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Because it hasn't been mentioned since the new Product Feedback instructions, I'd like to bring up tag synonyms, as per Stack Overflow, it would be invaluable to define tag synonyms for words with a similar meaning, or plural/singular variations. It doesn't need to be an automated thesaurus, just a manual means of linking tags.

 

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I badly need this.

When you're working with different names/codes all relating to the same subject it can get really annoying to keep typing tags like "Ibutamoren/MK677/159752-10-0" and so on.

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On 1/25/2018 at 7:44 PM, DTLow said:

I didn't understand the original request, or your example.  When I filter for "x", I only want to see "x" and nothing else

Windows has a "child tag search" feature that might work for you

They're not child tags they're synonyms. In my example the first one is the brand name, then the chemical name and lastly the CAS number - all of which describe the same substance. It would be very helpful if I could set all these different names as one tag, both for my own overview and for the web clipper. Putting all these names as one string divided by slashes is just the workaround that I am currently forced to use. Basically, we would like to have aliases.

 

On 1/26/2018 at 2:42 AM, gazumped said:

I tend to keep tags as text entries in an 'index' note,  and run them together as comma-separated strings when I know I'll need specific sets of tags for a specific project.  I just copy and paste the string into a tag field and watch several individual tags spawn from that.  This forinstance -

<tag1>,<tag2>,<tag3>,<tag4>,<tag5>,

- will produce 5 separate tags when pasted into a note tag field.

It's a solution but it's not very practical and will grow the tag cloud. Also it seems that the tags you're pasting aren't all describing the same thing (synonyms) which is what the OP and I need.

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1 hour ago, jefito said:

Oh? Are you sure about that? You know what I do for work?

I told you in my industry it would make life a lot easier and if you had my job you'd agree. That's also backed up by none of the (clever but useless) workarounds that have been suggested being an alternative. I'm glad you don't need this feature to be happy with evernote, but I do.

 

1 hour ago, jefito said:

Hey, great development strategy: "hide it from the noobz!". If you hide it, then how do the "superduperpowerusers" get to learn about it? Do they need to take a test? If you make it obscure/hidden, then you're probably going to make it hard for the to get at conveniently for those who require it. 

Ok so you don't like it when it's in plain sight and you also don't like it when it's obscured? Where's the logic in that? Again there are plenty of programs that have "advanced" options. Hell even my Synology NAS at home has it. How do people learn about it? By checking the settings and pressing the "Expert options" button. By RTFM. By Googling. Where would you put it? I have no preference I just threw this idea of putting it into the settings into the thread since I can understand how newbies could be confused by it.

 

1 hour ago, jefito said:

Cool. I'd fix Facebook is it were open source, too. So:

You'll be handling the case where a user wants to search for exactly the tag, and not its synonyms?

And it'll work with wildcards in the search language (e.g. tag:xyz*)?

And synonyms work with shared notebooks, so a group can have a shared vocabulary?

And you're gonna fix the Evernote servers, too, since not all Evernote clients have local storage?

Don't forget, you need to update the API and all of the underlying data storages across all client programs to accommodate the new stuff.

And you'll do it all without turning a standard AND search into an OR search?  (This is the downfall of the 'Automatically select child tags" search option -- or one of them -- in my opinion).

Did I miss anything?

Are you an evernote dev or why are you so against this functionality? Yes it would be easy to implement when compared to some of the beefier functions that evernote has, like in-pdf or OCR searching. I'm sure the dev team is more than capable to implement this. I can code c++ too which to my knowledge is what evernote is written in. And while I'm not a whole dev team I could absolutely implement this functionality if it was my 9 to 5 job to do it.

 

1 hour ago, jefito said:

Short of just agreeing on a canonical tag language that you share among your colleagues, I agree. It's just a matter of how large an audience this would have among the the general Evernote user population versus level-of-effort to implement that feature versus other features. I find it an interesting idea on one hand, but I'd doubt that it gains much traction compared to other widely requested features. I wish you luck anyways.

Fair enough. I see a lot of use for this in multiple industries, but probably not a lot of them would come here to speak their voices. Let's take journalists for example which could use tag aliases for different spellings of names i.e. "Muammar Gaddafi", "Moammar Kadafi" etc. Or then there's Biochemistry (my area) which is not only plagued by synonymes when it comes to chemicals but also for biological targets like "PTGDR2", "GPR44", "PGD2R", "DP2", "CRTH2" all being different names for the same receptor. Anyway, thanks for your input.

 

1 hour ago, DTLow said:

Not commenting on the ease of implementing this feature, the fact remains Evernote has to prioritize the development work.
You can influence the prioritisation by indicating your support using the voting buttons in the top left corner of the discussion
This feature request is up to 5a85c2ef6a717_ScreenShot2018-02-15at09_26_33.png.05f9565ba627a2e481d41fc862c5a45a.png  votes

Of course. Just wanted to chime in with a comment too, on top of giving my vote.

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Would Parent/ Child tags help sort that out?  If you stack the variations under one standard definition?  Then choosing the parent tag will (subject to settings) turn up all the child tags.

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To avoid confusion, I find it easy to follow my rules of tagging..

  • singular case only, never plural
  • lower case characters
  • no space
  • multi-words joined with a hyphen

 

 

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13 minutes ago, jbenson2 said:

To avoid confusion, I find it easy to follow my rules of tagging..

  • singular case only, never plural
  • lower case characters
  • no space
  • multi-words joined with a hyphen

 

 

I prefer the period to the hyphen, don't know why.  :wacko:

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21 minutes ago, gazumped said:

Would Parent/ Child tags help sort that out?  If you stack the variations under one standard definition?  Then choosing the parent tag will (subject to settings) turn up all the child tags.

Yes - and I've brought this up before (prior to the new upvote system), that works too. Essentially it boils down to the specific 'unfuzzy' nature of tags as they currently stand in EN - there needs to be a more forgiving nature regarding tag names, and relationships between those tags. 

17 minutes ago, jbenson2 said:

To avoid confusion, I find it easy to follow my rules of tagging..

  • singular case only, never plural
  • lower case characters
  • no space
  • multi-words joined with a hyphen

 

 

I've heard people's rules mentioned numerous times, and although I'm sure it works,  I personally prefer to have the software work for me, not the other way around.  

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Personally, I don't have an issue with tagname synonyms.

I rarely type a full tagname; I start typing and a dropdown list appears and I select the right tag

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 10.21.17 AM.png

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Just now, DTLow said:

I rarely type a full tagname; I start typing and a dropdown list appears and I select the right tag

I think some of my erroneous tags come from mailed in notes... which granted, won't help with synonymity, but at least can be sorted with things like plurality.

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Herein lies my problem with the 'upvote in a forum' system:

1) The majority of Evernote users don't visit the forum frequently.

2) The average engagement of those who DO occasionally visit, is minimal

3) Even when you find people, such as those who have commented in this thread, who 'don't mind' your idea, or like an idea similar to it, they still don't 'upvote' the idea.

To any E/N staff reading - search 'synonym' and you'll see this is not the first time this topic has been brought up. 

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Would you rather they didn't have voting at all? A voting result is a data point, and one of a number of places where they can get direct feedback from users about particular ideas (we've been told that every post is read, and also that they do collate internally posts/topics that ask for the same thing). Many of the folks who spend a lot of time here do encourage other users to add votable feature requests and/or vote up requests that are similar to what they are looking for. Oh, and forum users have been asking for a voting system for ages.

As for tag synonyms, I'm kinda "meh" on it, myself. Just off the top of my head:

  • I want my tag vocabulary to be as small as it can be to describe my note content. Less is better than more sometimes. But that's a personal preference.
  • How is this handled in the case of shared notebooks? If I have a synonym for a tag that exists in my notes, is it also a synonym for the same tag in a notebook that's shared to me? I can see cases for both yes and no. Is a tag that's a synonym for my notes also a synonym for someone I share notebooks with?

I'm not wholly against this, and I kinda see the use case. I do like to use tags-as-vocabulary to describe how tags work, and languages certainly have synonyms. Hence the "meh", Now where do I register my "meh" vote? :)

Edit: I do think that it's an interesting idea. I'll keep rolling around in my head; maybe I'll up-meh it.

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2 hours ago, bender83 said:

Herein lies my problem with the 'upvote in a forum' system:

 

20 minutes ago, jefito said:

 Now where do I register my "meh" vote? :)

There's always the option of a +1 post for the non-voting people.

Maybe +0 for the "meh" people :)

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9 minutes ago, jefito said:

I'm not wholly against this, and I kinda see the use case. I do like to use tags-as-vocabulary to describe how tags work, and languages certainly have synonyms. Hence the "meh", Now where do I register my "meh" vote? :)

Case in point, Jeff. You're an engaged user, and your vote is "Meh". How "Meh" do you think the non-engaged users are (positively OR negatively?). The vote system's a good start, but it still only engages a fraction of the user base, one that has mostly, for as long as I've lurked on the forums, given 'meh' responses to frequently requested features by more casual users (who tend to only show up when they feel like the product they regularly use, and increasingly fork out for isn't meeting their needs).

 

 

14 minutes ago, jefito said:

I want my tag vocabulary to be as small as it can be to describe my note content. Less is better than more sometimes. But that's a personal preference.

It certainly is: to me, more is more. I like to slap a lot of different labels on things, that's the benefits of tags over notebooks, that said, it means I end up tagging two different words with the same meanings, or plural/singular variations on two different notes. Let me search for one and get the other.

 

17 minutes ago, jefito said:

How is this handled in the case of shared notebooks? If I have a synonym for a tag that exists in my notes, is it also a synonym for the same tag in a notebook that's shared to me? I can see cases for both yes and no. Is a tag that's a synonym for my notes also a synonym for someone I share notebooks with?

Simple: Synonyms are local, they apply to all notebooks you have - if you share a notebook you have to define the associated tags - what the user does on the other end is their business. eg. Bob shares a notebook and has a note with "building" as a tag (the verb, for the purposes of this example), on his end "building" is synonymous with "construction". On your end, you see "building", but you may or may not have "construction" as a synonym - it doesn't matter- but 'building' will inherit the same synonyms that you have for "building". Not if you use 'Building' as a noun, you may get some odd matches - but it's not a hard thing to add an option for whether users inherit synonymous tags or not.  

 

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4 hours ago, gazumped said:

Would Parent/ Child tags help sort that out?  If you stack the variations under one standard definition?  Then choosing the parent tag will (subject to settings) turn up all the child tags.

I'm also not against hierarchical tags, the downside is, as opposed to synonyms, they are, well, hierarchical - for searching purposes, a system that equates two tags would be better rather than ranks them - you still want to get the children from the parent and vice-versa. That said, I LOVE the idea of hierarchical tags - so then when I tag something "Pizza", it also gets tagged as "Fast Food".

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59 minutes ago, bender83 said:

Case in point, Jeff. You're an engaged user, and your vote is "Meh". How "Meh" do you think the non-engaged users are (positively OR negatively?). The vote system's a good start, but it still only engages a fraction of the user base, one that has mostly, for as long as I've lurked on the forums, given 'meh' responses to frequently requested features by more casual users (who tend to only show up when they feel like the product they regularly use, and increasingly fork out for isn't meeting their needs).

The "meh" was because it's a feature I suspect I wouldn't use much, if at all. But I decided to upvote anyways, because it is an interesting idea, and one I'd not thought of before. 

Now why haven't *you* added your vote yet? :)

59 minutes ago, bender83 said:

Simple: Synonyms are local, they apply to all notebooks you have - if you share a notebook you have to define the associated tags - what the user does on the other end is their business. eg. Bob shares a notebook and has a note with "building" as a tag (the verb, for the purposes of this example), on his end "building" is synonymous with "construction". On your end, you see "building", but you may or may not have "construction" as a synonym - it doesn't matter- but 'building' will inherit the same synonyms that you have for "building". Not if you use 'Building' as a noun, you may get some odd matches - but it's not a hard thing to add an option for whether users inherit synonymous tags or not.  

The flip side is a collaborative group working on a project together; they will tend to have their own vocabulary around what they're working on, so shared synonyms sees like a plausible case as well.

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5 minutes ago, jefito said:

Now why haven't *you* added your vote yet? :)

Because OP can't upvote their own idea it seems!

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6 minutes ago, jefito said:

...But I decided to upvote anyways, because it is an interesting idea, and one I'd not thought of before. 

Appreciated ;)

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42 minutes ago, vetmode said:

I badly need this.

When you're working with different names/codes all relating to the same subject it can get really annoying to keep typing tags like "Ibutamoren/MK677/159752-10-0" and so on.

I didn't understand the original request, or your example.  When I filter for "x", I only want to see "x" and nothing else

Windows has a "child tag search" feature that might work for you

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I tend to keep tags as text entries in an 'index' note,  and run them together as comma-separated strings when I know I'll need specific sets of tags for a specific project.  I just copy and paste the string into a tag field and watch several individual tags spawn from that.  This forinstance -

<tag1>,<tag2>,<tag3>,<tag4>,<tag5>,

- will produce 5 separate tags when pasted into a note tag field.

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12 minutes ago, vetmode said:

Also it seems that the tags you're pasting aren't all describing the same thing (synonyms) which is what the OP and I need.

Agreed they're not synonyms in my usage,  but why couldn't you keep a note containing all your brand / chemical / CAS names as a comma separated list and just copy/ paste the relevant items into the tag field as "<brand>,<chemical>,<CAS>,"?

- The note would act as a look up index on any of those terms.  You would grow your tag cloud,  but the limit on tags is 100,000 per account,  so you have some leeway...

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5 hours ago, vetmode said:

They're not child tags they're synonyms. In my example the first one is the brand name, then the chemical name and lastly the CAS number - all of which describe the same substance.

Thank you for the details.  It's quite clear as to your requirement.

Evernote currently doesn't have a "synonym" feature, but I can see a work-around solution.

  • The synonym relationship has to be stored somewhere.  
    • Evernote has a parent-child tag feature
    • A separate list as per @gazump
  • A method of applying the synonym tags
    • Manual lookup, copy/paste as per @gazump
    • Script; I can do this in Applescript on my Mac.  It might be do-able with a keyboard scripting utility (AutoHotkey ...)
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This feature is still a reach for me, in terms of general utility.

In terms of workarounds, if you don't have a huge number of synonym clusters (e.g. "Ibutamoren/MK677/159752-10-0"), then you could possibly use saved searches. What synonyms actually express, under the hood, though, is really an OR search. In this case, you're saying a search for notes with tag "MK677" should return all notes that have any of the tags "MK677", Ibutaamoren" or "159752" (we'll ignore the fact that a tag with dash characters in it like "159752-10-0" can be problematic in Evernote). That search would be expressed in Evernote as: any: tag:Ibutamoren tag:MK677 tag:"159752-10-0".  So do that search, and save it as, say MK677. Note that you could dispense with the 'tag:' portion, and your search would include notes that have any of those literal values in their titles or content.

Of course, if you have a lot of synonym clusters, then this becomes very awkward in short order. Also, you can't really combine these saved-search synonyms in a simple way, partly because you can only invoke one saved.search at a time, and partly because Evernote's search language is weak in the area of Boolean expressions.

I have a lot of doubts as to whether many people would find a synonym feature of much use; my guess is that it would cause more confusion about tag and tagging practices. I can see synonyms being useful for general content search, but for a tag collection that your organization controls, I'd just come up with one tag name for each synonym cluster (I'd use the shortest convenient name, like "MK677"), and use that exclusively. Put the tag names in a list that's shared by all users so that everyone knows what your tag vocabulary is and what it means. 

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On 1/29/2018 at 3:58 AM, vetmode said:

They're not child tags they're synonyms. In my example the first one is the brand name, then the chemical name and lastly the CAS number - all of which describe the same substance. It would be very helpful if I could set all these different names as one tag, both for my own overview and for the web clipper. Putting all these names as one string divided by slashes is just the workaround that I am currently forced to use. Basically, we would like to have aliases.

Not clear why adding a tag per each of the components isn't a way to solve the issue, without synonyms though.  Enter any of the three components in a search and the same set of notes would be returned.  If it's an entry issue which tag would be the "prime" synonym?

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On 29.1.2018 at 12:16 PM, gazumped said:

Agreed they're not synonyms in my usage,  but why couldn't you keep a note containing all your brand / chemical / CAS names as a comma separated list and just copy/ paste the relevant items into the tag field as "<brand>,<chemical>,<CAS>,"?

Because it's extra, repetitive work that is added to my workflow and it would create unneeded extra tags. If I read a study and use webclipper I'll have to first open evernote, locate the tag list that you suggest then paste it into webclipper.

 

On 29.1.2018 at 6:33 PM, jefito said:

This feature is still a reach for me, in terms of general utility.

Because you haven't worked in a field where synonymes are a daily occurence.

 

On 29.1.2018 at 6:33 PM, jefito said:

In terms of workarounds, if you don't have a huge number of synonym clusters (e.g. "Ibutamoren/MK677/159752-10-0"), then you could possibly use saved searches. What synonyms actually express, under the hood, though, is really an OR search. In this case, you're saying a search for notes with tag "MK677" should return all notes that have any of the tags "MK677", Ibutaamoren" or "159752" (we'll ignore the fact that a tag with dash characters in it like "159752-10-0" can be problematic in Evernote). That search would be expressed in Evernote as: any: tag:Ibutamoren tag:MK677 tag:"159752-10-0".  So do that search, and save it as, say MK677. Note that you could dispense with the 'tag:' portion, and your search would include notes that have any of those literal values in their titles or content.

Of course, if you have a lot of synonym clusters, then this becomes very awkward in short order. Also, you can't really combine these saved-search synonyms in a simple way, partly because you can only invoke one saved.search at a time, and partly because Evernote's search language is weak in the area of Boolean expressions.

That's an interesting idea but as you already put it, it becomes messy over time.

 

On 29.1.2018 at 6:33 PM, jefito said:

I have a lot of doubts as to whether many people would find a synonym feature of much use; my guess is that it would cause more confusion about tag and tagging practices.

It's not confusing unless it's shoved into newbie's faces. Putting/enabling it somewhere not easily accessible such as the settings would prevent new users from getting confused. That's why many other programs hide their more complicated features and settings in an "advanced" or poweruser expandable tab. Programming wise, an alias for tags would be extremely simple to implement. I'd do it myself if evernote was open source.

 

On 29.1.2018 at 6:33 PM, jefito said:

I can see synonyms being useful for general content search, but for a tag collection that your organization controls, I'd just come up with one tag name for each synonym cluster (I'd use the shortest convenient name, like "MK677"), and use that exclusively. Put the tag names in a list that's shared by all users so that everyone knows what your tag vocabulary is and what it means. 

That is one solution but not always easy to manage. For one it won't allow webclipper to auto tag because even if we use a standard tag, the rest of the internet won't. Right now the "Ibutamoren/MK677/159752-10-0" tag works in the evernote windows client, because the tag search is greedy. Meaning if you search for MK677 the entire tag will be returned. However the webclipper search is not greedy. To get the tag I stated above you WILL have to start the tag search with "Ibutamoren...", searching for any of the other parts of the tag will not bring it up. And auto tagging also doesn't work with a tag like this.

 

On 29.1.2018 at 6:53 PM, CalS said:

Not clear why adding a tag per each of the components isn't a way to solve the issue, without synonyms though.  Enter any of the three components in a search and the same set of records would be returned.  If it's an entry issue which tag would be the "prime" synonym?

Answered in the replies to the quotes above. As per the "prime" synonyme, it doesn't really matter to me that much. The way I would envision this is that in the tag-view in the evernote client you maybe could create a tag, then right click that tag, have a functionality "synonymes" where you can create tag synonymes. Of course these synonymes could then not be used as "real" tag names.

 

I appreciate all of your inputs, but there's simply no other way than a tag alias functionality to solve this problem efficiently and in a neat, clean way. (the way evernote should be used)

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1 hour ago, vetmode said:

It's not confusing unless it's shoved into newbie's faces. Putting/enabling it somewhere not easily accessible such as the settings would prevent new users from getting confused. That's why many other programs hide their more complicated features and settings in an "advanced" or poweruser expandable tab. Programming wise, an alias for tags would be extremely simple to implement. I'd do it myself if evernote was open source.


Exactly this.. seems to be this tendency in software development since the mid 00s to emulate Apple in every way, and by that I mean 'KISS' -making things accessible to the masses. Most startups bank on this because it's the only way to pull the revenue they need to stay afloat - problem is we end up with a bunch of programs forever catering to the lowest common denominator. I miss 'smart' software. What you've said I can't agree with more, hide it in an advanced section - enable 'advanced' mode and add all the (VERY EASILY IMPLEMENTED (programatically speaking)) features for those who want/need it. 

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2 hours ago, vetmode said:

Because you haven't worked in a field where synonymes are a daily occurence.

Oh? Are you sure about that? You know what I do for work?

2 hours ago, vetmode said:

It's not confusing unless it's shoved into newbie's faces. Putting/enabling it somewhere not easily accessible such as the settings would prevent new users from getting confused. That's why many other programs hide their more complicated features and settings in an "advanced" or poweruser expandable tab

Hey, great development strategy: "hide it from the noobz!". If you hide it, then how do the "superduperpowerusers" get to learn about it? Do they need to take a test? If you make it obscure/hidden, then you're probably going to make it hard for the to get at conveniently for those who require it. 

2 hours ago, vetmode said:

Programming wise, an alias for tags would be extremely simple to implement. I'd do it myself if evernote was open source.

Cool. I'd fix Facebook is it were open source, too. So:

You'll be handling the case where a user wants to search for exactly the tag, and not its synonyms?

And it'll work with wildcards in the search language (e.g. tag:xyz*)?

And synonyms work with shared notebooks, so a group can have a shared vocabulary?

And you're gonna fix the Evernote servers, too, since not all Evernote clients have local storage?

Don't forget, you need to update the API and all of the underlying data storages across all client programs to accommodate the new stuff.

And you'll do it all without turning a standard AND search into an OR search?  (This is the downfall of the 'Automatically select child tags" search option -- or one of them -- in my opinion).

Did I miss anything?

2 hours ago, vetmode said:

I appreciate all of your inputs, but there's simply no other way than a tag alias functionality to solve this problem efficiently and in a neat, clean way. (the way evernote should be used)

Short of just agreeing on a canonical tag language that you share among your colleagues, I agree. It's just a matter of how large an audience this would have among the the general Evernote user population versus level-of-effort to implement that feature versus other features. I find it an interesting idea on one hand, but I'd doubt that it gains much traction compared to other widely requested features. I wish you luck anyways.

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1 hour ago, vetmode said:

Programming wise, an alias for tags would be extremely simple to implement. I'd do it myself if evernote was open source.

 

5 minutes ago, bender83 said:

(VERY EASILY IMPLEMENTED (programatically speaking)) features for those who want/need it. 

Not commenting on the ease of implementing this feature, the fact remains Evernote has to prioritize the development work.
You can influence the prioritisation by indicating your support using the voting buttons in the top left corner of the discussion
This feature request is up to 5a85c2ef6a717_ScreenShot2018-02-15at09_26_33.png.05f9565ba627a2e481d41fc862c5a45a.png  votes

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7 hours ago, vetmode said:

Are you an evernote dev or why are you so against this functionality? Yes it would be easy to implement when compared to some of the beefier functions that evernote has, like in-pdf or OCR searching. I'm sure the dev team is more than capable to implement this. I can code c++ too which to my knowledge is what evernote is written in. And while I'm not a whole dev team I could absolutely implement this functionality if it was my 9 to 5 job to do it.

The Windows application is (mainly) written in C++, as far as I know. The clients for other devices (Android, Mac, iOS, and the web) are not. The server software, I don't know. Modifying the Windows application, were it open source, could certainly be done. In fact, there's a feature quite similar that exists already, where selecting a tag causes its subtags to also be included in the search, though it turns the search from its default of an AND search to an OR search. You'd could do something like that to implement synonyms, but it would be strictly local to your local machine. Oh, and you can spelunk the local Windows SQlite database (.exb file) too, if you want.

To make global changes to Evernote's architecture, which is cloud-based, you'd need to do quite a bit more, and use more than C++ technologies. This would be the proper approach. The APIs and general architecture are all documented starting here: https://dev.evernote.com/doc/. There's more stuff in the Evernote Tech blogs here: https://blog.evernote.com/tech/

Ultimately, it's not a question of whether Evernote could do it; it's a question of whether it makes good business sense for them to do so, the same as any other feature request or other technical issue or bug. I don't have any say in that, as I am not an Evernote employee. It's a fact that I wouldn't have much use for this, and my opinion that it wouldn't rate very high on Evernote's list because it probably wouldn't have a lot of use for most users, but that carries no stigma on the idea itself. Heck, I've suggested any number of changes myself, knowing that they probably wouldn't have a huge audience, but I don't hold it against Evernote for not implementing my bright ideas...

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