The retag button is gone and only edit remains. This has made a few negative changes for users with the retag privilege but not the edit privilege.

It is now necessary to enter an edit summary even after changing only tags.

Your edit summary must be at least 10 characters

I don't think this is necessary. From my experience in the suggested edit review queues, most users will use a message such as “added a tag” or “edited tags”, none of which provide any useful information. While it is good to be able to enter an edit summary, it should not be required.

In any case, the recorded edit summary in the question history is always “edited tags”, no matter what the user enters. (Noted by luiges90, and I confirm.) So this is definitely a UI bug.

  • I have asked Oded about this and his reply indicates that this could be just temporary.
    – Antony
    Commented May 8, 2013 at 19:27
  • You're on the retag case today :) Commented May 8, 2013 at 19:36
  • 6
    And it appears that it forces the summary to "edited tags" even I put something else, when I just retag, making my edit summary useless...
    – luiges90
    Commented May 17, 2013 at 5:24
  • 2
    This needs more attention. It's annoying as hell to come up with a stupid edit summery when just changing tags..
    – timss
    Commented May 17, 2013 at 11:41
  • 2
    No longer relevant since the retag privilege has been removed. Commented Jul 8, 2013 at 9:47

4 Answers 4


I totally agree with this request.

I want to add that altough it's true most of the retag summaries are going to be there only to skip the mandatory summary

  • Edited tag
  • Corrected wrong tag
  • Added more specific tag

In most cases the edit itself is pretty self-explanatory. If the user talks about and someone ask about database specifications in the comment to finally retag for or we don't need a summary to get what happened there.

I also approve that in some cases the summary is important to explain more specific modifications so it should not be completely removed.

  • By more specific modifications do you mean the subject/question text?
    – Ryan Gates
    Commented May 8, 2013 at 19:54
  • @RyanGates Actually I meant for retag cases where the cause isn't obvious. Something like I retag because X technology isn't used anymore it's now called Y. Or anything like this you can think of. Commented May 8, 2013 at 19:56
  • @return But then you can add an edit reason, make an exception for exceptional cases. Commented May 8, 2013 at 19:57
  • @JohannesKuhn I don't understand what you mean. Of course you can add a comment. The point is to make it not mandatory. Commented May 8, 2013 at 20:01
  • Thanks for clarifying. I agree. So theoretically, it would always be optional, and it would only be required if the title/question text changed. Is this correct?
    – Ryan Gates
    Commented May 8, 2013 at 20:02
  • It would be optionnal only in the case of a retag. Where only the tags have been changed. Commented May 8, 2013 at 20:03

And it appears that it forces the summary to "edited tags" even I put something else, when I just retag.

When I first saw this, I was first confused, and then took few seconds to come up with a reason, and then click revision history to know that it just put "edited tags" no matter what, rendering me wasting seconds just to come up the reason. That could be a lot considering the fact that in the past you would possibly just took few seconds to retag a question.

(That might be just me anyway... I am not a native English speaker I must say.)

Retag edits should be self-explanatory (as @return PhaDaPhunk said) and the reason is good for most cases. When I have to come up with a reason that would discourage people to retag.

When in the past, retag link is there, we don't need to put in a reason, and if my memory serves me right, there is no such field at all. The system just put in "edited tags" for us.

What about this, if users with 500-2000 reps only retag question (no edit in title/content), skip the 10-char edit summary limit and let the System put in "edited tags" for the user.

(p.s. I am one of those affected by this change)

  • Haha, in this case an edit summary like woefnhwelfkn would do the job? Great. Commented May 17, 2013 at 8:15

Many times re-tags are obvious. Sometimes they are not. As a reviewer I really don't have much choice but to reject a re-tag request if it's not obvious what for. And compulsory edit summaries are how we educate users they can or should leave edit summaries at all. Re-tags tend to be simpler than edits but I don't really see a case they should be given an exemption.

We need to teach users how to edit posts. That includes leaving edit summaries. When they graduate to 2k rep, we trust them with their own judgment for when default summaries are okay, which for retags may be most of the time, but even just looking at my own experience is certainly not all of the time.

  • Downvote explain. I'm perplexed that we would be opposed to instructional ramps into constructive participation on SO.
    – djechlin
    Commented May 23, 2013 at 20:25
  • 1
    It is just a tag, and there's nothing to explain... added [foo] and [bar] tag; removed [baz] tag. The edit summaries don't even appear. It's a waste of time in general. If you wanna teach/encourage people to leave good edit summaries, do it elsewhere (e.g. promote some FAQ entry).
    – tshepang
    Commented May 26, 2013 at 8:09
  • @Tshepang Edited post to be focused on the right thing.
    – djechlin
    Commented May 28, 2013 at 17:42
  • I actually prefer to have the privilege removed, to simplify things: meta.stackexchange.com/a/179605.
    – tshepang
    Commented May 29, 2013 at 3:30

If this is a problem, it's a problem for folks without the retag privilege suggesting edits too. As well as all the folks with full editing privileges but not access to the moderator tools (which also include a snazzy inline retag feature).

I'm not convinced it's a problem.

If explaining why you're retagging - or even just noting that you are retagging - is too much work, then... Well, earn 10K.

  • 2
    For retags, I think the system-generated “edited tags” is good enough in a majority of cases. Judging by the review queue on SO, if a summary is compulsory, the most frequent summary will turn out to be “fixed grammer”. Commented May 9, 2013 at 19:31
  • The summary is compulsory until you get full editing privileges - I don't think it's a bad habit to encourage, even if folks don't make full use of it most of the time.
    – Shog9
    Commented May 9, 2013 at 19:34
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    Retagging is meant to be a quick fix to get the post tagged for the right audiences. There is no point of having such an inconvenience on a common fix to posts by new users.
    – Antony
    Commented May 9, 2013 at 19:36
  • 5
    I hadn't realized at the time, but the edit summary is “edited tags” even if the user entered something else! This cannot be the desired behavior. Commented May 17, 2013 at 7:55
  • 1
    This will end up with the repetitive useful task to place the cursor there and enter something like ewoqnfwlefwepfm. I'm tempted to ask User Experience about that. Commented May 17, 2013 at 8:18

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