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I just rejected an edit that was trying to add the tag to a question, on the bases of it being a meaningless tag.

Why do we have this tag?

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  • What are the stats? What's using it?
    – slugster
    Commented Feb 2, 2014 at 11:25
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    Seems to be applied similarly to whitespace - might be a good synonym.
    – user50049
    Commented Feb 2, 2014 at 11:31
  • @Tim, not that simple, is is also used on some database quesions about disk space. (I only looked at few quesions that use it.) Commented Feb 2, 2014 at 11:40
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    And there might some about space (the outer space)!
    – devnull
    Commented Feb 2, 2014 at 11:52
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    @devnull then they should use the blackspace tag. Commented Feb 2, 2014 at 12:05
  • Oh ick. While it's not quite a meta tag, it's definitely an ambiguous one. Ho hum, time to take a much deeper look.
    – user50049
    Commented Feb 2, 2014 at 12:15
  • @TimPost: I suspect most of non-whitespace uses are simply the result of people typing "disk space" into the tag box, and can thus be found with this search. There also seems to be a few "heap space" questions, but I think that's pretty much it. Commented Feb 2, 2014 at 12:55
  • Anyway, it looks like a completely useless tag to me (and I'm not sure whitespace is much better, either). Let's space it. Commented Feb 2, 2014 at 13:01
  • "Comma" is anther related meaningless tag Commented Feb 2, 2014 at 17:50
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    Given the asking and answering patterns, it is not a topic anyone specializes in (most of the high scoring users have just a single question or answer with the tag space). See the What value does the save tag provide on Stack Overflow? question for where that heuristic comes from. Commented Feb 2, 2014 at 21:52

2 Answers 2

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Space characters in text systems indicate separation between words or glyphs. While most Western scripts use only one space character, Unicode defines multiple different kinds of whitespace characters for use in specialized typography functions and in Asian languages.

If you read a question like Replace %20 with space character while saving file iOS, it actually seems to match the tag wiki, though it seems it would serve as a good synonym for (see "any combination of spaces" in the tag wiki), only also refers to space between components, so it could be used in a question asking about, for example, margin in CSS ("Unexpected CSS token: {" in Safari and unexplained gap between divs). In any case, could be a tag synonym of or , also, so we seem to have lots of different types of tags that could all be synonyms to a simple tag that has a tag description reading

Unicode character U+0020, space between components, and any combination of spaces.

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Looking at the list of questions on the first page, they are discussing all sorts of different types of , and only a few are concerned with U+0020 and its near relatives. That alone means that the tag is of dubious quality; it does not clearly help you refine your search to relevant questions because all sorts of questions are classified as relevant.

I note that there is a synonym suggestion that (432 questions) should be made into a synonym of (888 questions). The question has been closed as a duplicate, but the duplicate hasn't been acted on either (at least w.r.t these two tags — I've now proposed that spaces should be a recognized synonym of space). The duplicate is a generic request to merge singular/plural tags.

On the whole, I think many — possibly most — of the questions do not warrant the tag, and it should largely be burninated. I'm willing to compromise in that there are some questions where the official description of the tag matches the content of the question, but I'm not sure how useful the tag would be.

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