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It would be nice if tags had types.
This way we could create a class type for all tags designating some library class like QStateMachine (from Qt framework). We could create another type of tag, let's say programming-language and make all tags designating some programing language of this type.
This way we could allow users to search only in specific types of tags if they wish.

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Programmers would understand that. But users? –  Ladybug Killer Aug 12 '09 at 10:49
    
Perhaps useful in a few scanarios, but I still disagree because it would add a lot of unnecessary complexity to a feature that basically works well as it is now. –  Jonik Aug 12 '09 at 12:33
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2 Answers

It's an interesting idea, but it has some complexity considerations.

  1. Who categorizes existing tags?
  2. Who can re-categorize? What's the process? How many people does it take?
  3. What's UI for (any of) it look like?
  4. When you create a new tag, do you have to categorize it?
  5. Can a tag be in more than 1 category? Frankly, it's gotta be. There's gonna end up being a "microsoft" category, and a ".net" category. Categories aren't idempotent.
  6. Can categories be in categories? Cause sql-server would be a reasonable category, but it'd also fall under Microsoft which would be another category.
  7. (steve yegge link here)

Then you have to think of the "wins" of it:

  1. Essentially gives all questions a "broader" tag implicitly: all .net tags get microsoft, all t-sql tags get sql-server, all sql-server tags get sql. This lets you follow a much broader stream of information. (and drink from a larger firehose)
  2. Search would get "better" (for some definition of better) because you could search within a category. Don't show me anything from any category from mac because I'm a snob (I kid).
  3. I know there's more but I'm getting hungry

Do the wins justify the cost? I think this falls into the following feature-request type

Feature requests which are good but unlikely due to the cost/benefit

It's not a bad idea, it does get you wins in certain areas but it also has a deceptively high development cost for the few wins.

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ad. 1-4 The same or similar as with tags themselves. ad. 5-6 These are the interesting questions. The idea is called meta tags. See this meta.stackexchange.com/questions/1620/meta-tags –  Piotr Dobrogost Aug 12 '09 at 11:17
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The cost vs. benefit of this would be pretty monumental in my own opinion. If I have to start tagging my tags, my head may pop off.

This also sounds eerily similar to hierarchical tagging, which Jeff has said in absolute terms would never be showing up.

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taggin tags, poppin heads... hmm sounds like some retarded rap song. –  Troggy Aug 12 '09 at 14:45
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