1. Why it is possible to create tags with no description?
  2. If the tag is useful, how hard can it be to summarise?
  3. If it can't be summarised, how can it be useful?

My own answers to these three questions are

3. It can't be.
2. It shouldn't be hard at all.
1. It shouldn't be possible.

Hence my feature request. Problems like this one shouldn't exist.

Over on the Workplace beta, the Money tag has no description. It has a random set of questions showing no clear categorisation. I've submitted a suggested description, but I'd be happy if anything went in there to suggest a purpose and to provide something that would differentiate it from other tags; sooner rather than later, to avoid the need for much reclassification after it develops into a mess. But it makes me wonder why undescribed tags are allowed at all.

  • Since tag wikis require approval, this would either force questions to not have those tags, or delay the question until the wiki is approved, or some equally convoluted situation
    – Ben Brocka
    Oct 23, 2012 at 16:55
  • @BenBrocka I don't see why it would cause that problem. The current code can cope with showing tags with no description. I don't see why the tag couldn't be made visible straight away, even if the wiki approval were pending. I'm just saying that creation should require a wiki submission; doesn't mean the tag (and associated question) couldn't be immediately visible.
    – itsbruce
    Oct 23, 2012 at 17:04
  • Considering that users that just gained the tag creation privs tend to be horrible at creating new tags to begin with, this is probably a bad idea.
    – Charles
    Oct 23, 2012 at 17:09
  • -1 This will lead to the creation tag wikis full of gibberish and make asking questions more inconvenient. In the end, we'll lose rather than gain value. Oct 23, 2012 at 19:28

2 Answers 2


Creating tags and tag wikis isn't the main purpose of the site. But creating new tags is often directly in the workflow of creating a question, so it should not be a point of friction. If you require a tag summary just to post a question, you'd probably end up with the same nonsense that you'd get if you required a comment with every downvote. I think it's better to leave summarizing a tag for later, after the community has reached a consensus on what tag to use for a topic, and what that tag really means.

  • Exactly, especially on the last line. Some tags are not that easy to summarize at all and if I had to do that just for posting a question... I wouldn't.
    – Alenanno
    Oct 23, 2012 at 16:57
  • 4
    Yes. I'd rather people not create garbage wikis just to get their question asked. When reviewing tags it's much easier to spot (and thus correct) a missing wiki than a bad one. Oct 23, 2012 at 16:58
  • 1
    "If you require a tag summary just to post a question, you'd probably end up with the same nonsense that you'd get if you required a comment with every downvote." I disagree. People make new tags much less frequently than they vote. Individual votes are not significant, while tags will be reused and can either contribute beneficially to the structure and value of the site or create noise and diminish it. Nobody should be creating meaningless tags, so asking for a little thought before creating one is a good thing.
    – itsbruce
    Oct 23, 2012 at 17:00
  • @itsbruce Sure, but asking me to do that when I'm in middle of writing a question is a bad thing. Oct 23, 2012 at 17:01
  • 4
    @itsbruce I think Bill's point was that if you set the tag wikis to mandatory, people would write garbage just to ask their question. And in that sense, the comparison works perfectly. Tags are much more important than a single downvote, so if anything, it makes more sense for tag wikis to be this way than for comments on downvotes.
    – Alenanno
    Oct 23, 2012 at 17:02

I don't think this is a good idea. Depending on the tag it can be quite difficult to provide a good quality summary. Another consideration is that English isn't everyone's first language (and even for some people who it is their first language their writing skills can use some improvement).

In addition forcing people to create a summary is likely to just encourage garbage summaries which I think in turn will discourage the creation/edit of a quality summary (after all there isn't a noticeable absence).

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .