Today a tag wiki was created for the best-practices tag. I have concerns about having a tag with such a name.
Question: Do we need such a tag? If yes, what shall it be used for? And what is it going to be named?
What's wrong with the name "best practices"?
it is explicitly subjective, prone to debate
the SE platform puts up a warning when trying to ask a question with these words in the title (something along "this question looks subjective, it might get closed")
So why would we need such a tag then?
Looking at the existing questions, it seems that most are about idiomatic or usual ways of doing something. Sort of an equivalent of "what is pythonic" for Python. This is important.
I think it is important to have exchanges about programming style. As I said before, the Mathematica community shares less code than programmers do, and this kind of communication is really needed.
There are certain things that are commonly done in programming languages (e.g. writing packages), and can be done in several ways, but it might not be immediately obvious what the advantages of the usual way are compared to alternatives (again, package structure: anything can be in an .m file, but there are good reasons for following the usual package structure)
Existing questions using this tag:
What is the best Mathematica tutorial for young people? <- I think it is not appropriate here, but what shall we use then? What about reference-request (currently used on other sites)?
Existing questions not using this tag
What are the most common (usual) ways to make palettes with non-trivial functionality? (this is my question, and after a short chat discussion we decided I should not use best-practices because of its subjective nature
others (please edit them in)
Summary: My personal answers to my own questions:
- yes, we need such a tag
- it is used for questions about idiomatic ways of doing something, or, as Brett said, questions with alternative metrics (there is not a clear right answer)
- it should not be named best-practices because of its subjective nature --- but I'm not sure what's a good word either. Should invent a good equivalent for "pythonic" for Mathematica :-) idiomatic-usage comes to mind, but it can't be applied to all examples I quoted either.
I'd really appreciate some more answers / opinions on this. Am I alone with my worry that best-practices might not be a desirable name? If I am, we can just keep that name, and consider this settled (but I have the feeling I'm not).
Related meta post: Are questions with alternative metrics on topic? (my opinion on this is still that these questions should not only be allowed: they are important to have)