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I am aware of similar requests but I ask this regarding SE-2.0 sites, as the example I will take gaming:

Both answers on the question Should questions always be tagged with either a console/platform or with “multi-platform”? make perfect sense to me, i.e. on the one hand this might overuse the tagging system but on the other hand it would help a lot for filtering.

Therefore I suggest a system which, in this case, would internally store the platforms to which a tag is relevant and

  • if a question is tagged with one of these platforms, nothing special will happen and the question is to be considered platform specific (e.g. a bug which only appears on the PS3 version)
  • if the question is not tagged with a platform, the only result will be that the tag filter mechanism works a bit different compared to what would happen if the question was (invisibly) tagged with all platform tags:

    • If the invisible tagging is definite on interesting or ignore (i.e. there is not at least one ignored and one interesting tag) the usual mechanism works.
    • if the tagging is ambiguous (i.e. contains both interesting and ignored tags), no filtering happens at all

The actually attributed tags must of course override this behaviour. That way questions about a game one likes but which is available for a platform one doesn't care about will still be highlighted unless specifically tagged with that platform, but no additional tags have to be used to filter a game which is only available on ignored platforms.

This can of course easily be extended to other sites, e.g. the multithreading tag may be interesting both general and for c++ but totally uninteresting if the question is only about a JavaScript implementation.

I am only unsure whether search should include those hidden tags, too.

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This sounds like another good use of hierarchial tagging. – Lance Roberts Aug 12 '10 at 15:25
This would obviously also make sense for Physics' subfields, see e.g. here. – Tobias Kienzler Jan 17 '11 at 11:57
And another example: – Tobias Kienzler Jan 2 '13 at 11:00
Another one... – Tobias Kienzler Apr 28 '13 at 17:05
This would be pretty useful for ignored/favorite tags, too. For example I'd like to see all python questions even if it's e.g. python-3.3 and no questions, no matter which version (if there are version-specific tags for it) – ThiefMaster Aug 29 '13 at 12:33
@ThiefMaster Precisely my intention! And the same tag preferences btw :) – Tobias Kienzler Aug 29 '13 at 12:34

I don't think adding this kind of complexity would make the tag system better.

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not to mention the time needed to maintain such a system. – alexanderpas Sep 2 '10 at 12:45

The classification of tags in hierarchies is not necessary easy. For instance android/facebook-android-sdk or facebook/facebook-android-sdk?

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I didn't claim this is always trivial, as your example shows. Actually I'd suggest that there can be more than one parent tag, so facebook-android-sdk could implicitly be tagged both android and facebook. (Although in this case I'd tend towards not tagging android) – Tobias Kienzler Jan 2 '13 at 15:12

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