The tag on TeX.SX has absolutely no definition or guidance. The questions about it are a grab-bag asking about everything from graphing a conformal mapping to the Mapping= feature of fontspec to the higher-order map function from computer science to character-set conversion to transliteration between scripts.

Is it doing anybody any good? If it’s worth saving, what should it be defined to actually mean?


1 Answer 1


I suspect that there are many tags like that. I'm of two minds about these kinds of tags. Another way of thinking of them that is different from the 'grab bag' characterization, is that they are context-dependent tags. Another one is the tag. This tag is often added to linguistics questions since the major linguistics packages are designed for formatting linguistic example sentences (a technical term of art in the field completely analogous to 'equation' in math or 'formula' in chemistry). But obviously in other contexts the tag will mean something else.

So we can think of a context dependent tag as one whose meaning will change relative to the other tags it appears with. Of course the tagging system isn't really set up like this, since tag descriptions are supposed to be unique categories. But if the tag is meaningful in more than one domain, albeit with different meanings it may still be useful for people so long as its combined with other more specific tags. And tag descriptions could be made to include some of the ways in which the tag can be used, noting the conjunction with other relevant tags.

Of course if a tag applies to far too many contexts, then it's likely not very useful at all. The current tag has only 20 questions, and so doesn't fall into this category. Certainly the cases that relate to XeLaTeX and perhaps fonts more generally benefit from the tag, but maybe some of the more random uses can have the tag removed from those questions.

  • Would it be better to rename it font-mapping and remove it from questions about conformal mappings or tl_map?
    – Davislor
    Jun 8, 2020 at 17:24
  • Technically these are input mappings not font mappings, but perhaps a synonym would be helpful. I would remove the tag from questions that deal with mappings in the mathematical or geographical sense, since they are not really TeX related terms at all, and the contexts will be likely too disparate to be included. Then we could create a tag description that limits it to the font/input mapping sense.
    – Alan Munn
    Jun 8, 2020 at 19:21
  • So maybe `input-mapping, with an accompanying blurb?
    – Davislor
    Jun 8, 2020 at 21:45

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