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The tag seems to having no meaning on it’s own. It has questions about:

  • Database tables
  • HTML tables
  • ADO.NET table class
  • Generating tables in Word documents

(and that was only the first page of questions when I looked!)

The fact it has no wiki summary make me think no one can define what it means. The fact it has about 16,000+ questions make it more important that it is sorted out.

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marked as duplicate by Hugo Dozois, Martijn Pieters, hims056, Azik, РСТȢѸФХѾЦЧШЩЪЫЬѢѤЮѦѪѨѬѠѺѮѰѲѴ Dec 10 '13 at 6:29

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5  
It's way too ambiguous right now –  random Mar 24 '11 at 13:05
    
While I agree there is a problem with that tag right now, please realize that tags don't have to stand on their own. The table tag is context-sensitive, and would always need to be with other tags. –  Lance Roberts Mar 24 '11 at 14:55
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@Lance - I would have though that would mean you should have separate tags for [html-tables] [database-tables] etc, rather than a single tag with multiple uses according to other tags. –  Spudley Mar 24 '11 at 16:03
    
@Spudley, that's probably a good alternative. –  Lance Roberts Mar 24 '11 at 16:30
    
There are five tags available for people to put on their questions. Why couldn't the tag simply be disambiguated with another tag, i.e. [database] [tables] ? –  Robert Harvey Mar 29 '11 at 14:20
    
@Robert, if the system could stop the tables tag being used without one of the other 5 tags, and therefore had a tree of tags then disambiguated with another tag would be good. –  Ian Ringrose Mar 29 '11 at 14:43

2 Answers 2

I think the ideal solution would be to have multiple tags - eg , , etc.

As has been pointed out already, it would be a bit of a nasty job to have to go through all the existing questions and review them to see which of the new tags they fit under... especially given the large cross-over between the topics - ie a PHP programmer may very easily be asking about either HTML tables, database tables, or even both at the same time.

I would suggest that there's a reasonable number that could be worked out fairly easily just by looking at other tags, so there is some scope for automation. It might be worth doing a batch conversion of those at least, and then seeing how many questions are still left.

Those remaining questions could then either be dealt with manually, or simply have the table tag removed.

Or they could just left as is. If the table tag can be locked from further use, then it's not going to hurt anyone that there's old questions that are using it. I don't know if that's possible? Maybe if the tag is aliased to one of the new ones? That would mean that some of the old questions are effectively mis-tagged, but that won't be a disaster, and they can be dealt with as necessary.

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While I agree that the tag is ambiguous the problem is that there are nearly 4,000 questions tagged .

While automatically removing the tag might work in most cases there are others Table Rendering Incorrectly., for example, where doing so would leave the question just tagged with - not very useful you'd agree.

So it would have to be a manual process to go through and retag with the most appropriate variant. You could write something that checked the other tags and chose based on that - but you'd still have to double check the results.

I don't know about you, but I wouldn't fancy that job even I were being paid to do it.

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Chris that link says I'm on the featured page and I can't seem to get off it, it says there are 0 questions tagged table. –  Tom Mar 24 '11 at 13:08
    
@Tom - which link? –  ChrisF Mar 24 '11 at 13:12
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Could the tag at least be black listed so it can't be used on any new questions? –  Ian Ringrose Mar 24 '11 at 13:18
    
@Ian - that's a question for a dev I think. –  ChrisF Mar 24 '11 at 13:32

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