I recently asked a question that wasn't relevant for xelatex or lualatex. I was going to add the pdftex tag, but then I noticed the help text:

  • pdfTeX is an extension of TeX which is capable of directly generating PDF output. Use this tag if your question is about pdf(La)TeX specific problems and is not related to standard (La)TeX.

This is only about pdftex as opposed to (Knuth) TeX. Is it time to also tag questions that are about pdftex as opposed to (xe|lua)tex, or should that wait until the latter has become even more common?

ADDED: Since the specific-question tag was added I think I should clarify that my question is not "what tags should that particular post have", so that everything is fine as long as that gets right. My question is about what the pdftex tag is meant for, and that probably the help text doesn't correspond to what it is meant for, and thus should be changed.

  • 1
    I'd say the tags already cover this: using an engine-specific tag means that it's a question which is about something linked to the engine. For example, a lot of UTF-8 questions are tagged xetex and luatex as they relate specifically to those two engines.
    – Joseph Wright Mod
    May 12, 2014 at 10:15
  • @JosephWright I'm not sure I understand what you mean with cover this. My example question was not about the pdftex engine as such, but wasn't relevant for luatex or xetex. Would it have been good if I had used the pdftex tag for it?
    – pst
    May 12, 2014 at 10:23
  • Yes, that's my point: question is specific to one engine (here pdfTeX) so should be tagged as such
    – Joseph Wright Mod
    May 12, 2014 at 10:25
  • So then the help text ought to be changed and not say "... and is not related to standard (La)TeX".
    – pst
    May 12, 2014 at 10:29
  • Ah, I see what you are getting at: the question covers 8-bit engines which while most people are actually using pdfTeX can include Knuth's TeX (or say a 'real' e-TeX).
    – Joseph Wright Mod
    May 12, 2014 at 10:41
  • @JosephWright Yeah, the point is that that help text made me not use the tag in this case. I don't know if I have the right to edit the help text yet, because I thought it better to ask here than to edit it anyway.
    – pst
    May 12, 2014 at 10:46

2 Answers 2

  1. I decided to edit the tag excerpt:

    pdfTeX is an extension of TeX which is capable of directly generating PDF output. Use this tag if the engine you employ – pdftex/pdflatex – is significant to your question.

  2. I added and to the question. I think that it's a correct thing to do in such a case, to clearly mark that Lua/XeLaTeX engines are not involved.

  3. I clarified the engines even more in the text:

    It does not work in pdfLaTeX and (DVI)LaTeX.

I hope that this is fine. Suggestions are of course welcome.

  • I think @tohecz's new text is a clear improvement. At the same time HeikoOberdiek convinced me below that that tag shouldn't have been used in the question that made me think about this anyway. I think any take on this will be interpreted differently at different times. (Tags are not used consistently. Film at 11!) But that doesn't mean the text doesn't matter. This clearer text will lead to less problems overall even if it might have led me to use the tag in a non-optimal way this time. (So accepting this, but upvoting both.)
    – pst
    May 14, 2014 at 12:46

Tag is IMHO wrong for this question, because it is not about anything, which pdfTeX has added in comparison to vanilla TeX. Also there are other TeX compilers than pdfTeX, LuaTeX, and XeTeX: vanilla TeX, VTeX, ...

I think a tag like or covers the question very good, I do not see a need for a TeX engine tag, because the question is not about an engine specific behavior.

For Non-XeTeX/LuaTeX cases I would rather introduce a new tag or .

  • 1
    I suspect that as more and more people use xetex/luatex it will feel more and more like questions about how to otherwise do things that work out of the box in xetex/luatex are in a category of their own. But I guess we're not there yet, and I think you are right that some other tag (then) should be used for that purpose.
    – pst
    May 14, 2014 at 12:31
  • The problem is, we do not have the tag 8bit-tex. Introducing it at this moment seems strange to me. And somehow (re-think the whole thing again), maybe the tandem of inputenc and unicode is enough to clarify where the problem lies.
    – yo'
    May 14, 2014 at 20:19

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