General information management question related to multi select properties

Hi friends. I have an info management question. Specifically, about the different ways to configure multi select fields.

I’m working with an org on their Uwazi instance, and they have many lists/thesauri. Many of these lists have “second level” items. But often, these second level items are optional because they provide more detail about that attribute. An example for the attribute/property called “Types of location”:

  • Government facilities
    • Detention or police custody
    • State hospitals
    • Checkpoint
  • Transport, deportation, evacuation
  • Refugee camp or evacuation center

The org wants to be able to have the option of selecting one of those more specific “second level” items under “Government facilities” if they have this detail. But if they do NOT have this information, they want to be able to select the top level item “Government facilities”.

But currently, the behavior in Uwazi is that if you select the top level item, such as “Government facilities”, all of the second level items are automatically selected as well. So instead of having the option to keep the selection as broad as possible, selecting the top level automatically includes all of the more specific items as well - which would make a search on these properties very confusing if you never meant to indicate that a type of location was “checkpoint” but that it was assigned to an entity because the top level “government facility” was selected.

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Another unexpected behavior of Uwazi’s multi select properties is that if you select one of the second level items, it does NOT currently select the parent or top level item, but I would expect that it would.

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So, it seems to me that if the organisation wants to be able to have the option of selecting a more general option or a more specific second level item of that option, a work around would be to include the item “Other” anytime there is a second level list of items in a multi select property.

…but then it would seem really strange to select “Other” without also selecting the parent / top level item…

Am I missing something? I can imagine that there are many ways that someone would want to configure these multi select properties…but I’m having a hard time imagining a case where someone would want to select a second level item without it being connected to its top level item for the sake of filtering.

Thanks for helping to clarify this!
Kristin