Could there be a way to warn users when they are using a set of "unliked" tags? Or at least stop
[windows-forms] showing up in the completion list when typing tags into a question?
I don't like the idea of trying to stop anyone from tagging anything. If you make a rule for one tag you're going to have to start setting rules for all subjects and find out what the canonical term is for each subject.
Typically once a tag gets popular enough, people will notice it more and continue to use it, and the problem of "stragglers" becomes less and less and can be cleaned up regularly with a simple tag clean up.
OK; new suggestion... stop fighting the inevitable... just go with it...
Any good reasons not to just do this?
Once the questions have been re-tagged, is there a way to delete the unused tag?
There is no way for the average user to know '
winforms' is "unliked". The system even goes as far as suggesting it as a valid tag (through the popup). If the tag did not physically exist in the database, there will be a bit of friction against creating a new tag (and low-reputation users would be unable create it as a new tag).
Earlier this evening (UK time) I went through and retagged the 8 questions that were using [winforms]. I've just checked now and it's still suggested with (8) after the name. That implies that it's using a cached value.
If we could ensure that there were no [winforms] tagged question just before the cache was refreshed then it should appear in the suggestions.
[windows-forms] did appear when I typed "win" so hopefully people will realise and use that.
I'd love to have a UI for a "Want help selecting your tags?" button next to the current text box. Such a UI could make some guesses based on:
- the text in the question, or based on the title, or
- based on what they've already typed into the text box, or
- based on what they type into a similar text box on the help page, or
- all of the above.
The suggestions would be in the form of suggested tags, with definitions next to them. These might say things like:
- c# - any version of the C# programming language.
- java - any version of the Java programming language.
- sql-server - any release of the SQL Server product from Microsoft
- windows-forms - any version of the Windows Forms technology, part of the Microsoft .NET Framework. Do not use this tag for WPF or SilverLight questions
- sql - any dialect of the ANSI SQL language
- t-sql - the T-SQL Dialect used by Microsoft SQL Server
- pl-sql - the PL/SQL dialect used by Oracle
The page might even show entries for "please do not use":
- mssql - please use sql-server instead, as this can be confused with mysql
- winforms - please use windows-forms instead
Where another tag is mentioned, it might be a link to the other tag on the same page.
A small part of the problem I addressed here is that my "interesting" tags weren't updated. I still had WinForms as an interesting tag (which, of course, showed 0 questions when I clicked it). If a tag is going to be retired, there should be some way to redirect the interesting and ignored tags too.
As I understand it, a re-tag does delete the old tag; here's me re-tagging winforms (again):
updating post history, 1 rows affected updating posts, 1 rows affected removing/renaming old tag, 1 rows affected <======= THIS LINE updating count for master tag, 1 rows affected merge of [windows-forms] and [winforms] complete!
The marked line agrees with my understanding, and the deleted tag no longer appears in the drop-downs etc.
The problem is that people keep re-creating them ;-p
I would be entirely supportive of a list of override tags that make attempts to use "tag A" use "tag B" instead; it essentially just formalises the manual, repetitive re-tagging process.