A few of us noticed today that Gaming has started adding twice the number of tags into the title of the page (if the Question title doesn't already contain the string in question).

In a word, why?

What the community would benefit from, and indeed, has requested, is to have a 2nd, more "important" type of tag that will always be added to the title. This prevents the hated "meta" tag e.g. "PC" vs. "PS3" (which this site uses to help filter questions) from needlessly obfuscating the title.

Is adding the top two tags a temporary measure, or the "solution" to our request?

If it's intended as the latter, I'd ask that the devs rethink the usefulness of such a policy. Adding the top two tags doesn't help this issue, it's just a stopgap solution that counts on the game tag being the 2nd most numerous tag (something that can't be guaranteed, even with one of our more popular games) when it's not being outright redundant (minecraft minecraft, anyone?).

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Your Deus Ex example is an excellent example of a question that is well-tagged but still has two unimportant tags showing before the game title. More like it would help the argument for another solution a lot. –  David Fullerton Nov 18 '11 at 20:15
    
@david ironically, that question started out with one tag but somehow acquired a bunch of "bonus tag" barnacles over time.. gaming.stackexchange.com/revisions/29612/1 at only 125 tags for the game, it's questionable whether so many subtags are really needed. –  Jeff Atwood Jan 4 '12 at 10:20
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3 Answers 3

This change was made last night on the Gaming site alone. It is an attempt to solve the problem without having to make broader changes to the tag system. I am very much on the fence about it, but since changing tag order is off the table for now* I am willing to give it a chance to see if it is better.

If there are more examples of questions where it hurts than where it helps, it's easy to roll back.


*Jeff has stated that he is categorically opposed to changing the tagging engine for the purposes of the Gaming site. If you would like to hear his side, open a meta post about it (or suggest an existing one) and I will ask him to respond publicly there.

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I can certainly understand not wanting to change the entire tagging engine for the #5 site (traffic-wise). But if he wants to explain, I guess maybe point him to this one, which has 26 votes on it. Maybe there are other/better ones. –  Doozer Blake Nov 18 '11 at 21:42
    
@Doozer while Skyrim is hot we're #3! –  David Fullerton Nov 18 '11 at 22:01
    
We're still a very small slice in the full pie, though. –  badp Nov 18 '11 at 23:13
    
Maybe Jeff's a bad programmer, wrote the tag-in-title code himself, and made it immensely complicated, but I doubt at least #1 or #3 are true. It should be dead simple as-is and dead simple to change. Introduce a blacklisted field for tags and make a simple interface for mods to manage it, then use something like SELECT Name FROM Tags WHERE Name IN tags_on_question AND blacklisted == False, plus default to the current behavior if you get no results. That could probably be made better and even simpler. Again, I'm ignorant of how this works but if it's much more complicated than that ... oy. –  Matthew Read Nov 19 '11 at 3:47
    
(I can see why more complicated solutions like tag hierarchies or primary/secondary tags would be worse, though.) –  Matthew Read Nov 19 '11 at 3:49
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@Matthew perhaps you'd also be interested in rewriting Stack Overflow in a weekend –  David Fullerton Nov 19 '11 at 13:47
    
I like to say that everything is trivial to implement, if someone else has to implement it :) –  agent86 Nov 20 '11 at 23:44
    
@DavidFullerton: You'd need six to eight weeks for that. –  Michael Madsen Nov 21 '11 at 1:31
    
I'm not saying SE isn't complicated, just that if blacklisting tags is as complicated as claimed then you guys have a serious problem. (Side note: Raven's created this post addressing Jeff.) –  Matthew Read Nov 22 '11 at 23:50
    
Any updates, sir? –  Raven Dreamer Jan 4 '12 at 17:54
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There's also an issue with any sort of console specific bug resolution / technical support.

Before the sudden, unexplained removal of the tag, we had quite a handful of questions which would have still not had anything relevant in the question title. (Why was the deleted anyway?)

Regardless, unless the game in question is Skyrim, any confluence of and any of the platform tags (, , , , etc.) will still not contain anything meaningful in the title.

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bug was pretty speculative when I browsed it -- anything that vaguely had a whiff of "I don't like this behavior, therefore it must be a bug" seemed to get the tag. See also: codinghorror.com/blog/2008/11/… –  Jeff Atwood Jan 4 '12 at 10:23
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