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Has anyone noticed that there is a distinct lack of consistency in the definitions of the same Tag, across the various sites under the Stack Exchange umbrella?

Cases in point:

  1. The definition of konqueror in Ask Ubuntu is different from that in Super User which, in turn, differs from that in Unix & Linux
  2. The definition of konsole in Stack Overflow, Unix & Linux, Ask Ubuntu and Super User

Taking konsole as an example:

On Super User the excerpt is "Terminal emulator for the K Desktop Environment (KDE)" and the main definition is empty.

On Ask Ubuntu the excerpt is "Konsole is the terminal emulator for the K Desktop Environment." and the main definition is:

Konsole is an X terminal emulator for the KDE platform, allowing users to have a convenient way to use the command line. Aside from providing a way to use a powerful shell, Konsole also offers features that make it easier or more pleasurable to work in the command line, such as profile management, scrollback, and color schemes, including translucency for effects.

X Terminal emulator
Makes using the command line easier
Use different profiles for different tasks
Set scrollback limit and save contents to file
Click on links to open in user's default web browser
Open current path in user's file manager
Translucent background available when desktop effects are enabled

There are many more... emacs for example.

Now I understand that, obviously, in some forums the same word may actually possess a different meaning, but where it is obviously the same word/definition pair, is there not a way of making them homogenous?

One may suggest to do it manually, but it is not that simple as some peer reviewers will not accept certain definitions. I have tried and failed. As the reviewers are different people, we end up with a "left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing" situation.

Maybe it is my OCD but it is starting to get on my nerves...

Any thoughts?

  • How is it "different" across sites? On what way are you referring? – Seth Jan 8 '15 at 18:56
  • I believe it is this way on design, as we have different target audiences, and different use cases. Sure they might mean the same thing, but it seems all the sites have their own tone and way they want to do tags. – Mateo Jan 8 '15 at 18:59
  • @Seth - I have added an explicit example for konsole in the original post. – Greenonline Jan 8 '15 at 19:25
  • @Mateo - I do understand that, as I mentioned above. However, in the cases where the context is clearly the same, it would be nice to able able to say, inherit definition, or something like that. However, I guess it will have to be done manually. Don't get me wrong, I love StackExchange - it is just that I noticed the inconsistency with the tags. – Greenonline Jan 8 '15 at 19:28
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    might make a good feature to have a handful of cross-site tags, would probably need to be proposed on Meta SE though – Mateo Jan 8 '15 at 19:30
  • @Mateo - Thanks for the heads up. I have done so – Greenonline Jan 8 '15 at 20:04
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Contrary to the way the majority of people (wrongly) use them, tag wiki excerpts are meant to explain how to use the tag. Obviously different sites will have different scopes so you couldn't sync this across sites too well. The tag wiki itself could possibly be synced across sites, but that removes any ability to tailor the wiki for a specific site's audience. And what if two totally different things in different sites are named the same? Talk about confusion!

For example, imagine what would happen if terminal and command-line where synced from Ask Different into and on Ask Ubuntu? That wouldn't work so well! (Especially because on Ask Ubuntu is a synonymized to ). Now throw Super User into the mix and things get worse. Super User supports the 3 major platforms: Windows, Unix (including OSX), and Linux. Their tag wiki would obviously not be specific to one of these, whereas Ask Different and Ask Ubuntu target only of one these platforms.

How about ? Ask Ubuntu, Gaming and Electrical Engineering all have this tag (to name a few). I won't even go on to mention some of the others tags that overlap with Gaming ;)

All in all, whilst an interesting idea, I don't think syncing tag wikis across sites will do much in the end but cause grief. I'm also not sure the insides of the SE platform could handle it either, although that is a question for the developers.

Nice idea though, I'd never thought about it.

  • Ok, fair enough. Thanks for the explanation. – Greenonline Jan 8 '15 at 20:05

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