I'd like to propose that the tags exist and existdb are merged. After going through multiple edits where exist (22 followers) was changed to existdb (12 followers) it became apparent that these really should be one and the same.

Note this is not the same as: Proposal: rename tag: exist to exist-db

As that is recommending renaming just one of them. Perhaps the merged tags together could be called [exist-db]?

  • Jesus, this guy has just made 36 suggestions that just changed a tag to a synonym, and they've all been approved?! EDIT: It's grown to 44 in the time I took to write this comment.
    – Mark Amery
    Jan 17, 2014 at 18:51
  • @MarkAmery, yup. They were the ones I was rejecting but it kept saying "It's already been approved". Sigh.
    – Moo-Juice
    Jan 17, 2014 at 18:52
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    @MarkAmery He isn't changing the tag to a synonym, he's disambiguating an ambiguous tag. That's exactly what should be done. Jan 17, 2014 at 18:54

1 Answer 1


A lot of the questions are not about eXist-db, but about testing if something exists somewhere (file, query result, etc.). It is best to manually retag the ones that are to , and the ones that aren't to other tags as appropriate (or none at all).

is very ambiguous, so it is best not used as a tag. Once all the posts that currently have it are retagged appropriately, it will only come back if a user with ≥1500 reputation reintroduces it. If that happens too often, the tag can be blacklisted.

A kind moderator (thanks, Flexo) has renamed to .

  • Ah, that makes sense. Silly me. Though somewhat scary that there are 22 people who specialise in something existing.... ;)
    – Moo-Juice
    Jan 17, 2014 at 18:54
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    I'm not sure I agree that this is a sensible course of action. Tagging something as exist because it's about whether something exists is stupid and unhelpful; those tags should just be removed. In any case, the exist tag description currently marks it as a clear synonym of existdb, so if this kind of retag is going to happen, we need to do something about the exist tag (blacklist it?) or it'll just continue to be reused as a synonym of existdb.
    – Mark Amery
    Jan 17, 2014 at 19:00
  • @Bart Point taken - I guess manually retagging until the exist tag isn't being used for either purpose is a sensible first step before a blacklist, if blacklisting is going to happen. Is that the right thing to do though, or should the questions about existence of stuff be untagged and then the tags merged? I feel like this ought to have been discussed on Meta before performing a mass retag - if the tags get merged, most of the retag work will have been pointless.
    – Mark Amery
    Jan 17, 2014 at 19:04
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    @MarkAmery But if you merge the tags then you won't be able to distinguish between currently-existdb (which are presumably correctly tagged) and currently-exist (which have a good chance of being wrong). So you need to clean up first, then merge. And after merging, you'd need to remove the synonym, because otherwise people are going to keep misusing exist as a bad tag. Given that there aren't many instances of the tag, merging would be more difficult than it's worth. Jan 17, 2014 at 19:05
  • @Gilles point taken.
    – Mark Amery
    Jan 17, 2014 at 19:06
  • Thanks for your assistance with this, guys. So many posts have misused "exist" to mean either (1) the eXist-db open source native XML database or (2) the SQL function exists. The ambiguity of the "exist" tag makes the eXist-db community work extra hard to answer all the eXist-db related questions tagged "exist" and filter out the ones that should've been "exists". I've just finished disambiguating the "exist" posts: applying "existdb" for eXist-db related posts, and "exists" for all the others. Would there be any way to delete the "exist" tag for once and all? Jan 17, 2014 at 19:36
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    I would also support the idea to rename the "existdb" tag as "exist-db" to reflect the project's actual name; for example, the domain is exist-db.org. Either way, though. The important thing is having a consistent tag that is easy for users to apply and allows eXist-db-related questions to be funnelled to the experts in the community. Jan 17, 2014 at 19:39
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    There are now no posts tagged exist. This would be a great opportunity to remove the tag for once and all, so that we don't get any more questions with this ambiguous tag. Jan 17, 2014 at 20:05
  • @joewiz Tags are removed automatically when they are not present on any question. It's a nightly job, not instantaneous, so the tag will be gone tomorrow if no one reintroduces it in the meantime. Jan 17, 2014 at 20:54
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    [exist] is now on my list of 166 tags I keep dead daily.
    – Charles
    Jan 17, 2014 at 21:11

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