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· 5 min read
Ilian Sapundshiev

Recently I gave a talk on the quantified self meetup in Munich. In this talk I presented how TagSpaces can be used to manage your health data. Please find here the slides from this talk:





And here is the complete presentation transcript:

TagSpaces

  • Free your health data from the tracking apps and devices!
  • (or how to use your file system as a database)
  • by Ilian Sapundshiev @ilianste  Munich QS Meetup at [20140320]

Table of Content

  • Motivation
  • Envisioned Solution
  • What is TagSpaces?
  • My "Health Data" Workflow
  • Supported platforms

Motivation

  • Issues with health / quantified self data:
  • many apps on many devices (smartphones, tablets, laptops)
  • many intelligent devices (smart watches, bluetooth scales, wristbands)
  • many health web portals
  • all this leads to a segmentation of your data
  • your data is mostly vendor locked
  • and you don't really know how your data is used

Envisioned Solution

  • What I really needed:
  • Universal hub for health data management
  • Cross device sync and portable data
  • Abilities for visualization and analysis
  • No Backend ->No Login -> No Cloud

What is TagSpaces?

  • What is TagSpaces ?
  • Use cases - File Management
  • Use cases - File Preview
  • Ok, we were here already ...
  • Use cases - File Tagging
  • File System as a Database
  • Sync Tagged Files Between Devices
  • Use cases - File Editing / Note-Taking / Evernote
  • TagSpaces as of v1.7

What is TagSpaces ?

  • it is open source and extensible platform for personal data management
  • it let you organize, tag and browse your local files, photos and documents on many platforms.
  • project initiated in 2013 by me
  • official website: tagspaces.org

  • source hosted on github.com/uggrock/tagspaces

  • build with HTML5, JS, Cordova, Node-Webkit

Use cases - File Management

  • create files (plain text, html, markdown)
  • create directories
  • rename files
  • move files (drag&drop)
  • delete files

Use cases - File Preview

  • TagSpaces can open over 50 different file types such as:
  • Images (PNG, BMP, JPG, GIF), Videos and Audio (MP3, OGG)
  • Documents (PDF, ODF, ODT, ODS, ODP, MARKDOWN)
  • Sourcecode (C, Java, C++, Javascript, PHP, Ruby, XML)

Ok, we were here already ...

Use cases - File Tagging

  • TagSpaces uses the file name for saving the tags
  • tags are saved after the following schema:
  • file title [tag1 tag2 tag3].extension
  • example: img_2343 [USA beach miami].jpg
  • example: meeting [bmw 20140214 john].html

File System as a Database

  • No database locking
  • Findabilty - with the search capabilities of your operating system
  • Easy to synchronize between devices (just work in a dropbox folder)

Sync Tagged Files Between Devices

  • Dropbox offers a great way to sync tagged files across multiple devices

Use cases - File Editing / Note-Taking / Evernote

  • TagSpaces can also edit some text file types
  • HTML
  • Markdown
  • Text Files
  • Sourcecode (C, Java, C++, Javascript, PHP, Ruby, XML)

TagSpaces as of v1.7

    My "Health Data" Workflow

    • Collecting the data
    • Organizing the data
    • Live Demo
    • Visualizing my weight
    • Adding new weight data entry
    • Conclusions

    Collecting the data

    • taking screenshots from your after every measurement
    • using the export functionality of your device (if available)
    • e.g. my scale has usb port so I can export all the data in CSV
    • taking photos of the device (if it shows the result of the measurement)

    Organizing the data

    • Once a week collect all the screenshots / photos
    • Organize and tag those screenshots in 10 minutes
    • Convert your CSV to tagged files (easy with scripts)

    Live Demo

      Visualizing my weight

      • Feature currently in development

      Adding new weight data entry

      • Feature currently in development

      Conclusions

      • You can experiment with many kind of devices and apps
      • While letting you stay not vendor locket
      • Not suitable for measurements happening to often
      • It is still heavy manual approach
      • It needs optimizations, eventually OCR for automatic tagging

      Supported platforms

      Windows

      • Native 32bit Application

      Mac OS X

      • Native 32bit Application

      Linux/Ubuntu

      • Native 32bit and 64bit Applications

      Android

      Firefox

      • Available as Add On

      Chrome

      • Available as Extension

      iOS

      • iOS release is coming soon

      The End

      Thank You! Questions?

      Ilian Sapundshiev @ilianste

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      · 2 min read
      Ilian Sapundshiev

      These days there is a real temptation and it’s funny in some strange way to categorize things not only in real life but also in the digital space. To define and categorize music, movies, books, games and another things is catchy. The problem is, that it’s very subjective. For instance, for somebody one book can be "science fiction" but for another "alternate history". It’s based on someone else’s subjectivity.

      Tagging and tags is fresh and better alternative of categorizing and grouping things. Tagging allows people to call thing with their own words. They don’t need to conform with keywords or categories in internet created by somebody else. Allow them to describe what they’re seeing in their own words, to imbue the experience with their own meaning. Tagging spares of your time, it creates a variety of tags in different sites and can make the searching for a specific song or a movie or a book or whatever you’re looking for much more easy and faster.

      Tags are personal thing. Tagging something is your emotional response and not simply a taxonomic decision. With using tags, people have the control to define things in the web - not only for music, literature, games and movies, but also public websites, data repositories and consultations. Tagging is a new indirect way of control to express your mind and to call things your way - you can call it a "form of freedom of speech" if you want to go that far. Tagging is a power to create your own genres in movies and music for example.

      There is also some negative side of tagging and tags - the photos. Not everybody is pleased when is tagged in a photo without his permission- mostly on Facebook. But at the same time tagging is the best way to group and categorize all of your large amount of photos scattered in different folders in the hard drives.

      · 2 min read
      Ilian Sapundshiev

      Despite the fact that the version number looks as a minor release, it offers some bugfixes. It also has the following new features:

      • The main improvement is supporting of ODF files (e.g. ODT, ODS, ODG, ODP). For this feature I have used a library from the webodf.org. Unfortunately due some security restrictions it have to be disabled in the chrome and the firefox extensions.
      odf support on android
      • Starting of the application in the last opened location is another feature, requested by many users.
      • The following key bindings were also added:
        • ctrl+r / command+r - reloads the current document
        • ctrl+s / command+s - saves the current document if opened for editing
        • esc - closes the current document
        • alt-enter - shows the document properties
      • "Send to" functionality is a cool feature added for the Android users, so now you can send any file to some other Android application like for example your email client.
      'send to' functionality on android
      • And finally, a support for the Google's WEBP image format (not for Firefox) was added.

      · 2 min read
      Ilian Sapundshiev

      Today I will present to you one almost unknown use case of the Chrome's version of TagSpaces. Since the release of the Google's Chromecast some months ago, I was really keen to find a way how to cast my local content such as mp3s, photos and movies to my TV. This use case is currently not possible out of the box with Chromecast, but recently I came to the idea that actually I can use my application for this important use case.

      · One min read
      Ilian Sapundshiev

      I added a new page on tagspaces.org yesterday, describing the currently supported file types, which can be opened and edited in the application. As of today TagSpaces supports more than 50 file types. In the near future I am planning to support opening of EPUB (e-books) and formats from the Open Document Format (ODF) such as ODS (spreadsheet), ODT (text documents), ODP (presentations) and ODG (graphics). What do you think - which formats should be also supported in TagSpaces?

      · 2 min read
      Ilian Sapundshiev

      One of the most common questions I receive about TagSpaces, is about the missing files synchronization feature. The concerns of the users are that they spend an hour tagging their files on the laptop, but now they want to get the same results also on their tablet or desktop computer and vice versa. Ok, my opinion here is that TagSpaces does not need sync functionality, because all the tags are saved in the names of the files, which does this meta-information extremely portable between devices. This is one of the main differences between TagSpaces and other applications offering tagging on files. Most of those applications are using some kind of database to store the tags, which does the transfer of this information challenging. Besides that, your tagging information in this case is locked by the vendor and you cannot migrate to another application or service without significant effort. Saving the tags in the file names make the information stick to your files, and you can find files based on the tags even with simple search functionality supplied with your operating system.

      For the synchronization of the tagged files with TagSpaces, you can use any "cloud" service like Dropbox or projects like ownCloud, which provides sync clients. At present, I personally use Dropbox with its native clients on my Ubuntu laptop and the Dropsync app on my Nexus 10 and Nexus 5 devices. This tool combination works perfectly with TagSpaces and the way it preserves tagged information. And since there are TagSpaces clients for many platforms (currently Windows, OS X, Linux, Firefox, Chrome and Android), your tagged files can be synced and used almost everywhere.

      The following diagram shows my current utilization of Dropbox in connection to TagSpaces.

      Diagram showing synching of tagged files with Dropbox

      If you are using TagSpaces with any other sync service, please post a comment bellow. I am always keen to know details on the way you are using TagSpaces.

      · One min read
      Ilian Sapundshiev

      Final 1.7 version of TagSpaces was released today. Please find the main differences in comparison to the previous version:

      Redesigned user interface

      The user interface was redesigned in order to be more responsive and usable. The goal was to make a single interface suitable for tablet and desktop use.

      New user interface tagspaces 1.7

      Native Applications for Windows, Max OS, Linux and Android

      The second main goal was to release TagSpaces as a native application for various platforms. The following screenshot shows TagSpaces running on an Android based tablet.

      tagspaces 1.7 running on android

      · One min read
      Ilian Sapundshiev

      A pre-release of the upcoming 1.7 Version of TagSpaces was accomplished today. New in this version, beside the complete redesign of the user interface and the many improvements, are the native packages for Linux, Windows, Mac OS and Android. Feel free to download this release for testing purposes from the following links to GitHub:

      Since this release is for four new platforms and includes many changes and bug fixes, I will really appreciate helping me testing it. And of course, any feedback or suggestion is welcome.

      · 2 min read
      Ilian Sapundshiev

      Version 1.6.1606 was just released to the public today. It is minor release, fixing some bugs and adding some new features like:

      • Opening of media files - Now you are able to open media files such as video and audio in TagSpaces. This gives the ability TagSpaces to project your local files to the Google's Chromecast directly. Currently the following file extensions are supported: OGG, OGV, OGA, OGX, SPX, OPUS, MP3, MP4, M4P, WAV, WAVE, WEBM, M4V, M4A, MOV.
      • Browsing source code files - in addition to the media files, you can open the source code of many programming languages. This makes TagSpaces a convenient source code browser.
      • Create new file dialog redesigned - now it is possible to tag the file you are creating in the process of its creation. New file create dialog
      • Adding multiple tags in the tag groups - it is now possible to add in one step many tags, separated by comma in tag groups.
      • Move tags to first position - in addition to moving a tag to the left and right in the filename, it is now possible to move it to the very first position.