In his question Our wooes and future of platform plugins at WPSE Rarst proposed the following at the end:

Extension-specific tags (such as plugin-*) are eradicated. They serve little purpose and send wrong message about what is welcomed. I have seen "there is a tag for it so I am right to ask whatever I want" line of reasoning too many times.

No one answered to that point, Rarst reads that as agreement and I don’t. See our chat discussion.

I am afraid it went by unnoticed and it might have some unwelcome side effects to do that. We will still get WooCommerce/ACF/WP SEO/plugin X questions.

I am asking the community for explicit objections or agreement before we continue making certain tags synonyms for .

Update: I have removed the tag synonym now. New questions can be tagged woocommerce again, but the old questions (~1k, if I remember that correctly) didn’t get that tag back.

  • This might be ignorant of me since I don't know how the stack system works, but can we disable people adding tags like plugin-namehere entirely so that these tags never get made?
    – Howdy_McGee Mod
    Commented Dec 16, 2013 at 19:47
  • Wildcard ban on tags is possible, but very hard to ask for, last time it took like Atwood personally applying it.
    – Rarst
    Commented Dec 16, 2013 at 20:02
  • It wouldn’t be useful too. For example plugin-repo (just made up) would not be a tag about one plugin.
    – fuxia Mod
    Commented Dec 16, 2013 at 20:05
  • 3
    On the topic of voting and mandates, in Australia we've just had a replacement of government based on essentially an unpopularity contest. The incoming government has taken their non-loss as a mandate to repeal climate change mitigation laws, remove "green tape" environmental hindrances to mining operations, and perform other generally unpopular actions. Nobody voted for that, rather the old government was voted out. Be careful about drawing inferences from votes counted.
    – webaware
    Commented Dec 17, 2013 at 23:12
  • So, what the actionable conclusion here? Q is worded so it's unclear if people upvote question posed in title or suggestion to discuss it further. If we are not proceeding with this then let's just restore and suffer woocommerce.
    – Rarst
    Commented Jan 6, 2014 at 9:29
  • @Rarst See my update.
    – fuxia Mod
    Commented Jan 6, 2014 at 12:26

4 Answers 4


Upon further reflection, I think this tag synonym should be reverted, for two reasons:

1) It prevents the use of the WPSE ignore feature, since ignoring the woocommerce tag forces ignoring of the synonym tag, plugins

2) It is inconsistent. Other Plugins retain their tags, e.g.: plugin-gravity-forms, advanced-custom-fields, and similarly, genesis-theme-framework.

(Note: I also ignore the three listed tags, because like WooCommerce, I don't use them and know nothing about their code; so ignoring them helps me more easily find questions that I might be able to answer. I have lost this ability with woocommerce, since it is now a synonym of plugins.)

  • (1) one of the goals is for people to ignore less and deal with it more, ignoring doesn't help (2) they don't "retain", they weren't dealt with as well because toscho stalled the process with this Q
    – Rarst
    Commented Jan 5, 2014 at 6:19
  • 3
    The ignore system is part of the SE infrastructure, and is there to be used. I ignore certain tags because I can contribute nothing to them, and by ignoring them I can more easily find the questions I can contribute to. Making it harder to ignore isn't going to make me go learn WooCommerce, Genesis, Gravity, etc; rather, it simply makes it harder for me to find the questions to which I can contribute. Commented Jan 5, 2014 at 15:07
  • If community ignores out of scope questions and moderators ignore out of scope questions - who cleans them up?
    – Rarst
    Commented Jan 5, 2014 at 15:10
  • I think you know that I'm not shy with using my close votes. Commented Jan 5, 2014 at 18:08

I'd suggest it should be very dependent on the nature of the tag and of the questions within. Simply throwing together all the plugin-related tags are going to make questions less browseable. As mentioned by @toscho, plugin-related questions will still be asked. Why not keep the system we already have to keep questions organized (more or less)? If there are questions that are plugin-agnostic, retag appropriately. Otherwise let new content quality rules apply.

  • 1
    Current system implicitly endorses plugin-specific questions in this regard. Given how much of a problem it is and of how little importance tags are as navigation I think these deserve to be put down. Simply put - tags are too "cheap" to be allowed to be a problem.
    – Rarst
    Commented Dec 17, 2013 at 21:54

I spend bugger-all time on this site, and when I do, I go looking for questions that the experts can't/won't answer because they're outside their specific domains of expertise -- such as Gravity Forms, WooCommerce, and WP e-Commerce -- or because they have a bias against them due to poor treatment from the vendors of those plugins. Right now, I can't easily find the WooCommerce questions to even consider answering them, but I can at least easily browse the other ones.

You might say, "those questions don't belong here", but I'd posit that at least some of them do and hiding them in a huge list of essentially unrelated questions is not going to get those questions answered.

The problem isn't one of taxonomy, it's one of question quality. Too many questions about plugins are poor quality because people think they can get answers about anything to do with WordPress here. That goes back to the site name, IMHO. And of course, the problem now lies with the SE Community Team refusing to change the name to something more appropriate.

I understand the frustration, and can only sympathise. But making it harder to answer questions by removing some useful methods of finding them isn't going to help. People will still ask questions, but they'll go unnoticed.

Just my AUD $0.02 anyway.

  • 2
    Agree on the findability issue. I like to browse a number of favorite tags to see what new questions are present - including plugin-specific topics. Quality and expectation management are the bigger issues. Commented Dec 18, 2013 at 7:32
  • 1
    cough 'woocommerce hasaccepted:no' search nets 400+ questions right now. I don't want to say it's as easy as tag, however I disagree that lack of tag had made it much harder to find questions to answer on topic.
    – Rarst
    Commented Dec 18, 2013 at 23:07
  • Is there a way to "favourite" a search? e.g. make it as easy as clicking a tag. (I'm a lazy developer!)
    – webaware
    Commented Dec 19, 2013 at 0:51
  • I would suggest browser bookmark. :)
    – Rarst
    Commented Dec 19, 2013 at 10:11
  • I already have one for WPSE :)
    – webaware
    Commented Dec 19, 2013 at 10:12

I agree with the action being taken; however, I do not believe that the meta discussion constituted a mandate for that action.

99% of the discussion (and answer up-votes) related to the question of scope. While one question (with 2 net upvotes, compared to 10, 9, 8, and 3 net upvotes for the other more highly-voted questions) indicated support for the "suggestions", no discussion in answers or comments even mentioned the suggestion to change tags.

I do not believe that the following justification is in line with accepted SE conventions or moderation:

so what? no one contested either and it was upvoted overall I consider it processed and accepted for action ...or they didn't see anything wrong with it, either way - de facto accepted

Perhaps the bigger problem was that the question was mal-formed. The question should have posed the issue/problem, and then each of the proposed solutions should have been posted as (separate) answers, for proper voting/discussion.

Edited to add: I view a meta question upvote as an indication that the issue/problem/question is one worthy of discussion/consideration, and not necessarily endorsement of a solution proposed in the question.


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