Can tags be added for major releases of blender? For example
version3. There are different features and some questions are only relevant in one and some questions have different answers depending on the version.
This has been brought up quite a few times before, and comes up again every now and then. There has been lots of discussions and back and forth about it, and there seems to be a lack of consensus about whether to have version tags or not. Some moderators are against it some in favor and nothing decisive ever comes out of it.
This should be a community decision along with other moderators and I won't offer any resistance if we decide by majority in favor of having version tags.
I'll start by saying that I can totally see how these are useful for someone looking for answers for the shiny-newly-released-version, or how someone else stuck with older hardware can be looking for solutions specifically for Blender-of-Yore version 1.XX.
I oppose version tags however for the following reasons, mostly related to potentially alienating good content and maintenance burden with little benefit.
- Outdated answers should be updated rather than discarded, if significant changes happened that warrant an entirely new solution then new answers should be posted, rather than post a new question, which leads us to:
- Version tags will worsen information scattering. A user searching for solutions will have to visit 2, 3 maybe 10 questions all trying to solve the same issue, rather than visit a single comprehensive post with all solutions in a single place.
- Maintenance wise, for moderators and community members helping with review queues, it also will be harder to gather a collection of memorable easy to find "canonical posts" with comprehensive answers covering all possible solutions and high vote count to close questions as duplicates of.
- The way the site works we tag questions not answers, and questions should ideally be timeless and remain always valid regardless of version. This can have many adverse implications like:
- Limiting the scope of the answers. There may be relevant answers that still address your issue and are not version exclusive.
- No one stops you from post an (updated) answer for say 2.8 on an older post, nor posting a solution that also works in older versions (exclusively or mutually) in a post for a new version. Now the question tags are misleading, or alienating.
- Blender changes rapidly but many question for older versions still apply today, hiding away potentially relevant content for users filtering by tags. Some times updating a single keyboard shortcut or menu entry will suffice.
- Planned obsolescence: By version tagging a post we are intentionally labeling an expiry date on answers. Say shiny new Blender 3.0 is out everyone wants relevant answers for new Geometry nodes. Questions tagged 3.0 now are highly desirable, but tomorrow 3.1 will be out and in two years when 4.XX series are the shiny new toy there may be many things about Geometry Nodes or Asset Libraries that haven't really changed all that much, but since no one searches for obsolete 3.0 tag anymore there may be high quality content being ignored because of unnecessary tags.
- Some propose major version tags only, for bigger development jumps like from 2.49 to 2.5, or 2.79 to 2.8 or 2.93 to 3.0. I'd say it may some times be fuzzy where major versions are really relevant. From 2.93 to 3.0 a lot changed for say Geometry Nodes for example, but for most other areas answers are still valid. I bet barely anyone still searches for 2.8 tags these days, let alone pre-2.5. Version tags are most useful in the short-ish period after a major release, and become mostly irrelevant months after when the dust settles and new answers crop up; again exacerbating the maintenance burden for a limited benefit.
- For all other cases of newly introduced features that didn't exist before, or for the case where users may be searching for solutions relevant to newer versions only, I suppose mentioning the version number or the name of a new feature in the body of the question will suffice. I bet there aren't any questions tagged Geometry Nodes for version 2.8 now.
Don't take my words has written in stone though, again I'd be entirely open to allowing version tags if the rest of the community makes a convincing case backed with strong arguments for it.
I'd definitely like to see what take on this other current moderators have, and I'd encourage every other community member to post answers pro and con so we can make a solid decision.
Vote away, may the amount of points on the answers be the deciding factor.
Independent of the consensus now, I think we should wait for "Version labels for answer" to propagate, if it does, before we do anything specific about version numbers. I don't think it's a good idea to introduce version tags if version labels are forthcoming, as having both will be confusing.
If version labels propagate then we should discuss how they would be most useful on blender stackexchange.
I think it's not a good idea for BSE. They would only complicate edits, and further confuse new users who do not know how to use tags in the first place. I know that I have lost count of how many times I have seen questions tagged with something akin to blender-id blender-internal-render-engine blender-osm because the user assumed that was how to ask a question about blender.
I think that continuing to use workflow related tags make more sense, as they inform answerers of the problem and potential solution as well as which version is most likely being used.
As of this writing, there are 89,605 questions, and only 389 of them have
3.0 in the search results, so I have hard time seeing the benefit of version-3.0 or version-2.7x orversion-2.8+ or similar tags
All of that said, I'm interested to hear what the rest of the community has to say on the matter.