Using OS’s “input accessory views” ability while focused on the tags field (when writing a new/editing a question) to provide a hyphen (-) in the keyboard will remove the need to switch to the second keyboard view, allowing a more comfortable and quicker searching/adding of tags.

It’s true that there is auto-complete, however I believe this will have value nonetheless.

Such an implimentation might look like this:

Keyboard mockup

  • That's a hypen. A dash is a different thing altogether. – TRiG Feb 17 '14 at 16:03
  • Let me fix that. – Idan Adar Feb 17 '14 at 16:04
  • I would say; one of my top hates is context dependant keyboards. They look more convenient but I always misclick with them. The worst culprit is the android web keyboard that has ".com" where half of the space bar usually is. I’ve misclicked that perhaps a hundred times but the few times when I actually want to write “.com” I forget its there – Richard Tingle Feb 17 '14 at 16:09
  • This is not the same, the keyboard remains the same, only that in this case there will be an additional key above the keyboard - like when you are focused on an input field. – Idan Adar Feb 17 '14 at 16:11
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    @IdanAdar Ah, that is less hateful. Perhaps a mockup to show how it would look? – Richard Tingle Feb 17 '14 at 16:12
  • Added something like a mockup. – Idan Adar Feb 17 '14 at 16:17
  • Using your mockup I've created my own, is this what you're describing: imgur.com/t2CxBSw – Richard Tingle Feb 17 '14 at 16:30
  • Yes, that is what I meant. – Idan Adar Feb 17 '14 at 16:34
  • Cool, in that case I've added that mockup to the post and my hate is completely removed, +1 to this idea, makes a lot of sense – Richard Tingle Feb 17 '14 at 17:07
  • You should remove though the '>' and 'done' buttons. ;) – Idan Adar Feb 17 '14 at 17:15
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    @IdanAdar I did wonder why they were there, one second. Incidently should it look like that or should it look more "buttony". <edit> Added – Richard Tingle Feb 17 '14 at 17:19
  • Is it really so much work to drag from the 123 up to the hyphen and release? Using this method it returns to abc after the hyphen – mhlester Feb 17 '14 at 17:31
  • 1 action versus 2.5! w/out the risk of failure. – Idan Adar Feb 17 '14 at 17:33
  • @RichardTingle, that's quite good enough for a mockup... – Idan Adar Feb 17 '14 at 17:34

I have made this behavior a bit more universal. By version 1.0.2, you should see the following behavior:

  1. Tags Tab -> Search: any spaces will be replaced as hyphens.

  2. Ask Question -> Choose Tags: any spaces will be replaced as hyphens.

  3. Question Tag -> Search: spaces following an open left bracket (e.g. [some-tag will be replaced by hyphens.

  • Thanks for catching that typo ;) – Arie Litovsky Jun 16 '14 at 17:21

Thinking this one through. . . .

  1. Hyphens are hard to type
  2. Spaces are easy to type
  3. Tags can't have spaces

Space bar should convert to a hyphen automatically!

  • I like it, an evolution of my suggestion. +1 – Idan Adar Feb 19 '14 at 4:36
  • I don't know the app, but then how to add multiple tags? – Arjan Feb 19 '14 at 6:04
  • @Arjan, you already have to select the tag before adding another. And there's currently no functionality to create new tags (though that too would presumably have a button to create, before adding another) – mhlester Feb 19 '14 at 6:06
  • Or more succinctly, there would be no change – mhlester Feb 19 '14 at 6:06
  • Actually, we already do this. – Ben Collins Apr 29 '14 at 19:25
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    You sure about that @Ben? I just tried on the ask question page and the tags tab, neither found any results when I pressed space (and it stayed a space, not a hyphen) – mhlester Apr 29 '14 at 19:27
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    Eh, ok - we already do it in one place: searching for questions tagged [whatever-tag]. If you're typing in the search bar and are editing with an open left bracket, spaces are converted to hyphens. We could probably also do it by default in tag search and tag entry. – Ben Collins Apr 29 '14 at 19:29
  • Ah, nice! I hadn't considered that one. One down, two to go ;) – mhlester Apr 29 '14 at 19:30

It's primarily a search field, and only rarely a data entry field. A smarter search would produce a better user experience. The search results should include hyphenated tags even when the user has omitted the hyphens in the search term. (That's what Google would do!)

For the rare case of trying to create a new tag, mapping Space to - wouldn't be a bad idea.


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