(Split off from my answer to Merging / synonimising tags should warn of tag wiki loss...)

The whole interface for this feature is terrible! It has almost no useful information for the poor moderator.

synonym user interface

"Source"? "Target"? No matter so many tag merge requests have come out backwards that I've seen. The poor moderator has to take a stab in the dark. Why not call one "Synonym" and the other something like "Main tag" or whatever?

When you enter valid tags it should tell you useful stuff about each tag:

  • Preview of wiki and/or excerpt
  • Creation date
  • Whether this tag already has synonyms, how many, what they are
  • How many questions each tag is already used on
  • How recently each tag was applied to a question
  • How recently each tag had its tag wiki and/or excerpt edited
  • Maybe the users who created them, use them the most, used them most recently
  • If there were votes for adding the synonym (in either direction), show total plus number of each up and down votes
  • Would an option to revert/undo when a tag merge was applied "backwards" make sense and fit into the interface?
  • Are the old tag wikis for the tags which have now become mere synonyms still stored in the database somewhere? Could we add a way to import/reinstate a tag wiki from a synonym to the new main tag? Could it work even for synonyms made some time ago?

OK some of that is not strictly necessary but might help the mod and won't be hard to implement. But some of it I think is really essential.

  • 7
    You must be a mod on an SE site that doesn't have a programmer focus. :) In any case, the "Source" tag is the "From" tag. The "Target" tag is the "To" tag. The Source tag is the pitcher, the Target tag is the catcher.
    – user102937
    Aug 9, 2012 at 19:28
  • 9
    You think these tools are sucktastic? Back in my day, we had to do tag merges with SQL scripts. And we liked it! Aug 9, 2012 at 19:31
  • 9
    Scanned this quickly, and my eyes fell on "moderator", "stab", "dark". Re-reading it, I must say I'm disappointed this isn't about moderators taking users in a dark place and stabbing them...
    – yannis
    Aug 9, 2012 at 19:31
  • 1
    Actually I'm not a mod on any site but I'm a very avid tag curator on several sites and on travel.SE we have had many incidences of tag synonyms requests being fulfilled by mods who made the wrong tag the main tag and the wrong one the synonym, resulting in lost tag wikis and such. When it happened again recently one posted an image of the interface to show how easy it is to get wrong. Since I was in a grumpy mood due to hardware problems I started a rant - which became this feature request (-: (I am a programmer by the way but can still see how it's unintuitive to many people.) Aug 9, 2012 at 19:32
  • 6
    @hippietrail You are not a mod and you are trying to make mods' life easier? What kind of monster are you? ;P
    – yannis
    Aug 9, 2012 at 19:33
  • @YannisRizos: On some smaller SE sites we still manage to have some mods and non-mods as friends (-; Aug 9, 2012 at 19:34
  • @BilltheLizard Yes well some of us have the SQL equivalent of Tourette's syndrome. DROP DATABASE DELETE FROM USERS REVOKE ALL ON POSTS FROM *!
    – voretaq7
    Aug 9, 2012 at 19:35
  • 2
    Look when I take a stab in the dark I don't miss. This statement is not admissible in court.
    – Ben Brocka
    Aug 9, 2012 at 19:36
  • 10
    By far the most problematic aspect of merging tags (and really, merging anything on SE) is that it is irreversible for a mod. This makes the merge tools some of the most dangerous ones a mod has access to. Aug 9, 2012 at 19:52


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