This is a follow-up discussion to What to do with the 'latex' tag?.

New users keep trying to tag their normal LaTeX questions with and auto-completion of the tag input element will make that into . Maybe renaming it to like suggested somewhere already might help reducing this wrong tagging significantly. It points out that the tag is about LaTeX itself.

  • Hmm, can't seem to find a way to rename a tag. I guess one of the existing 'latex-general' items will need to be retaged as 'latex-project' to create the new tag first. Seems a bit odd. – Joseph Wright Apr 26 '11 at 14:23
  • @Joseph: Simply merging to a non-existing tag doesn't work? – Martin Scharrer Apr 26 '11 at 14:24
  • @Martin: Nope, I get a SQL error, complaining that 'latex-project' is not in the tags table. – Joseph Wright Apr 26 '11 at 14:25
  • @Martin: Feel free to try yourself and see :-) – Joseph Wright Apr 26 '11 at 14:26
  • An opportunity arose: job done :-) – Joseph Wright Apr 26 '11 at 14:49
  • @Joseph: Make an answer out of it, so I can accept it in addition to the {status-completed} tag. – Martin Scharrer Apr 26 '11 at 14:58

The job is now done: use for general LaTeX questions.

  • Dang! I'm sure that a tag wiki excerpt for {latex-general} existed -- now it's gone. :-( – lockstep Apr 26 '11 at 15:37
  • @lockstep: It was very short, something like 'This tag should be used for questions about LaTeX in general and the LaTeX Project: usually a more specific tag will be more appropriate'. – Joseph Wright Apr 26 '11 at 15:38
  • I proposed a (rephrased) tag wiki excerpt. – lockstep Apr 26 '11 at 15:46

I think that this name change is unfortunate and should be changed again.

It is very common for (especially new) users to use for any question related to any part of the tex system, whether a problem with a specific package or with an editor or general latex syntax.

Almost invariably someone then does a tag edit to remove the tag.

On this site this constant retagging is time wasting and confusing but using "latex project" as a name for "anything about TeX" leads to other misunderstandings. In particular we see people coming to http://latex-project.org reporting bugs in contributed packages or looking to obtain a TeX distribution such as miktex or texlive.

http://latex-project.org is not for general tex questions or distribution: it is the project site for the core LaTeX code maintainers, so LaTeX2e base, tools, graphics (and amsmath, babel and psnfss) and also the LaTeX3 and expl3 codebases.

The stackexchange tag should be reserved for subjects that would be appropriate on that site.


The general LaTeX tags are now

for discussion of the latex base distribution, that is the classes and packages covered by https://www.ctan.org/tex-archive/macros/latex/base

for discussion of the LaTeX project and its aims (that is the core development sources for LaTeX2e and LaTeX3, including expl3). That is subjects that are in scope for the project website at http://www.latex-project.org.

for general LaTeX questions where no more suitable tag exits. this is also used for several legacy questions that were formally tagged with , just to ease the conversion.

  • Can't we just have latex which the site automatically drops, since .. well, the whole topic of this SE is about latex (and friends). – Johannes_B Nov 6 '15 at 10:20
  • @Johannes_B The problem comes when you have a broad question with no other appropriate tag. For example, how would you handle the current top hit (the grandma question)? – Joseph Wright Nov 6 '15 at 10:27
  • @JosephWright Honestly, the question is off-topic but fun. I would use meta-latex or fun. – Johannes_B Nov 6 '15 at 10:28
  • @Johannes_B OK: I'd thought 'fun' or 'promotion'. Probably we do need something for questions about the team side of stuff. – Joseph Wright Nov 6 '15 at 10:30
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    @JosephWright rep-generator :-) – David Carlisle Nov 6 '15 at 11:43
  • @DavidCarlisle More seriously, probably it's useful to check over the current set of tagged questions an make sure they have a 'place to go'. – Joseph Wright Nov 6 '15 at 11:45
  • @JosephWright could do that at the weekend. – David Carlisle Nov 6 '15 at 12:18
  • Do you really need to distinguish latex-project from latex-general? Is it really bad (in the view of the L23 teams) that the grandma questions has this tag on it? – yo' Nov 6 '15 at 13:32
  • @yo' yes, I think it is bad. – David Carlisle Nov 6 '15 at 14:07
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    @yo' we distinguish the project from general use if people send bug reports about contributed packages to the latex bug database (and reject them). Having "latex-project" mean "about latex" on this site only helps to spread the confusion as to what exactly the project maintains (in particular not the binaries, not the distribution, and not the contrib packages) – David Carlisle Nov 6 '15 at 15:12
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    As per a chat comment, perhaps latex-misc for cases where there isn't another good tag but where it's not about the project. – Joseph Wright Nov 6 '15 at 16:25
  • I don't understand why latex as tag does not fit the bill. This would mean the question is not a plain tex/context one etc... sure, 95% of newcomers have a question about some package, but it is almost always a LaTeX package, hence latex tag is quite natural, and it is weird the site removes it automatically. It does convey some information. – user4686 Nov 6 '15 at 17:52
  • @jfbu The issue is that it would apply to a large percentage of the questions on the site, so becomes meaningless (and uses up one tag slot). – Joseph Wright Nov 6 '15 at 18:32
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    I, on the other hand, while relatively new to the site, find people trying to ask basic questions about latex tagging them as tex-core, which is utterly wrong. Given that there is already a latex-kernel tag (appropriately, for the kernel), is it possible to assign a tag called "latex-core" or "latex-base", meaning the kernel plus base classes and packages? – erreka Nov 6 '15 at 18:47
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    Hmm @JosephWright I suspect base is a better "public name" since "kernel" is a bit technical (and not really used anywhere outside of internal discussions more likely "format" ) also it could cover anything in base such as inputenc/docstrip, but if you want to leave that and use teh existing one , it's OK with me. – David Carlisle Nov 7 '15 at 9:21

The same thought had occurred to me, though I had the idea of the tag [latex-core] which is clearly not as good a name as yours. There seems to be no advantage at all to the "general" part of the tag, so I support the change.


Look how many new users post replies to comments as an answer. Users are still used to general forums, where tagging a question latex is completely allright. Naturally, they want to tag their question here as well, of course with the latex tag. The system is smart and completes that to latex-project, which is in most cases wrong.

Why not simply let the users tag the questions with latex and teach our smart system to automatically drop the tag.

That of course does not mean, that the existense of a latex-general tag is impossible for questions that really deserve the tag.

That would work if a user provides multiple tags, but as yo' points out: Many questions have just one single tag, which in that proposed case would mean the question would be untagged. So, not a solution.

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    No, dropping the tag is a bad idea, mostly because often it will be the only tag in the question. I think that it is a fate to have to re-tag latex-project questions from time to time. This tag is not the only one such, some others include errors, documentation, books etc. – yo' Nov 6 '15 at 13:31
  • @yo' Ah, i forgot the possibility of only one tag being aplied. – Johannes_B Nov 6 '15 at 13:33
  • +1 but why drop the tag ? I don't understand why having the latex tag on (probably) 95% (or more) of the questions, especially by newcommers, is considered a problem. – user4686 Nov 6 '15 at 19:57
  • @jfbu Since the whole SE is about LaTeX, it seems to be a bit redundant. If we keep the tag and retag later (manually), we would be just in the situation we are currently. – Johannes_B Nov 6 '15 at 20:35
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    are you sure SE is about LaTeX? that was not my understanding initially. I, naturally, very quickly concluded that LaTeX was the main framework for the overwhelming majority of questions, apart from the very big portion occupied by TikZ/pgf, which anyhow is almost always framed in a LaTeX context too. But there is some proportion of pure TeX questions. And even ConTeXT ones, although that seems to have almost vanished these days. – user4686 Nov 6 '15 at 20:46
  • @jfbu Ok, i see your point. But LaTeX really is the most relevant thing, and plain TeX and ConTeXt questions will be retagged later, if needed. As later edited, my suggestion is flawed, so i think there isn't really any big concern. – Johannes_B Nov 6 '15 at 21:10
  • @jfbu Definitely not just LaTeX but in percentage terms most questions are LaTeX-related. So tagging every LaTeX question as such would be somewhat overkill. – Joseph Wright Nov 6 '15 at 22:42
  • @jfbu Every question is considered a LaTeX question unless tagged tex-core, plain-tex, context, papeeria, etc. – yo' Nov 9 '15 at 10:04

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