I just edited the tag wiki for on SO, SF, SU, and programmers. Since the tag covers the same program on all those sites, I copy-pasted the description from SO after merging in some details from the other sites.

In such a case, it would make a lot of sense if we could create a cross-site link between the tags. I realize that there are tags you don't want linked across different sites, so this should probably be done explicitly.

The link could work so that I can copy an existing description from another site. This would be just like using copy-paste to copy a description from one site to another, but easier.

A more advanced version would let me do the opposite: copy a description from one site to many other sites. Perhaps this should only be allowed if the description on the other sites is unchanged since it was copied the last time. That would mean that the "link" between sites is broken as soon as a site begins to customize the wiki for their particular purpose.

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Such a feature should probably only allow synchronizing across sites that questions can be migrated to with the usual "off-topic" feature. –  Oded Dec 18 '11 at 10:26
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2 Answers

I'm not convinced you'd want this (convince me!), let's take for example the tag: scala tag wiki

That's pretty clearly based on a pool of Stack Overflow questions, the programmer point of view...not the sysadmin support/config point of view, or installing/setup regular user point of view, or pros/cons/why programmers point of view. Would the same wiki apply across all the sites you mention?

While it's a great wiki, the community has done an excellent job here, I think the ideal wiki (for non-SO sites) would look slightly different, at least in order but probably in content as well between the sites it applies to.

I'd even argue is in the same boat, the wiki could share a lot of content but the specific site wiki could be better given the point of view of that site, likely with links to questions on that site being towards the top of the wiki, given those kinds of questions are what users of that site are concerned with.

I'm not arguing against this in principal, there's a lot more we can do with tag wikis for sure, but we need to address the above, and some other concerns, for example:

  • Who maintains the list of tags to sync?
  • Are they synced in whole? or some "shared" section with site-specific above perhaps?
  • What about permissions? At a glance, this would allow you to bypass the min-rep level on other sites to edit via the sync.

Again, I'm not against this...but it would need more discussion for sure, it adds a few issues and opens a few holes, how do you picture dealing with those?

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Thanks for the comments, you raise some good points... I haven't paid much attention to tag wiki's before, and I am a bit torn when it comes to making big, beautiful wiki's like the one for Scala. On one hand it's impressive that there is a community here that puts effort into. But on the other hand, it's a huge waste to duplicate the information. I'm sure there is a "real" Scale wiki out there and it makes more sense to put the information there. So for Mercurial I just put the most basic information: pointers to our own wiki and help material. Generic stuff that works on all sites. –  Martin Geisler Dec 18 '11 at 15:56
    
So if tag wikis are just small collections of pointers to the main site for the subject, then it makes sense to sync them with all sites. On the other hand, if tag wikis are "tuned" for each site, then it makes no sense to sync them completely like I first suggested. –  Martin Geisler Dec 18 '11 at 15:58
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The main problem I see is that you are assuming that tags which have in common the name (e.g. "views") are the same tags. Taking for example, and views on Drupal Answers; despite the same name, those are actually two different tags, for which two different tag wikis are necessary.
Supposing to find two tags with the same exact meaning in two different sites, it is still possible that the tag wikis in those sites need to be different because, for example, that tag in the first site is often misused, and its wiki needs to report a warning about that. I think it's important to leave to the community behind that site the decision about what to report on their tag wikis.

If we were talking about a meta site, then that would be different, and the synchronization of tag wikis between meta sites (which is already done) would be correct: After all, has really the same meaning in all the meta sites.

As for the possibility to import the tag wiki from another tag used in a different site, I don't think that copying a tag wiki from another site is a so common operation that needs to be automated or made easier. In few cases, I edited a tag wiki using what wrote as tag wiki for the equivalent tag used in another site; it happened in very few cases, compared to the number of times I edited a tag wiki.

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I've changed the idea a little. I never wanted to synchronize unrelated tags — I just wanted to give people an easy way to copy/import one tag description to other sites where it makes sense. –  Martin Geisler Dec 18 '11 at 18:13
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