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I just asked a question related to the book class on the main site. Upon choosing the tags for my question, I was surprised that there doesn't seem to be any tag associated with the book class.

A tag exists, but it is not appropriate here:

is for questions which deal with books about TeX, LaTeX and other topics of this site. For questions regarding design and layout of books use instead.

Besides, the amsbook class has its own tag. So why is there no or tag? I think it's a popular and quirky enough class for it to deserve its own tag.

I excavated a 2010 meta question by Stefan, suggesting the creation of tags for document classes, which seemed to gather support. Why was no tag created?

  • Maybe you could give some specific examples of where the book class is sufficiently different from other 'standard classes' (see lockstep's answer below) to warrant it's own tag? – Andy Clifton Aug 9 '13 at 22:10
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Although the and tags exist, it seems that whenever the tag was incorrectly applied to a question about the book class, the tag was removed, but nobody bothered to create a separate tag. My guess is that such a tag (like and ) would "only" reveal what should be revealed by a MWE, namely, the class used by the questioner. Any special expertise needed for questions about book is most likely also useful for report, and more often than not useful for article. The AMS classes sometimes deviate from the standard classes, but again there are similiarities between amsart and amsbook (there's no amsreprt class).

Another hint that those four tags were ill-conceived is that each of them has at most 2 followers -- compare that to the 35 followers of and the 31 of , both of them popular classes.

I suggest to not create a separate tag. Instead,

EDIT: Judging from the upvotes and comments, the consensus seems to be that the class-specific tags should be abandoned and generic tags and should be created. However, on second thought I share Jubob's concern that is likely to be overused, so I suggest to restrict the use of this tag to the "inner workings" of the standard classes (similar to the tag). The tag wiki excerpts could read as follows:

{standard-classes} is about the inner workings of the standard classes article, book, and report. Do not add this tag simply because you use one of these classes; instead, choose the tags appropriate for your specific problem.

{ams-classes} is about the AMS classes amsart, amsbook, and amsproc. When using this tag, add the tags appropriate for your specific problem.

Following this definition, it is likely that some of the questions featuring or at the moment should simply have these tags removed instead of replaced by . I will check these questions in the next days.

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    I like the idea of a standard-classes tag. However, it runs the risk of being overused, like the macros tag can be. Would askers not be tempted to use standard-classes whenever they post an MWE that uses one of those common classes? – jubobs Aug 9 '13 at 14:09
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    I believe having generic tags like standard-classes and ams-classes makes the most sense. – clemens Aug 9 '13 at 14:10
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    @Jubobs Not (much) more than they are tempted to add the article or report tag. ;-) – lockstep Aug 9 '13 at 14:18
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    there's already an sv-classes tag, so there's precedent for standard-classes and ams-classes. but need to be careful about the existing document-classes tag (as opposed to documentclass-writing, which is nicely self-explanatory). – barbara beeton Aug 9 '13 at 14:36
  • Should letter be included as a standard class too? – Andrew Swann Aug 12 '13 at 10:34
  • @AndrewSwann Good point. I suggest not to include it as it is fairly different from the other standard classes. Let's use the existing letters tag. – lockstep Aug 12 '13 at 10:44

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