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What's the difference between the tags , , and ? Do we need three distinct tags? Are there others that overlap some of these. Should some be merged?

I assume is about APIFunction[] only, and perhaps does not have a fully justified existence. Still, sometimes the community feels that a symbol deserves its own tag (e.g., ). I don't use APIs much or deal much with interoperability. (I use MATLink, the Unix-ish side of OSX, and occasionally other a few other systems to run a one-off computation or task.)

This came to light when someone asked today about the system Z3 (which I don't know at all) and created a z3 tag. I thought we didn't need a z3 tag. Maybe when many users are interested in Z3, like , , etc. Does or plus a name like "Z3" in the title and question cover such niche systems?

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  • Do we need tags at all? Like, how often is someone NOT doing a keyword search?
    – lericr
    Commented Jul 31, 2023 at 15:20
  • But if we do want tags, I would think they should NOT duplicate things that are likely to show up as keyword searches. Like, Dataset would almost certainly show up somewhere in a post that was tagged as "dataset", right? So, the tag seems superfluous. So, in this specific case, the "interoperability" tag might make some sense, but a "z3" tag just seems silly. Something that specific will be searched for as a keyword, not a tag.
    – lericr
    Commented Jul 31, 2023 at 15:24
  • I use them all the time, actually. Maybe unnecessarily?
    – Michael E2
    Commented Jul 31, 2023 at 15:24
  • Interesting. The other side of the argument would be "what's the harm?" If someone wants a bunch of superfluous tags, it's no skin off my nose.
    – lericr
    Commented Jul 31, 2023 at 15:25
  • @lericr Re keywords: I tend to agree. I believe when I first came on site, the SE search mechanism was not very good. The feeling then was that everybody used Google and skipped the SE search. Then the SE search got better. I think the search term "plotting" tends to match the tag term "[plotting]". I don't know that for sure. If I forget the "[]", I don't always put them back; unless the search fails. I have experienced search terms not matching all posts containing the term in code, so sometimes a keyword search is not good enough.
    – Michael E2
    Commented Jul 31, 2023 at 15:42
  • I guess it just depends on how users do their searching. If there's a pretty definite split between keyword-users and tag-users, then I guess the duplication is warranted. Still, some cleanup would be good. I just tried filtering the tags with "prob" and there were three matching tags: "probability", "probability-and-statistics" and "probability-or-statistics". The former two had zero questions. That all seems weird.
    – lericr
    Commented Jul 31, 2023 at 15:52
  • @lericr To be clear: I hardly ever use tags without also using keywords. Tags restrict the category that the keyword searches.
    – Michael E2
    Commented Jul 31, 2023 at 15:53
  • Sounds like I'm not the best person to be offering suggestions here. Sorry for the distraction.
    – lericr
    Commented Jul 31, 2023 at 15:59

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