The Methane-world tech questions left me wondering what tag it ought to have. planets is about the planet itself, but what about a tag for alien (unearthly) conditions?

Is an existing tag suitable, or should I create a new one? If the latter, what's a name that would be meaningful?


2 Answers 2


Very broadly speaking, tags should be used to categorize the type of domain knowledge that answers need to draw on.

When adding tags, ask yourself the question "is an expert in the most suitable individual to answer my question?". If the answer to this is a resounding yes, then the tag probably makes sense; if the answer is anything less than that, then consider some other tag, or leave it out entirely.

In other words, if you are asking about the planet itself, then tagging the question makes sense.

If you are asking about effects on the environment of some specific condition of the planet, then is probably more appropriate.

If you are asking about effects on the society of that condition of the planet then you could usefully tag the question simply .

If your question is about the effects of commonplace space travel on the society of a planet, then a tag combination like probably makes sense to categorize the question. Note that such a question is not about and should not be tagged as such.

If your question is about the effects of a specific level of surface gravity on the development of airships, then a combination like probably makes sense, possibly alongside and/or depending on the specific focus of the question.

And so on.

Just because the text of a question starts out with, say, "I have a civilization living on a planet where..." this does not necessarily make it a question about . The major exception to this is if knowledge about planets (that is, naturally formed celestial objects orbiting a central star) is specifically useful in answering the actual question being asked.


I think is sufficient.

The wiki says this:

For questions about planets, how planets interact with the surrounding system and how the large-scale properties of a planet affect its smaller-scale features.

Large-scale properties can include atmosphere and how it would affect the smaller-scale features of the planet.

If we try to make tags to further categorise planets, we'll end up with Tag Soup™, where users who don't have experience here will find it hard to correctly tag their questions. Not a good thing.

Tags should, in general, be kept reasonably generic: might not be a viable tag because there are so many possible things a question tagged it might be about, but is just about the right level of generic.

  • $\begingroup$ The aspect I'm looking atnis about the environment, not the planet itself, and not necessarily involving planets! Like in the gas torus; like on a neutron star (Dragon's Egg), life in a neutron star (Flux), life in 26-dimentional manifolds in cyberspace (see Greg Egan), I could go on. Focus on the exotic conditions, not one system where they might be found. $\endgroup$
    – JDługosz
    Commented Apr 15, 2015 at 21:08
  • $\begingroup$ Looking at existing content tagged environment, that could be OK, but it has ecosystems as a synonym, which is not the same thing. $\endgroup$
    – JDługosz
    Commented Apr 15, 2015 at 21:12
  • $\begingroup$ @JDługosz in that case, environment is the tag you're looking for. Whether ecosystems is a synonym or not is TBD and I will open a new meta discussion on the point. $\endgroup$
    – ArtOfCode
    Commented Apr 15, 2015 at 21:19

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