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Given the recent concerns raised about misuse of tags and incoherent naming of addons this is a tentative proposal to generally improve tag names in Blender Stack Exchange, and bring about some order and categorization.

The underlying idea is to rename existing tags and add either common prefixes or suffixes so related terms are aggregated and grouped together.

These add missing structure by providing semantics, so similar tags look related, they would visually appear more alike, and users will see suggested related terms in the autocomplete popup when typing some tags.

Some concerns have been raised about readability and whether we should use prefixes or suffixes.

Prefixes have the advantage of affecting sorting order, also when listing stuff together having a common first part makes them look visually related, sort together and easier to follow; where suffixes don't.

The tag search engine does supports fuzzy searching and non-contiguous matches however, so it shouldn't have a severe effect. I don't have a strong opinion here both would work fine.

I'd rather have shorter, rather than longer tag names, but I feel the added structure is worth the trade-off.

Pros:

  • Semantic relationship between tags
  • Similar tags are grouped together
  • Hopefully reduces misuse of ambiguous tags like
  • Increased chance users find appropriate tags

Cons:

  • Longer tags names
  • Potentially worse readability
  • Some added maintenance work
  • Dubious real benefit to users

Render Engines

All render engine related tags should receive a render-engine prefix

Addons

Addons would receive similar treatment. Tagging a question would make all specific addons pop up in suggestions, increasing the likelyhood of users finding the correct tags. For brevity I'd stick to "addon" rather than the official "add-on".

We could later expand to more areas like modifiers or nodes if we deem necessary

What do you guys think, is this worth the trouble? Any better naming schemes or different ideas?

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Render Engines:

The renaming of the render engine tags is mainly related to reducing the misuse of the rather generically named tag. Whether all the other render engine tags need renaming because of this, I don't know. I'm certainly not against having all the tags be consistent, but if there's no ambiguity with the other tags, then maybe they don't need renaming and only the tag needs to be looked at (whether that's adding 'render-engine' to the tag or something else). I think this is my general opinion of the other tag categories as well.

Add-ons:

Again, I am pro-consistency, but at the minute it's only the that is the odd one out of the add-on tags and most of the add-on names are unique enough that they are not being confused with other tags very often. Maybe it will become an issue if there are more generically named add-ons in future.

(If we do go ahead of this I'm still not particularly convinced that it's worth saving a single character by omitting the '-' from 'add-ons', but I don't ultimately mind.)

Modifiers:

There is a lack of consistency here. For example, some tags have modifier in the name ( and ) and some don't. 'build' would certainly be ambiguous without 'modifier' in the name. I actually think this makes the modifier tags the best use case for being consistently renamed.

However, there are some tags which relate to more than just the modifier, e.g. the tag relates to all types of mirroring, not just the modifier. Same with . In these instances will there be a tag in addition to a tag?

Prefixes vs Suffixes

I still don't understand the advantages you have put forward for prefixes vs the disadvantage of readability. What are the actual usage examples of prefixes helping with sorting order? What example of using the site will lead to it being useful to have tags listed together? I get that prefixes do make tags look visually related and it would make similar tags be sorted together, and it certainly looks neat, but when specifically will this be useful?

TLDR

To sum up, I think:

  • Modifiers are the best use-case for having a suffix and it is less necessary for other tags. Other categories just need the odd tag fixed.
  • Tags in a specific category should be consistent. If some tags in a specific category have a suffix, they all should.
  • We should have suffixes as opposed to prefixes if it is decided tags need them.
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    $\begingroup$ "In these instances will there be a mirror tag in addition to a mirror-modifier tag?" Yes in this case I'd say we would have two tags, one specifically for the modifier, one for the Edit Mode operator. One other example would be the Boolean Modifier vs the recently added Edit Mode Boolean Operations $\endgroup$ – Duarte Farrajota Ramos Feb 16 at 21:03
  • $\begingroup$ "I get that prefixes do make tags look visually related and it would make similar tags be sorted together, and it certainly looks neat, but when specifically will this be useful?" That it, it is mostly a visual thing, they look better and more consistent. They would also sort together at blender.stackexchange.com/tags or when typing in the tag field, rather than be scattered alphabetically. Again it is a minor thing I'm good either way $\endgroup$ – Duarte Farrajota Ramos Feb 16 at 21:08
  • $\begingroup$ Well, I disagree that 'looking better' is a good enough reason to go this route. And I also disagree that having tags sort when typing in the tag field is practically useful. If a user types 'render' why is it useful to have the tags grouped together? I mean, again, I get that it does it (although only some of the render tags appear when typing 'render'), but I still don't understand the specific use case? But I guess it doesn't matter as you went ahead with it anyway. $\endgroup$ – Ray Mairlot Feb 20 at 13:34
  • $\begingroup$ Other than sorting and visual appearance I don't think is a clear winner or advantage of prefixes over suffixes. Either way practically for end users it all ends up seeming ultimately indifferent, since we have synonyms setup. Nothing is written in stone, we can always change them back or rename them again it if we find it somehow harmful anyway $\endgroup$ – Duarte Farrajota Ramos Feb 20 at 16:18
  • $\begingroup$ I really don't think that for end users there isn't any difference. Having seen the tags in action it only enforces my thoughts about readability. Personally, I can no longer look at tags at a glance, I have to read past the prefix to get to the actual information in the tag. For me this prioritises appearance over readability. $\endgroup$ – Ray Mairlot Feb 20 at 23:25
  • $\begingroup$ Switched to suffixes, we loose some visual coherence, but it does gain in readability $\endgroup$ – Duarte Farrajota Ramos Feb 21 at 12:52

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