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So I was sifting through tags today and what I will refer to as the history section seems like a mess to me...ok maybe that is too harsh, but I still think we can make it better. :)

We have:

and then a whole host of era specific tags


From my perspective, is good to go and the tag wiki is nice and specific. We are talking about earth history with some sort of change be it major or minor.

I am also happy with the age/era specific tags, I think those make sense.

I would propose:

  1. We eliminate the history tag, as it is too broad to be useful in categorization.

  2. We add a tag, perhaps , or or something similar for tagging questions related to creating an completely non-earth related history for a fictional world.

And yes I recognize the irony that is our current topic challenge.

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  • $\begingroup$ I find it ironic that your want to replace History with a history-something tag. $\endgroup$ – Vincent Feb 16 '16 at 17:39
  • $\begingroup$ I agree with both proposals. history is useless without context, so we should just use the more specific tags. Unless they're trying to create history, which is completely different than asking about history. $\endgroup$ – DaaaahWhoosh Feb 16 '16 at 17:44
  • $\begingroup$ @Vincent Its not so much a replacement as eliminating one and creating a new one to fill a current gap. $\endgroup$ – James Feb 16 '16 at 19:19
  • $\begingroup$ I think you need a solid tag name for "history creation" that is both clear and will be found by anyone looking to create a history. Without that there's not much can be done even if we decide something should be. $\endgroup$ – Tim B Feb 16 '16 at 19:22
  • $\begingroup$ @TimB I agree, any suggestions? $\endgroup$ – James Feb 16 '16 at 21:46
  • $\begingroup$ Nothing springs to mind... $\endgroup$ – Tim B Feb 16 '16 at 21:47
  • $\begingroup$ @TimB Fictional-History? $\endgroup$ – James Feb 17 '16 at 15:10
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In no particular order, my thoughts:

  1. is indeed very broad. Adding "history" to the end of the tags missing it would ensure that anyone typing the word "history" comes across the more specific tags and would then pick the era-specific tag most appropriate to their question. Delete.
  2. If we're changing them, I greatly prefer to , as it makes more sense grammatically and doesn't inhibit any searches.
  3. has a far broader scope than . Changing the tags that don't currently specify history to include that word runs the risk of excluding certain questions currently in the tag list. It's not a huge problem, but one we'd want to consider. I present these three questions from the Medieval section as examples of questions that would no longer fit quite as well if the tag changed to specify history:
  4. Some of these tags are almost never used.
    • has 9 questions. Almost all of them are also tagged as Medieval or would otherwise easily fit into a different tag. Very few are actually Renaissance-specific. Although the Renaissance was really cool, apparently we don't want to build worlds in that time. Delete.
    • has 3 questions, all of which could either be Medieval or Ancient History. The age described is horribly broad, hence the broadness of the questions within it. Delete.
    • has 8, but all of them are actually about this specific era, which makes sense because the Industrial Age was a very exciting and rapidly-changing time. There's lot of potential for questions in this era. Keep.
  5. I like the idea of an tag of some kind. Alternate history is still clearly about Earth. An inventing history tag would allow people to ask questions about non-Earth-based worlds. Create.
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    $\begingroup$ I think you're on to something with the periods here. We don't really have questions about, say, medieval history, right? We have questions about building aspects of worlds in a medieval setting, but they aren't history questions and those history questions would be off-topic here. So, while most of these are about times in Earth history, they aren't about history. $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Feb 17 '16 at 18:51
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    $\begingroup$ We shouldn't make decisions to keep or delete based on the number of questions that have already been asked (at least if N > 1 or 2). It's ok to have seldom-used tags if they are meaningful. If we think they aren't meaningful then delete, but I wouldn't delete renaissance just yet, for instance. $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Feb 17 '16 at 18:55
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Ok I have been thinking about this and I think I have my final recommendation (pending you all slaughtering it with red ink/sheep's blood). It mainly centers around standardizing the tags and hopefully making use more clear to world builders.

  1. Eliminate it's simply too generic to be useful in categorizing
  2. Rename to to support a new convention (Ill elaborate on the next step)
  3. Rename the era specific tags to:

Changing the form ensures that anyone typing history will come across the more specific versions of the time periods

  1. Add to cover history questions related to fictional/created worlds

This change set would require us going through all the history questions and applying the new proper tags, 51 questions at this point in time.

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  • $\begingroup$ I'm good with that, as a software person this makes sense to me. $\endgroup$ – bowlturner Feb 17 '16 at 16:59
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    $\begingroup$ I don't see any need to move the word history to the front, it makes them grammatically incorrect and gains nothing. Tags aren't alphabetically sorted and typing "hist" will find alternate-history just as easily as history-alternate $\endgroup$ – Tim B Feb 17 '16 at 17:04
  • $\begingroup$ @TimB Beginning or end is irrelevant I guess. It just makes more sense to me to have the category come before the specific topic and I don't see the need for something without grammar to be grammatically correct, but again, order is irrelevant, I just think it would be helpful to make these more obviously history, which helps ensure people use the correct tags...or use tags correctly. $\endgroup$ – James Feb 17 '16 at 18:46
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    $\begingroup$ We don't really have questions about, say, medieval history, right? We have questions about building aspects of worlds in a medieval setting, but they aren't history questions and those history questions would be off-topic here. So, while most of these are about times in Earth history, they aren't about history. $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Feb 17 '16 at 18:53
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    $\begingroup$ @MonicaCellio True enough, it would probably make sense if we go with this system for the tag wiki's to say something along the lines of "For questions regarding the blank time period or as a setting to illustrate the state of technology, politics, religion etc etc for a question" $\endgroup$ – James Feb 17 '16 at 19:04
  • $\begingroup$ Well, I think there are two different meanings for the tag. There is asking about something that happened during a time period and asking about the time period itself. I don't think we would have enough questions of the 2nd form to justify a separate tag for it though $\endgroup$ – Tim B Feb 17 '16 at 23:20

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