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I’d like to propose the tag textprocessing for stories relating to text processing through computers. This means LaTeX, troff and other methods of computerized typesetting in particular, but would also include things like mandoc as a tool and formats like Markdown or DocBook. Posts like this get submitted on occasion, but they’re hard to fit into the existing tagging system.

I was thinking about just having a tag for typesetting in particular, but then found text processing seems to be popular on here, in a wider sense than merely typesetting.

Proposed description: “Computerized text processing and markup languages, such as LaTeX”

Examples that I believe the tag would be a good fit for:


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    Is the category useful? Is there anyone who can’t stand a mention of markup languages and wants to filter all related stories from their browsing, or someone who wants to subscribe to an only-textprocessing rss feed? As much as I love categorization, I’m skeptical that the benefit of this outweighs the added complexity for submitters.

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      I’m mainly proposing this for two reasons:

      Primarily, the submission guidelines clearly spell out “If no tags clearly apply to the story you are submitting, chances are it does not belong here. Do not overreach with tags if they are not the primary focus of the story.” The “LaTeX Tooling Guide”, the “New mandoc -mdoc -T markdown converter” and the “DocBook rocks! a gentle introduction” stories are all overreaching tags. This could discourage valuable submissions in this general area.

      Secondarily, yes, I personally do want a way to search for textprocessing posts. It’s a special area of interest of mine. As seen in the examples above, the submissions are very heterogenous and hard to find without issuing multiple searches by term. I suspect there may be other people with an interest like that.

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        “the submission guidelines clearly spell out “If no tags clearly apply to the story you are submitting, chances are it does not belong here.”

        Maybe we just get rid of that instead. We already define community norms by votes, comments, and flags. We also evolve. Formal methods and osdev tags are examples. I also try to sneak hardware design in here periodically with it getting a little more attention (i.e. votes) now than in the past. So, the quoted sentence doesn’t reflect what actually goes on.

        The other thing I do is send new people that What Lobsters Is and Isn’t post to give them a heads up on what kinds of things are good candidates for submission. Especially if their stuff is already getting flagged in Recent.

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          Even if that were taken out, there’s still the informal burden to tag a story. If you don’t find any tag matching your submission, refraining from submitting would seem like the most obviously correct course of action.

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            So exclude ideas that don’t fall into a hierarchy?

            The OP (you) is talking about a subset of what could be called “programming”.

            refraining from submitting would seem like the most obviously correct course of action.

            I can’t even. I think you are being overly pedantic in trying to find a classification.

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              That’s the point I was making. We wouldn’t have a lot of these tags if people refrained from submitting when there’s no matching tag. Notice that your tag suggestion is done, like many others, by highlighting all the stories it would’ve applied to. The stories already submitted are being used to justify the creation of the tag. So, the stories come before the tag. So, the lack of a tag doesn’t mean don’t submit or at least didn’t to them.

              If anything, a tag seems to just indicate something is common enough on this site to filter or highlight it.

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          Too many tags also become a burden for submitters having to look at or add them. I’m opposed since binary and text are the default things programmers will be working with. I also don’t see an overwhelming number of articles on it justifying filtering.

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          If adopted, I suggest a different name. textprocessing makes me think of regexps, parsing, full-text search, stuff like that.

          Maybe document-processing ?

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            I’d say that’s the more accurate description and a good middle ground between textprocessing and typesetting. One does wonder if documentation/man pages still count as documents in that sense, but I’d say it’s clear enough. Though, as far as I know, tags cannot have hyphens/dashes, so it’d have to be documentprocessing.

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            I could live with this. Seems like a documented need.

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              I’m not against the idea of the tag but I’m not seeing a whole lot of benefit to having it. Like @pushcx said, the categorization is nice but it becomes an bit too much of a burden on submitters. I’ve been submitting a little more lately and I struggle to find the tags sometimes. I’d be content with programming most of the time.

              My personal preference is for fewer tags. I’m not keen on all the tags for the different programming languages and I’d be fine if they were removed but I’m sure they’ll be kept around for historical reasons. Same goes for all the OS tags (the BSDs, especially). I prefer broad categories however I suspect I’m in the minority. I also barely pay attention to tags for the most part, save for the ones that tell me a bit about the content delivery (video, pdf, and so forth).

              I think I’d be okay-ish with a textprocessing tag if we soon got rid of some other tags. Removing tags seems to be a much harder row to hoe. For me, even though the cited stories certainly count as text processing, they also count as tools, practices, programming and documentation. In the end, I’m lukewarm on the idea yet no qualms if the tag were to be added.