Yesterday, a question was asked about Numbering figures and tables by their section. My answer, which was accepted, used the chngcntr package which allows to change the resetting of counters. I had answered a similar question some time ago, so I decided to a) provide a link to the old question b) create a new tag so that potential future questioners would (hopefully) easier find the answers to their "counter-resetting" questions.

I admit that I should have created a tag wiki excerpt right then, as is sort of "exhibit A" for an undecipherable tag name. But besides that -- and because of this chat comment by Andrew Stacey --, I'm starting to wonder about the usefulness of such "exotic" package tags. Is there a lower threshold of the number of affected questions that should be respected before new tags are created? (Obviously, a tag that is used only once doesn't make sense.) Which other factors, if any, should be taken into account?


I'm personally in favor of tagging questions which reference to a certain package with the appropriate package tag. However, tagging the question with the package tag used in one/the accepted answer is a whole different thing. The tags are for questions not for solutions. Now, I can understand the argument that the question is then found easier, but not in the highlighted case of "exotic" package tags which no one would use in a search expression.

A question might be better tagged with a general tag, e.g. if it is a "counter-resetting" question it should be tagged with (TODO: find better name) instead. Only questions about the chngcntr package should be tagged with then.

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    Actually the fact that a specific package will be found in a search reduces the need for a specific tag for it anyway. If you are interested in a particular package, you can find answers or questions that involve it quite easily. – Alan Munn May 3 '11 at 15:54
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    @Martin: In the example question, I felt that {numbering} was the general tag. (Which brings up another tagging question: When should one use {numbering} vs. {counters}?) – lockstep May 3 '11 at 15:54
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    @lockstep I think that counters is a more specific tag than numbering but should be used in addition to numbering when the question explicitly asks about a counter or asks about macro writing involving counters. – Alan Munn May 3 '11 at 16:02
  • @Alan: Good suggestion! At the moment, of the 31 questions tagged with {counters}, only three also feature {numbering}, which makes me think that {counters} is rather used as a replacement for {numbering}. – lockstep May 3 '11 at 17:03
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    @lockstep I think the choice of counters vs. numbering may also reflect the questioner's latex experience. If you know that numbering is done with counters, you may use counters, but if you don't, you presumably won't. – Alan Munn May 3 '11 at 19:25
  • @Alan: That's why I created a {counters} tag wiki excerpt stating that {numbering} is the more general tag. – lockstep May 3 '11 at 19:27
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    I agree with this, and people should be reminded that tags are not a replacement for search -- and in fact they work brilliantly together, to search within a broader tag for some very narrow term that appears in the question or answer body. – Jeff Atwood May 5 '11 at 8:23

I think this question is related to this question: Adding tags to a question in accordance with a provided answer. Package tags make sense when people ask questions about packages. No one has asked a question about the chngcntr package, although many answers involving changing counter dependencies will use it.

So to me, package tags (whether exotic or not) should only be created in response to questions that ask about them.

In this particular case, if we have a counters tag, that should suffice.

  • Suppose a package tag has been created in response to questions involving this particular package. Would it be admissible in your opinion to add such a tag to other questions where the accepted answer used this package? (I'm thinking about {biblatex} and {titlesec}.) – lockstep May 3 '11 at 16:07
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    Although I see the logic in adding tags that reflect (accepted) answers, I'm generally not in favour of them, for the reasons that Jukka notes in his response to your question. Tags really should be reflections of the question, not the answers. For example, in this question the accepted answer (and most upvoted) is the TikZ one, but this simply reflects the popularity of TikZ on the site and by the questioner. So adding TikZ as a tag to this question seems just wrong. – Alan Munn May 3 '11 at 16:31
  • There, the answers created a sort of "TikZ vs. pstricks vs. others" showcase, which is sort of a special case. (BTW, the appropriate general tag was {diagrams}, not {graphics}.) – lockstep May 3 '11 at 16:39
  • @lockstep Sure, I agree that that's the extreme case, but that's really the point. Tagging based on the answer leads to making such decisions. For example, sometimes the accepted answer isn't necessarily the best answer even if it works, so adding a tag based on the accepted answer in those cases would also be problematic IMO. – Alan Munn May 3 '11 at 19:28

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