Files extended metadata

We are thinking about development/funding of extended files metadata feature.

In brief, app should have at least following features:

  1. create custom metadata fields
  2. provide a way to edit/search/sort by metadata info

Extra:

  1. create various metadata profiles
  2. assign metadata profiles to folders

Maybe it could use JSON data type introduced in mysql 5.7 or similar approach.

Any thougts? Is it possible? Do anyone else finds it as a useful feature?

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I’d find it a useful feature, but I think I remember someone working on extended metadata already. From memory they were looking more at reading / writing fields in images, so not what you’re proposing. I would recommend talking with them though, so what you’re doing works together rather than conflicting with each other.

ref:

This is also a very useful feature, but what I’m suggesting is a possibility to add user defined extra fields ie. title, authors, institution, status or whatever is needed for a certain purpose - grouped in a metadata profile…

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I think @Bugsbane meant that all meta data could be managed the same way, if it is retrieved from actual media-metadata or added by the user.

@oparoz

Exactly, or at least it could use the same underlying systems, rather than 2 people writing 2 incompatible ones.

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Ok, I got the point :slight_smile:

I see that there is already a lot of activity at “mediadata” app github repository but I will write down my thoughts anyway :slight_smile:

So, we could have an underlying metadata handling system with following features:

  • system default metadata fields (creator, title, date created/modified …)
  • user defined metadata fields (color of the car, something stupid, something smart … )
  • system default metadata profiles (eg. text documents, photos …)
  • user defined metadata profiles (eg. scientific article)
  • metadata extraction and mapping

Maybe mapping is not necessary but if we want to have consistent search then search by “Creator” should find photos, documents and articles of that person. … In this example It means that we need a common “Author/Creator” field which could populate either from user input or could be extracted from photo IPTC or from MS Word document properties.

It’s the same with “Date created”, “Keywords”, “Summary/Description” etc etc.

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I had a similar idea earlier this year:

and this can be achieved today by registering plugins with the commenting system. Read the comments, it’s not straight forward to build a universal model.

The GSoC project app is headless and is focused on extracting the information from headers, but the way we send the information back to clients is sort of universal. Plugins for comments could be written to enhance the files app by letting users add new fields, but don’t forget that NC 10 has a workflow engine with automatic tagging which could be seen as some sort of metadata already.

I think what would help are some use cases and some functional requirements if you can.

Hi, does anybody know whether there was any progress regarding editing and searching of file meta data?

We’d like to be able to tag files (with another tag system than the collaborative tags) and search for these tags - and the search should allow the user to “OR” combine multiple search expressions, like article numbers, which are not contained in the file name but in the meta tag, and get a complete list of results with all articles that match one of the article numbers / search expressions.

So any solution for this would be appreciated. Thanks in advance,
~YH

I do not have really clear what you are proposing.

I see the following possibilities:

  • you are asking for Files extended metadata and the possibility to search them with an advanced query system
  • you are asking for the possibility to search system tags with an advanced query system
  • you are asking for both of the above

Maybe a clarification would help…

About Files extended metadata, consider the information here:

Generally I am asking for both of the above, although extended metadata would be more like a workaround for the lacking possibility to search system tags with an advanced query system.

Generally the system tag system would be preferred. but I couldn’t find any solution that’s already existing. Is there maybe something I haven’t found yet you could point out to me?

Thank you for you reply!
Best regards,
~YH

although extended metadata would be more like a workaround for the lacking possibility to search system tags with an advanced query system

I do not agree: extended metadata would be really useful e.g. for EXIF data or for bibliographic data.

I think that a tag system (even an advanced one) would be really unfit to manage that kind of information.

In any case I proposed an improved search for tags here:

It was something I was thinking from some time and your note gave me the momentum to write it down. In case you are interested, just comment or upvote.

For the extended metadata, I imagine that it is really more complex.

Hope that helps!

@alenkovich Did you ever progress this extended meta data app? I am also looking to do something similar and curious to see how you got on if you progressed this.
Thanks mate

Hi,

Did someone every done this? It’s still extremly useful (especialy for pictures) to be able to search for exif meta-data. it’s somehow a bit of a shame that a simple exif search is not available in Nextcloud (gallery).

I believe welldone metadata is tough…

You’d love exif metadata, I’d need bibliographic metadata (which is a world of its own…), she requires metadata for music, …

I do understand the utility of metadata, yet I think it is not easy at all to tackle…

I think it’s a great idea and definitely a useful feature for many use cases. I would actually consider this a killer feature.

Would be great if some standards would be taken into consideration as well in such implementation, i.e. Dublin core.

I think some good conceptual ideas could be derived from the approaches that ECM tools such as Alfresco are taking when handling metadata by applying document types / content models and aspects.

Custom metadata is also a good way to store workflow related information.

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I would propose the following conceptual ideas:

  • The user should be able to define “document types” or “aspects”, such as invoice, purchase order, CV, etc.
  • For such document types, a set of custom meta data fields can be defined.
  • Each meta data field can be of a specific type, i.e. string, date, timestamp, integer, decimal, etc.
  • Advanced: meta data fields can be singular or plural
  • The custom meta data fields should appear in the UI (document detail view) and should be editable with appropriate UI widgets (where the user has permissions)
  • document types can be added and dropped for a document
  • multiple document types can be applied to a document
  • if a document type is removed from a document, then the meta data fields should be removed from the document as well
  • technically: each document type (internally) uses a specific prefix, similar to a namespace, for its meta data fields, so that there are no conflicts. A meta data field has a unique name (for example: invoice:customer_no, cv:candidate_no) and a (localizable) label.
  • meta data fields should be accessible via REST API as well
  • meta data fields / document types can be assigned to files as well as folders

Use cases:

  1. Accounting: for invoice document, you would be able to store invoice date, amount, customer id, etc. Maybe even automatically extracted via OCR. (For a similar usecase, see fileee.com application)
  2. Headhunting firms: for CV documents, you would be able to store candidate ID, notes, availability date, etc.
  3. any custom workflow or even external workflow engines (Camunda, Flowable, IFTTT, Zapier, etc.) would be able to store information in these fields, if not in their own.

And as mentioned in my previous comment:

Would be great if some standards would be taken into consideration as well in such implementation, i.e. Dublin core.

I think some good conceptual ideas could be derived from the approaches that ECM tools such as Alfresco or Nuxeo are taking when handling metadata by applying document types / content models and aspects.

3 Likes

Anybody working on this?
Why would you work out something from scratch? There is plenty of free/shareware metadata editors around. Why not integrate one which is as generic as possible? Running from web browser, producing XML files and eating XML schemes.

Anybody?
For research data management proper metadata management is not option or nice to have. It is MUST to have.

Yes absolutely! That would be fantastic!!! Creating custom metadata fields for files would be very useful. I would love to replace fileee, which Next cloud + this functionality!

1 Like