had Hazel set up to automatically tag TP files (with Finder tags) based on the TP tags in the file content.

https://github.com/jdberry/tag did all the tagging. If you can write a few lines in a bash script it’s pretty easy to set up.

(Sorry not at my Mac to try to give full details)


That’s interesting. Let me see if I understand you. You are saying that I can set up a Hazel script to search through a TaskPaper document, look for all instances of a grep set that starts with an “@” character and ends with a space, then copy those items and paste them in the Finder info window in the tags section?

Sounds like that could be useful. Thanks.


Yes but you don’t need to use Finder. The tag package above lets you do it from the command line. Also Hazel supports adding tags natively without scripting, but I’m not sure you can pass it the list of tags as a variable.