What is the difference between the tags and ?

Both have hundreds of questions tagged.

short wiki description:

Specify and control how Mathematica formats its output, including rich text, equations and graphics.

short wiki description:

Questions on typesetting and making your expressions, matrices, operators, equations or formulae look how you want them to.

The full wikis have corresponding differences in style, but to my mind, there is no clear distinction between them.

Should they be synonyms?

  • I guess display should be discussed too. I think there is a lot to change in tags which contains many vague / overlapping areas which was caused by lack of good documentation / MMA evolution etc. – Kuba May 4 '18 at 9:23
  • I think we should discuss input -> output route, name particular steps and rename those tags. I believe output-formatting should called 'formatting', Format/Forms and everything related to expression level typesetting. Then old formatting should be renamed to 'typesetting' - everything related to box level typesetting, programmatic or interactive with shortcuts etc. – Kuba May 4 '18 at 9:26
  • And display should be merged to any of them because formatting + numbers or typesetting + grid-layout and similar combinations would be enough. – Kuba May 4 '18 at 9:28
  • p.s. should I combine an answer or can I leave those comments here? – Kuba May 4 '18 at 9:29
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    @Kuba I think if both areas concern typesetting, which term is in your descriptions, then calling just one of them "typesetting" is confusing. Perhaps the keyword "box" could be worked into the tag name. box-manipulation or box-typesetting, maybe? – Michael E2 May 8 '18 at 22:07
  • I'm not fluent enough in english, nor experienced with publishing so I don't have a strong opinion. When I will have time I will try to take a look at available tutorials or conferences materials to get an idea what WRI folks tend to use. While box-* is a nice idea I don't know if it fits best e.g. building layout with typesetting shortcuts (add row etc), it is about boxes but it is not apparent. I need to think, the goal would be to finally call each step in 'the main loop' and stick to it even if WRI does not care to make proper documentation. – Kuba May 8 '18 at 22:21
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    Additionally, there already is boxes which we should include in this discussion. – Kuba May 9 '18 at 8:46
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    Wish we had more feedback from community here :) – Kuba May 23 '18 at 6:52

I agree with Kuba's suggestions, so allow me to flesh them out as an answer here:

Regarding , I agree that many things in could be put under what is currently , but there are a few odd ones out. Here's a list of questions in that I do not believe would fit cleanly into :

I'd suggest that these questions be retagged before merging into . Most other questions in seem to be okay though.

After that, rename to , and to .

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    It does not seem to me that most of the questions currently in formatting are about box-level typsetting. There are many about box-level stuff, but there seem to be more about formatting expressions. Am I wrong? – Michael E2 May 8 '18 at 22:09
  • I was focusing more on the input vs. output formatting aspect of it myself, but I'm happy to look into it in more detail. I think that you're right that the majority of formatting questions are not about box-level typesetting at a glance. I think I would expect typesetting to be about writing things into Mathematica in a desired form, where as I would expect formatting to be about getting Mathematica to output in a desired form, but there's a lot of room for interpretation. If there's enough questions, maybe a distinct box-typesetting tag would help? – eyorble May 8 '18 at 22:57

My feeling, since a survey of all relevant questions is beyond me, is that the bulk of the questions in , and are about the same general thing, formatting output. There are also a good number about formatting input, either in "Input" cells or "Text" (and text-like) cells. Some are about creating a style to facilitate formatting; of course, styles and stylesheets have other uses, too. There are different levels at which to operate, from low-level boxes, to, say, the mid-level use of Style with box options, to high-level algebraic expressions, etc.

I suggest , and be synonyms under the tag , and independent tags or sub-tags be used to distinguish important subclasses of questions of the category "making things look like I want them to." I suggest retagging be left to chance encounters of people wishing to do so.

First, I would say that the tags should make sense to a relatively new user who is search for an answer to a question. Major tag categories should not depend on too closely on hidden internal distinctions of the language and the Front End. The biggest distinction is between what the user types as input (in whatever kind of cell) and what comes out after shift-enter as output. But creating to stand side-by-side with seems to involve more retagging than would be feasible. Having comprise both seems the most practical step at this point.

There are already and tags that might be used as qualifiers (although I don't suggest retagging). The tag has a minimal wiki description; the tag has none. There are two aspects to input, my input into Mathematica and my intended user's input into the application I'm writing. We already have the tag to distinguish formatting involving the manipulation of boxes. The seems to catch any use of "display" in English, from displaying output (or the "display" of data) to hardware displays & GPUs. The misfits could be retagged.

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