Hmm, the accepted answer was totally not what I expected, when I found this question.
I was looking for a way to show the Stack-Exchange tag excerpt instead of show questions tagged 'tagname' when using tags in answer text, or bring it up as a feature suggestion. And how to use them in comments.
Note: I found out just now by reading the Q and accepted A, that usage of tags also in answer text results in alerting the tag watchers. This is unfortunate, because i can see, why that would lead to a lot of notification spam for tag watcher, if tags are used in answer text.
However, I still think it's great, when people use tag-links in their answers. For several reasons:
- Established/mature/packaged/dependable software has tags, not every git-hub v0.1, so when looking at answers you can gauge (a bit), which ones use "production-quality" software. Also seeing the size of the SE-community following that tag could help in choosing a program/answer.
- They can help achieve a better balance between "Too wordy, with too much background explanation" and "Too terse, requiring too many word lookup in other tabs". I can write an answer involving
tmux for a question, that is not tagged
tmux. The OP and other readers can then hover over the tag in my answer, if they didn't yet know this piece of software, or if they a quick reminder. For everybody else it's less text to read.
- It's the perfect way to point out when a software is deprecated: Former/Current users already know, news user can quickly hover over the tag, see "Deprecated software", and now know not to build new production workflows with that program.
- It's a great place to link good introductory resources from. It's already used that way for question tags, but the same advantage could be had by enabling the same popup also for tags in answer text.
- In contrast to the poster of the accepted answer, I like the possibility of being led right to highly-upvoted posts about a new subject/keyword/program, just by hovering briefly.
Naturally, the same restrictions apply as to many things:
- Don't overdo it, tag just the first time
tmux, second usage gets linked to either Homepage/Git-hub/Wikipedia, depending on which is more informative and less flashy.
- As with links, don't use your software's tag without disclosure, write something like "We added patch to [tag:Software to add the possibility to...", except if you're a household name. Everybody knows Lennart Poettering writes/leads
The reasons put forth buy the detractors at the time are (imho) not/no_longer valid:
- Mobile devices in 2020 are much improved compared to 2013.
- About that ^^, are mobile devices and their capabilities the deciding factor here?
- Visual clutter. Bart proposed this alternative: https://stackoverflow.com/tags/awk/info . Can be shortened to awk, true, but going there breaks my reading flow on the current page. And the visual difference is not that great between tag and link with same text.
So, I think, we can have the best of all of that, if
- SE would just disable alerting the tag watchers, when tag are used in comment or answer text
- Enable display of the informative version of the tool-tip everywhere, not just in the tag-list under questions.