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I asked a question on SO and tried to use the ie-10 tag and got an error message:

You are attempting to create the tag [ie-10]; however the tag [internet-explorer-10] already exists! If you think this new tag should be allowed, raise it on meta.

I'm not sure why I got this error message; the system apparently already knows that ie-10 is a synonym for internet-explorer-10, so why is it showing me an error message? I thought that tag synonyms were supposed to be automatically updated without user intervention. Or maybe the system has guessed that these might be synonyms but it isn't sure?

My suggestion: make it easier for the user to say "yes, that's right, go ahead and change it for me". Maybe a dialog box (that's not red) that says "Did you mean [internet-explorer-10]?" If user clicks yes, just change it for them and go on. Only if the user clicks "No" do you show them the scary stuff about tag creation and asking on meta.

Screenshot:

tag synonym error message

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The tag does not exist and is not a synonym. The problem here is that the tag exists and is synonymized. Note the difference in the hyphen.

The system is actually saying that you can't create because already exists, and you are forbidden from creating a tag that only differs from another tag by one or more hyphens. However, since is synonymized to , it's being remapped and the master tag is being shown in the error message, which is the source of the confusion.

Options to fix:

  1. Don't remap the tag to its master when displaying it in this particular error message.

  2. Automatically remap the attempted tag creation to the other master tag.

Option 1 seems most logical, since the system shouldn't assume that they are the same thing based on a hyphen, and would match the behavior of not just automatically remapping a tag to the alternate version and instead showing an error message.

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  • thanks for the explanation. But even if [ie10] wasn't a synonym of [internet-explorer-10], seeing a message saying "you're attempting to create [ie-10] tag when [ie10] tag already exists" would also be confusing i think... in that case couldn't the system just automatically change [ie-10] to [ie10]? I think a "Did you mean [internet-explorer-10]?" box would be more user-friendly--only if the user clicks "no" do you say "well you aren't allowed to create a tag so go ask on meta if you think this tag needs to be created". the message as it's worded now feels like developer UI. – Kip Sep 27 '13 at 18:03
  • Automatically remapping would work in this case, but not all cases where a tag differs by a hyphen are straight-forward "we can just change the tag" like this. There are some legitimate cases that existed before where the hyphen in the tag completely changed the meaning of the tag. So an error message is the best solution. It should make the user think "oh, that's probably the tag I want then." – animuson Sep 27 '13 at 18:05
  • ok thanks. i updated the question with my suggestion for making it a little friendlier – Kip Sep 27 '13 at 18:14

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