Since it has been a while since the last tag cleanup, I was curious to see if there were specific tags that needed fixing or general issues with tags. I wanted to get other users' thoughts on some of the observations I had made. If any of these points are controversial, we can spin them off into their own separate discussion. Otherwise, if there is general agreement, we can use this as a list of tasks to work through. This can be done at a fairly leisurely pace or at a designated time to avoid retaggings flooding the front page.


  • A large number of tags don't have usage descriptions or tag wikis. Unlike retagging, adding these won't bump any posts, so this can be done anytime.
  • Many of the tags that do have usage descriptions actually seem to have essentially a short tag wiki in this spot (e.g. , , ) and don't actually describe what sorts of questions would be on topic. For these, I think the description should be moved to the tag wiki and a real usage description added to describe what sort of questions are/aren't on topic.

By tag

Format taken from this Academia meta post

Tag Wiki Issue Suggestion Action
No This seems like a very generic tag that doesn't say much about the problem and there are other tags like that cover more specific case. Almost any question on the site is effectively about "solvers" for a particular type of problem. These questions should just be tagged with the type of problem (,) or the specific solver program being used. Deprecated. All questions are retagged.
/ No They seem to be used more or less interchangeably (or at the same time) for any problems involving complex numbers. Convert to , add Wikis. wiki added, is now a synonym for
/ No Two of the most used tags on the site, but its not at all clear to me what the difference between the two is. Previous Meta post has discussed removing in some way.
No While this doesn't need to be removed, I think a lot of questions with this tag could be given more descriptive, specific tags Use , , , (though this could use tag info and possibly be changed to ) Recommend specific tags in tag description
No Only on 7 question, no clear use case Remove or clarify tag description
No Same as Could be used for questions about low-rank updates Added wiki
/ No/Yes The first has no description, but roughly equal number of questions. Almost all the questions I see for are about root-finding, so these could probably be made synonyms. Synonymize
No It seems to be used for two distinct types of questions: those about the time "scaling" of some method/algorithm and those about "scaling" or normalizing values during a calculation. The former of these should probably be tagged , while the latter could use this tag
/ Yes/No Seem to cover the same topic Synonymize Added wiki, switching some questions to use
/ Yes Seem to cover the same topic, with being used less and 36/62 questions with this tag also having Synonym ->

The description changes are something anyone can do, provided they understand enough about the tag. The actual synonymization or retagging will require some coordination or mod assistance to expedite the process.

  • $\begingroup$ I agree with pretty much everything. The only exception being complex, but I am not too much into that either. $\endgroup$
    – nicoguaro Mod
    Nov 12, 2021 at 18:43
  • $\begingroup$ @nicoguaro I wasn't sure what was best to do with complex and complex-analysis. In principle, they could describe a different set of questions, but at least at the moment they are used interchangeably. Some of that could probably be resolved with tag descriptions. $\endgroup$
    – Tyberius
    Nov 12, 2021 at 18:57
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, that might work. We probably need to add some effort into improving descriptions. $\endgroup$
    – nicoguaro Mod
    Nov 12, 2021 at 20:11
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Maybe complex-arithmetic is a better replacement for complex. $\endgroup$ Nov 15, 2021 at 19:47
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @FedericoPoloni That would probably make more sense. complex-analysis is a good name and would cover on analysis of complex functions (e.g. complex calculus, holomorphism). complex is too vague and so if we just want it to cover "computer math with complex numbers", complex-arithmetic would be clearer. $\endgroup$
    – Tyberius
    Nov 15, 2021 at 20:38
  • $\begingroup$ @nicoguaro for some of these changes (e.g. tag descriptions, single digit number of retaggings) I could make a decent amount of progress on my own, but something like the complex-arithmetic conversion or retagging solver questions will probably require mod intervention due to the scale of those changes. $\endgroup$
    – Tyberius
    Dec 15, 2021 at 17:02
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ on the solver, I approved the wiki. The retagging will be complicated and probably question by question. I would suggest not doing more than 3-4 retags a day. I might be able to do some of it myself in the next couple of weeks. $\endgroup$
    – Anton Menshov Mod
    Dec 15, 2021 at 18:02
  • $\begingroup$ @AntonMenshov I created complex-arithmetic with a short wiki description. Based on the comments, it seems like it would be good to make complex a synonym of this or even just outright merge the two tags. $\endgroup$
    – Tyberius
    Dec 17, 2021 at 21:55
  • $\begingroup$ @Tyberius I will be looking into the complex-arithmetic and complex next. $\endgroup$
    – Anton Menshov Mod
    Jan 10, 2022 at 6:41

1 Answer 1


Another tag that may need work is , with 16 questions currently. Most of them are about differentiation, but good old Pafnuty Lvovich did lots of things in his life, including number theory and probability, so it wouldn't hurt to add a specifier.

I suggest , and possibly also if we want to be more specific (but with 16 questions I don't think that's the case). The question Extracting Real Part of Twiddle Factors from `fftw_plan` seems an outlier and I would simply remove the tag.


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