Despite the popularity of m_goldberg's proposal I have misgivings about eliminating the tag by way of making it a synonym. I offer a counter-proposal in my own answer. Please vote it up or down accordingly.

Presently there are 52 questions tagged and 219 question tagged .

The summaries read:

  • Questions seeking help understanding error messages and fixing errors.

  • For questions on interpreting existing error messages that you have encountered, as well as writing and managing messages, ...

We also have with 29 questions and a summary of:

  • Questions on the internal error messages of Mathematica.

Clearly there is duplication, but also some things are missing:

  1. Not all messages are errors
  2. Not all errors produce messages

I think these tags need to be reorganized and clarified. I am soliciting proposals.

  • I would like a tag about generating error messages. Is there one already? Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 20:58
  • "as well as writing and managing messages" - suggests messages as a tag, whereas the other summaries suggest error-messages. To me the problem lies in the summary of the tag for error-messages Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 23:06
  • @belisarius Surely messages is currently appropriate for questions about generating messages, error or otherwise, and that is how it is already being used. I expect to correct its description as part of this clean-up. Are you in favor of an explicit message-generation tag? I am wondering if we should even have an error-messages tag as it appears to confound two categories: messages and errors, which are not one and the same. However removing that tag would require substantial manual retagging I believe. Please post an answer if you have a clear picture of what you think we need.
    – Mr.Wizard
    Commented Jun 27, 2015 at 3:09
  • @blochwave In your view how should error-messages be used, if it all? Only for questions about understanding existing messages? Currently it is more broadly used than that so a lot of retagging would be needed. Should we try to have a understanding-messages/generating-messages dichotomy, or perhaps we should have only one messages tag and also add error when it seems appropriate? Again, if you have a clear picture of how you think this should work please post an answer.
    – Mr.Wizard
    Commented Jun 27, 2015 at 3:15
  • 4
    I don't care much in this case about the tag's names, but (I believe) there should be two different tags: one for asking questions about how to generate/ manage messages, and another one for asking for help about understanding MMa's own messages. The "error" part is a semantic issue, as both Mma and the user may generate messages for reporting errors or for any other purpose. Commented Jun 27, 2015 at 4:17
  • @Mr.Wizard I'm with belisarius on this one really. Commented Jun 27, 2015 at 10:53
  • @Mr.Wizard Am I right, that error should not be used for a questions about ErrorListPlot?
    – Karsten7
    Commented Oct 8, 2015 at 22:40

2 Answers 2


I'm with belisarius on this issue, too. I suggest

  • And blacklist message?
    – Mr.Wizard
    Commented Jun 27, 2015 at 13:34
  • @Mr.Wizard. No, make it a synonym of message-interpretation.
    – m_goldberg
    Commented Jun 27, 2015 at 13:41
  • 1
    +1, but I felt that message should refer to Message, so that I thought it should be a synonym of message-generation. I suppose I'm now in favor of blacklisting. Commented Jun 28, 2015 at 11:12
  • @m_goldberg Despite the popularity of your answer I continue to have misgivings about this scheme. I posted a counter-proposal. Would you please consider it and give me feedback? Either way this retagging is going to be a lot of work and I want to get it right the first time.
    – Mr.Wizard
    Commented Jul 6, 2015 at 17:41

After consideration I propose slightly different synonym structure from what m_goldberg describes. I feel that is a clean and natural tag that applies to message interpretation ("what does this error mean?") as well as other kinds of errors that should not automatically be remapped to . A solution to this perceived problem would be:

I could see some number of questions incorrectly tagged as a result of this but it appears that is already a more rarely used tag so the problem should be quite limited.

  • I could live with this without suffering any heart-burn, but ask you to consider [message-coding] <-- [messages] as a defense against the "why is my code generating these error messages?" leading to the ]message-generation] tag.
    – m_goldberg
    Commented Jul 6, 2015 at 17:53
  • @m_goldberg Do you mean simply add the synonym message-coding to message-generation? That would be fine and I'll add that to this proposal if that is what you mean. Or do you mean replace message-generation with message-coding and make message-generation a synonym of it?
    – Mr.Wizard
    Commented Jul 6, 2015 at 17:55
  • I was thinking of eliminating [message-generation] altogether because of the confusion you pointed out; i.e., [message-coding] <-- [messages] in place of [message-generation] <-- [messages]. But [message-coding] <-- [messages]<--[message-generation] would be OK.
    – m_goldberg
    Commented Jul 6, 2015 at 18:05
  • @m_goldberg Proposal updated. Let me know if you think of any other issues with this.
    – Mr.Wizard
    Commented Jul 6, 2015 at 18:31
  • Looks good. I have no further issues at this point.
    – m_goldberg
    Commented Jul 6, 2015 at 19:05
  • Upvoted, I believe this is as clear as one can get on this terrain Commented Jul 7, 2015 at 4:08

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .