On Emacs there's long been a tag, auto-complete-mode, which corresponds to a particular (now old) Emacs package autocomplete.el and its command/mode auto-complete-mode.

For several years now, other ways to obtain autocompletion have been available in Emacs, and the use of that old package has diminished.

But the only tag for autocompletion has been auto-complete-mode, so that tag has unfortunately been applied to lots and lots of questions that have nothing to do with package auto-complete.el and its command auto-complete-mode.

I've added a new tag, autocompletion, for the general feature of autocompletion. And I started editing posts with tag auto-complete-mode, to change those that have nothing to do with that package to instead have tag autocompletion. But this is really s l o w.

What's an easy way to get this job done? It would be good to just (1) get the list of posts tagged auto-complete-mode, which is simple, and then (2) look at each of them, and just hit a key or click something once, to replace tag auto-complete-mode with tag autocompletion, if appropriate.

(That's what you'd do in/with an editor - query-replace. I don't use Emacs to access Stack Exchange, otherwise I'd use it to make such a replacement.)

Is there some existing shortcut to performing such an edit on a set of posts?

  • 3
    Moderators have the option to merge one tag into another - this is typically asked/requested for on your site's Meta.
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Jan 7 at 17:59
  • @Glorfindel: What's meant by "merge" here? I want some of the posts with tag auto-complete-mode to instead use tag autocompletion - that's all.
    – Drew
    Jan 7 at 18:16
  • 5
    OK, then a merge is not appropriate, and the only option is to go on a (manual) retag-request. Those are usually done by the community, a handful of questions each day, to avoid crowding the homepage.
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Jan 7 at 18:28
  • @Glorfindel: How/where to submit such a request? The tags in question are Emacs-specific, and only people in that community would be targets for such a request. What's the procedure for submitting such a request for a single site (emacs.SE)?
    – Drew
    Jan 7 at 20:42
  • 1
    @Glorfindel: And why doesn't StackExchange provide a better way to carry out such a simple, if ultimately manual (in terms of judging), maintenance operation?
    – Drew
    Jan 7 at 20:44
  • 2
    Don’t you have to manually review each question to ensure that the tag changes are appropriate anyway?
    – Joe W
    Jan 8 at 2:21
  • @joe: Please reread the request. E.g.: "look at each of them, and just hit a key or click something once, to replace tag auto-complete-mode with tag autocompletion, if appropriate."
    – Drew
    Jan 8 at 2:37
  • 1
    I understand what the request is but if you are reviewing tags and redoing as needed I would think you would want to review all tags on the question and update them manually. In my mind even with manual review a system like that would lead to errors. I think it is similar to the guidelines around editing posts in that you are supposed to fix as much of the post as you can rather then just change things one at a time.
    – Joe W
    Jan 8 at 3:49
  • @JoeW: In the case described, the analysis of whether this tag change is needed for some question is extremely quick. But the typing and clicking needed to make just this simple tag replacement is laborious - consumes the most time. When hundreds of posts need to be edited this way it's impractical. StackExchange's UI, including reviewing and editing tools, are rudimentary/primitive - or more politely, they have room for improvement. Maybe if someone's not used to better editing tools they seem just fine...
    – Drew
    Jan 8 at 17:00
  • 1
    You seem to be missing the point I was making in the last comment. When editing a post or changing tags on a question you should be reviewing it for all possible changes instead of just doing a quick look at it and only changing one of the things that may or may not be needing changed. What happens when you change this single tag and it means that the rest of them are now invalid tags? Should we just let these questions with bad tags sit around?
    – Joe W
    Jan 8 at 18:24
  • Or how many bad changes are going to be made because people get in robo review mode and start approving/denying changes incorrectly? It always is a major concern on some sites that people just plow through reviews like this which ends up with incorrect results. There is a reason why some of these things are designed to take a while and overall we should not be having major tag changes like this very often in the first place.
    – Joe W
    Jan 8 at 18:25
  • @JoeW: Your over-generalizations are completely out of context, sorry. That good editing tools enable you to quickly make wide-scale simple changes doesn't imply that you can't otherwise spend time to more slowly make more involved changes. It doesn't impose "robo review"ing.
    – Drew
    Jan 8 at 19:24
  • How is pointing out that an edit to a post or a questions tags is supposed to address all issues with the post an over-generalization? It isn't a matter of editing tools being good or bad but the desire that when an edit is done to a post everything is looked at and as much as possible is fixed. This is to avoid situations where a question gets bumped to the top of the front page many times in a short period of time because of lots of small minor edits. Not to mention a mass edit like you are suggesting would flood the front page and push lots of questions off it.
    – Joe W
    Jan 8 at 19:28
  • 1
    FWIW, mods also have asked for such features (i.e. better mass editing & tag management tool), but it just hasn't been considered by staff. Jan 9 at 3:40
  • 1
    @Drew Yes, over the years, there have been multiple feature requests for all the different possibilities which have been discussed here so far.
    – Makyen
    Jan 9 at 4:34


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