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Most tag wikis (e.g. C#) repeat the excerpt in the body. This seems a bit repetitive when viewing the tag wiki page. Is it OK to edit the excerpt out of the body or is there some reason to leave it in?

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Part of this is an age thing. There wasn't originally an excerpt, but then it got added and cloned the data from the original body. So a lot of old wikis will have this behavior. I think that's a consequence of that, moreso than an accepted style, and more users are just too lazy to come up with better stuff and are content to leave it. Also, a related request regarding excerpts and being displayed in the full wiki: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/63192/… –  Grace Note Feb 7 '11 at 21:27
    
Related is when you have said everything in the excerpt and there is not much extra to say in the body. And if you just have a couple of minor additions for the body you might not reach the minimum body size unless you do put all the text from the excerpt there as well. What to do in this case? –  hippietrail May 10 '11 at 7:24
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3 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Feel free to edit the tag wiki excerpt to boil down the essence of the tag and its concepts. Go for 120 characters or less if you want to.

Most of the excerpts you see are holdovers from when people were plugging away into the body but left little thought as to what to put in the excerpt of the tag.

There is no need to repeat yourself.

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To add to what reported in the other answers, the excerpts are now shown when a user adds a tag to a question.

screenshot

The excerpts should report information that is immediately visible to who is adding the tag to a question, for example something similar to the following text:

Consider using [tag name] when the question is about [topic].

Such text doesn't needs to be repeated in the tag wiki, as that text is already read when a user adds the tag to a question, and that is the only moment that text is relevant.

Before, the excerpt was only visible in the page showing all the tags used in a site; it was not the text shown to who was adding a tag. It was only a short version of the tag wiki that was shown in a space where the full tag wiki would not have been visible.

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As the tag wiki is displayed separately from the excerpt, the information in the excerpt should also appear in the tag wiki body. For example, on the /tags/NAME/info page, the excerpt is not shown; if the first sentence of the body assumes continuity with the excerpt, it will be incomprehensible.

This doesn't mean that the first paragraph of the body should repeat the excerpt verbatim; most of the time that is a bad idea. The excerpt needs to be short and to the point and cannot use any markup. The body can give more information and present it better.

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+1 for "if the first sentence of the body assumes continuity with the excerpt, it will be incomprehensible." This happens on the questions/tagged/NAME pages too. –  AShelly Mar 22 '12 at 16:36
    
I think the except should always be shown when the main text is displayed. This eliminates all confusion. As the except normally contains the definition, the text without it may look very incomplete. –  Audrius Meškauskas Jan 31 '13 at 12:50
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