The says:

Factor is a concatenative programming language that was influenced by Forth, Joy and Lisp.

Fair enough, but only 27 of the 191 question tagged are related to the Factor programming language (unless R and Factor are close friends). And worse yet, there are only 2 questions in the last 18 months about the programming language.

So, rather than retagging 164 questions and having this issue likely creep up again in the future, I figured let's change to mean ... something else, and let's create a new tag for the programming language.

Is this acceptable?

It terms of what should mean, it looks like quite a few of the questions are related to some construct in R, perhaps this should be it's new meaning. If so, this is perhaps best handled by someone that actually knows R (I don't).

Alternatively we can make and synonyms.

I'll retag the 27 questions if using is decided.

  • 2
    Why? We don't use [c++-lang], [c#-lang], etc.
    – Cole Tobin
    Commented Sep 21, 2013 at 23:35
  • 2
    No, “a factor” shouldn’t be a tag and people need to learn to read the excerpts.
    – Ry-
    Commented Sep 21, 2013 at 23:36
  • 1
    @minitech As long as there are new users, there will always be people who don't read excerpts. So factors is a bad tag then? Either way, that's kind of the meaning I was going for. Commented Sep 21, 2013 at 23:40
  • @Dukeling: Yes, I think factors is a bad tag, and no, I don’t think factor should mean that.
    – Ry-
    Commented Sep 21, 2013 at 23:42
  • 3
    @johnson because there isnt huge miss use of the c++ tag Commented Sep 21, 2013 at 23:42
  • 2
    I admit I'm not that familiar with either R or Factor, but it appears that a factor in R is a data type (and judging from the number of questions, a rather common one), and we do have tags for data types, e.g., function-pointers.
    – icktoofay
    Commented Sep 21, 2013 at 23:50
  • 2
    If the tag really is important to R, it should get an r-factor tag, not just take over the main one. Easier != Better.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Sep 21, 2013 at 23:58
  • Is it possible to auto-correct the tags on a question that has r and factor to have r and r-factor?
    – Jeremy
    Commented Apr 7, 2014 at 4:31
  • @JeremyHeiler There isn't currently functionality to do that, but you could post a feature request requesting that such functionality be implemented, although I doubt it will. Commented Apr 7, 2014 at 4:38
  • 1
    The tag is used for R more than anything else by a wide margin. factor is the name of a fundamental datatype in the R language -- as fundamental as int is for the C language. factors would not be seen as a synonym for an R factor. (Note that the R and Factor languages are not related in any way.) Commented May 13, 2014 at 1:50

2 Answers 2


I think that given the ambiguous name or would be acceptable.

A brief search shows similar examples for specific languages, although even the suffixes used are not consistent: , , , , , , ,

I also think that is more appropiate for the R datatype.

  • I imagine it's easier to persuade people to use factor-lang instead of having the R folks to use something else when the tags are being auto-completed. A person interested in the language would notice, while anyone else wouldn't care very much.
    – Jeremy
    Commented Apr 14, 2014 at 3:08

I think the tag is only acceptable because the word "factor" is otherwise ambiguous (it could mean factors of a number or even factoring). This can't apply to the names of other programming languages like or or even , where the terms have only one meaning in software development circles and not, say, as a kind of gem, reptile, or result of a chemical reaction.

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