I'm an experienced Drupal developer and I always feel like I'm not explaining how to best use some of the basic tools for organizing content. Especially with the growing "overlap" in apparent functionality between things like CCK+Views and Taxonomy, please let me know if this seems intuitive and makes sense (and is correct):

Content Types: The Object - A unique content type should be set up for each general type of "object" you'll be creating. By object I literally mean the noun you refer to it as: blog post, agenda, minutes, monthly report, love letter.

CCK Fields: The Properties - Properties are information that are inherent or explicit to the Content Type/Object. For example, your Meeting Minutes will have a date and who the secretary was. CCK is nice because those properties can apply across object types; both Minutes and Agendas will have a date and by using the same CCK field, you can create a View with both the Agendas and their corresponding Minutes.

Taxonomy: The Qualities - (this is where my explanations start getting confusing: what's the difference between a property and a quality?) Qualities are *descriptors* of the content. For example, you may wish to pull out Keywords from a large block of text, or broadly describe a blog post as funny, or sad or some editorial viewpoint that may not be explicit or inherent within the content itself.

Organic Groups: The Social - (I'm including this because I've seen a lot of talk about creating Group Specific Content Types and Taxonomies---sometimes they make sense, sometimes they make little incompatible and incomparable buckets) Organic Groups allow you to organize your content by specific users on the site. It expands the Author field to be a more broader subset of users who may be editors or targetted readers of that content.

Does this make sense? Is this all nicely laid out in the Documentation and I'm missing it? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


malbrecht’s picture


I can follow your explanations, but this may be due to my own understanding of the terms you try to explain.
To seperate properties from categories or descriptions (I would not call "Taxonomy" a "quality" because I find this misleading: "Quality" can always be mixed up with the quality of an object like "this image is better than that image") I would offer an example:

The property "resolution" of an image comes in two flavors: You can define the number of pixels that make up an image (width x height) and call that "resolution" (a 5MP camera is believed to be better than a 3MP camera, which is, of course, a prejudice and not reliable), you could call the "number of pixels per inch" the resolution (so a higher resolution like 300 dots per inch/dpi is better than 72dpi because you get more "information").
Meanwhile "quality" (taxonomy, description, categories) tell the user about what the image shows. The computer is able to count the pixels in color #ff0000, but it cannot tell if there is a fire hydrant on the image or a red elephant. The quality (...) "elephant" tells it (the computer or the user) that there is an elephant on the image. This is something no property can handle, because it is interpretation. Keywords that describe content offer a quality to an image that a plain (although technically fully described) image does not have. For a computer. Or a database.

Ok, far too many words, but eventually you get the idea? Follow examples and make up the differences by them ...