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As some of you have noticed I am busy cleaning up the tag database, removing meaningless ones like showcase and challenge, retagging the relevant posts. In the process @toscho and I ran into a bit of a discussion in chat on naming conventions.

The flashpoint was that I created custom-logo as a tag for the custom logo customizer function introduced in 4.5. We already have custom-header and custom-background for customizer function introduced earlier. Also we have logo. I would prefer to phase out the latter, because it is too generic an attracts off topic questions, while custom-logo is more specific.

Toscho disagrees. Quote: "I think all the custom-* tags are somewhat dumb. I mean, why would we talk about these things if we didn't want to customize them? WordPress’ poor naming should not dictate our tags."

So, stepping away from this specific tag, the question is: should we have a tag policy that complies with WP naming conventions?

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    The custom-* tags are generic and every user who is editing files thinks their changes are "custom" so they tag their question with all the custom tags they believe applies. We might be better off tagging these as theme-support or customizer-* to make things as clear as possible with tags. – Howdy_McGee Jun 27 '16 at 19:40
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    I though about the customizer-* as well. It's a good idea - different but clear enough. Would just mean a lot of renaming it you don't want to get stuck with a synonym forever. – cjbj Jun 27 '16 at 19:47
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    You can just use logo and theme-customizer if your question is about that. That's one of the core ideas of tags. – fuxia Jun 27 '16 at 20:03
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I think tags should be as specific as possible and as needed. custom-* is pointless on our site, because everything we do here is talking about "custom code", i.e. how to use the core for customization.

The existing custom-* tags are errors from the past. There is no need to repeat them just because we have done this once. The prefix doesn't add any useful information to the tag.

We do have a tag theme-customizer, and that can be used if we are talking about customizer specific problems. Combining multiple tags makes actually much more sense on our site, because the automatic list of related questions will be more useful when someone is asking a question.

If we'd really try to match our tags to WordPress’ naming, we would have to rename them each time WP deprecates one function or feature in favor of a new one, and it would be very hard to see were we draw the line. There are already too many tags named exactly after existing functions – which is terrible, because a tag should stand for a concept, not some arbitrary name.

So menus is a good name, wp-nav-menu is not. It's overly specific like custom-logo or custom-post-types. If we keep logo (we should) and add custom-logo, everyone will use both, just to be "safe". Look at custom-roles and user-roles to see how useful that is.

logo and custom-logo are tags for the same problem: How to add a logo to the site. They are duplicates, and we should stick to one, preferably to the one that's not pseudo-specific.

  • Double that. The combination makes the context. As a tourist you are able to visit a country where you do not speak the language, but understand around 20-50 words. The single words do not help much, but combining them is enough to give your request the context so someone can quickly understand and help you. The exact same system applies to tags: We do not need something overly complicated, just enough general tags to cover the main areas. The rest can be solved (making the question findable) by combining them to explain the context the question is asked in. – kaiser Jun 27 '16 at 23:17
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Yes, I think we should. Users come here because they have a specific Wordpress issue (ok, many come because they are clueless, let's forget about them for a moment). They know WP before they know us. So, they think in WP terms, like it or not.

To stay as close as possible to user experience, I feel we should stick with WP naming conventions. Also, using WP function names for tags (which we already do a lot) encourages serious users to be specific.

For example, beginning users would choose "logo" from the suggestions when typing a tag, while more advanced users would think "hey, I pick custom-logo, because that's the function I have a question about." The tag system could function as a seeve for the level of the question in this way.

  • While this makes sense, I think Howdy_McGee's point is very valid. I'd prefer customizer-* for that reason. But in essence I think I agree with you, particularly because of 'they know WP before they know us'. So maybe, follow WP naming conventions... but apply some case-by-case changes where applicable to help prevent off-topic tagging, and therefore lighten the moderation load? – Tim Malone Jun 27 '16 at 19:52

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