In retrospect of this massive cleanup operation, I would like to ask the community how they feel about a warning or confirmation (or just special highlighting) on new tag creation.

Everybody hates stock "are you sure?" confirmation, but a lot of tags get created by mistake (and then used ad nauseam).

For example, I think I might have created the tag by accident. Assuming the right tag was , there would be two tags for c# 4.0, until they are made synonyms. With a warning, some accidental tags could be prevented.

  • 1
    Also, we need a tags police as zealous as the "dupe police" currently is. An easy-to-access list of newly created tags, with the power to undo them before it's too late, for mods to use.
    – MPelletier
    Aug 28 '10 at 1:19
  • The 10k tool "stats" page current shows new tags... Aug 28 '10 at 17:10
  • @dmckee: Great, but that does not help prevent the creation of erroneous tags.
    – MPelletier
    Aug 29 '10 at 14:26
  • 1
    I'm still trying to understand this issue. In what sort of situations would it be possible to create an incorrect tag?
    – user164291
    Aug 15 '11 at 16:48
  • 1
    @Phoenix: typos or creating a different spelling for a tag (e.g. msword vs. ms-word)
    – MPelletier
    Aug 15 '11 at 17:32
  • 2
    +1 this. I assumed that pressing Enter when there was only one tag left in the tag suggestion window would accept that suggestion. Instead it created the partial tag I'd typed, which will now clutter up everyone else's suggestion boxes until it dies from inactivity after 6 months. It's probably an error one makes only once or twice, but that will still leave a lot of avoidable debris if every user who reaches 1500 rep has to discover it for himself. Aug 22 '11 at 17:45
  • @Jeff This is [status-completed] now, right? I'm almost certain I've seen such dialogs recently. Dec 4 '11 at 7:32
  • If this is status-completed, you could have fooled me. I've edited out three or four typos of "javascript" over the past week alone.
    – Charles
    Jan 18 '12 at 23:15
  • @JasonPlank Perhaps you have seen dialog mentioned here. It appears only when there is a tag very similar to an already existing one; in which case the tag cannot be created. The feature request is about creating any new tag.
    – Martin
    Oct 2 '13 at 9:41

As of yesterday, we can show the following dialog to moderators and users with the "create new tags" privilege when they attempt to create one or more new tags either while asking a question or during an edit:

enter image description here

This feature is currently enabled on Stack Overflow, Server Fault, Super User, Unix & Linux, Mi Yodeya, Ask Ubuntu, Physics, Sound Design, Pets, and Mathematics.

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    Make the big button be "Back" and put it on the right. Then make "Yes, I'm sure" be small and on the left.
    – bjb568
    Jun 11 '14 at 21:29
  • Very nice, wonder nobody "reported" this yet! Jun 11 '14 at 21:31
  • @bjb568 replygif.net/i/446.gif
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Jun 11 '14 at 21:33
  • Why? It looks ugly and awkward like this.
    – bjb568
    Jun 11 '14 at 21:33
  • 2
    @bjb568 "Ugly and awkward" is a matter of opinion. We may adjust the UI later once we see what this does in practice.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Jun 11 '14 at 21:35
  • @Adam I prefer this one: replygif.net/i/1504.gif Jun 11 '14 at 21:38
  • 3
    No, response times and error rates have been studied. The generally accepted scheme is the recommended or least destructive action emphasized and on the right, the opposite on the left, and any other one in the middle. i.imgur.com/WfVLs6w.png
    – bjb568
    Jun 11 '14 at 21:38
  • @bjb568 nothing here is "destructive". Misspelled tag can be easily fixed. Jun 11 '14 at 21:40
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    @bjb568 This is new tag creation, not a space shuttle launch. I see your point, but this is intended to be a quick sanity check moment for the poster, not something that's a strong roadblock.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Jun 11 '14 at 21:40
  • @Shadow No, that's extra work for other people (who might not even notice). "Destroying" time better spent on other things.
    – bjb568
    Jun 11 '14 at 21:41
  • @AdamLear Fine, emphasize "Yes", but at least make it on the right. Looks so ugly like this.
    – bjb568
    Jun 11 '14 at 21:42
  • 3
    Last thing on the subject: feature requests are best proposed as separate questions rather than as terse demands in comments.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Jun 11 '14 at 21:42
  • @bjb568 keep in mind that new tags still should be created sometimes and we better not make it too intimidating. Jun 11 '14 at 21:42
  • Isn't this a bit minor for a feature request? It's literally just float: right, 12 characters of CSS.
    – bjb568
    Jun 11 '14 at 21:42
  • To me, it looked worse on the right when I tried it that way. I'm not saying this is a major change. I'm just not even remotely convinced that it's needed right now.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Jun 11 '14 at 21:43

Possible solution:

Only new tags should be confirmed by a mouse click on the one added to the preview box.

enter image description here


I've created a couple tags accidentally, just typing them in thinking I remembered them. I only noticed when someone else came along and retagged to use the correct ones. I can't be the only one.

Since adding the tags is usually the last thing done before posting, it's easy to miss if one is wrong. A dialog might be a little annoying, but just changing the text of the "Post Your Question" button to "Create tags and Post Question" when new tags are entered would give users a heads-up.

  • 1
    why is this necessary? It takes 1,500 rep to even create a tag on SO, which is many times more than on other sites. Jun 23 '11 at 4:15
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    @jeff - I think it's because it's very easy for those of us that can to do it to do so without meaning to, and then everyone's able to use the accidental tag which just creates a lot of clean-up work
    – Brad Mace
    Jun 23 '11 at 4:18

This would be massively intrusive early in a site's life cycle---which suggested leaving it off of Stack Exchange for now, and eventually making it switchable---but is reasonable for mature sites.

My only concern: will users who just hammer in tags without looking at the matching options actually take the hint? Or will the just blithely continue (maybe hoping for a taxidermist badge)?

  • 3
    Agreed that site maturity (such as SO, SU, SF, MSO) is required. Erratic user behaviour being what it is, no system will be foolproof, but maybe we can aim at a 80% reduction in erroneous tag creation? That would already be a nice improvement.
    – MPelletier
    Aug 28 '10 at 1:14
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    Taxidermist? Are we doing hunters.se.com already? Jun 18 '11 at 20:25
  • 5
    I think he meant taxonomist, but I like the idea of a taxidermist badge. :) Oh, if there was a hunders.se site, I once knew that site's potential Jon Skeet...
    – MPelletier
    Jun 20 '11 at 14:54
  • I would like a warning for new-tag creation on new sites too. (Not forbidding to create them, of course.) Aug 15 '11 at 20:43

Definitely a good suggestion. The ideal implementation will:

  • Draw the user's attention--unmistakably yet unobtrusively--to the fact that the text just typed will create a new tag, and
  • Gain the user's confirmation without the need for even one extra click.

My suggestion is that when the typed text changes its appearance to look like a tag, it takes on a strikingly different appearance (red like a WP redlink, funky border, perhaps glowing bright and then dim). That combined with Brad Mace's suggestion to change the text of the "Post Your Question" button should do it (although my suggested text would be "Confirm creation of n tags and Post Question"). That button could become more striking in appearance too.

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