Proposal for topic tagging and tag-search


#1

Since this forum is buzzing and it’s growing bigger and bigger by the minute it’s becoming more and more impossible to know if, where and when a particular topic was addressed already and so it seems to happen more and more that duplicates pop up which could lead to two things

  1. people who have answered one question several times on multiple threads might stop doing so and
  2. people who look for answers might get frustrated either by the ammount of posts in multiple threads to plough through but don’t really bring them any further or they might not get answers anymore because of 1.

So I’d like to suggest some kind of tagging/tag-search system that makes it easier to find answers and helps prevent unintentional multiple threads for one topic.
I think “stackoverflow” has got a system that works well, where you see a list of possible tags to choose from and only mods or senior users are allowed to create new ones, to prevent inflatitionary growth of the tag list, which would counteract the purpose to keep searching and actually finding answers easier.

The search on this forum does work, but there are so many different ways of wording things (let alone misspelling ;-)) that it is inevitable that you might miss just the one thread that would address your issue.

Example:
A question about serial communication could contain words like Serial, UART, USART, COM, RX, TX, RS232, RS485, …

If there was a tag like “SERIAL” and a “searchable” synonym list that would summarize all the above into “SERIAL”, anybody having a question to one of the above, will find all the threads tagged with “SERIAL” and if the tags are only selectable from a list rather than having to type them in, you are also save from msispellings

(all typos above are absolutely intentional to bring out my point ;-)).

Please vote with +1 :+1: if you’d like to support this proposal.


Suggest User Interfaces Category or Software
#2

Looks like this is semi-possible; it’s not baked into Discourse, but someone has modified Discourse to add hashtags; it’s possible that we might be able to include this, although I haven’t reviewed his commits.


#3

Too bad that this won’t be as easy to include as I hoped.

e.g. this thread seems to be a good example where tagging/tag-search might have helped, since there have been several threads dealing with it before and even they would have partly been answered by even earlier threads :wink:


#4

Guess what feature just dropped:
https://meta.discourse.org/t/tagger-tags-for-topics/14573


#5

I’m tagging @jgoggins here! That’s good news.


#6

@jgoggins, another thread where this would have proved handy :wink:


#7

@ScruffR thanks for pinging me on this again :smile: Yea, this looks like a great feature that would be tremendously handy in making the community site easier to search!

Despite having very very strong interest in having the feature, I’m little hesitant because it looks like the Discourse plugin system is about undergo some significant changes and I’d be concerned with breaking other functionality or making maintenance more difficult. Also, tagging seems like something that could conceivably be brought into the core of Discourse rather than as a plugin. For both of the reasons, I’m lead to believe we should wait a bit to see where things land.

Even if we wanted to roll this feature tomorrow, right now there is a bit of precursor admin work that needs to be done with our Discourse instance before we could easily run and maintain plugins like this. Next time I’m doing any work related to Discourse, I’ll be sure to evaluate this plugin further and get a better feel for what it would take. I’ll also try my best to track the state of this plugin hoping to see plugin system stabilize or see the the tagging plugin get integrated into the core Discourse. Alternatively, if something changes in this space, please ping me again, it would be soooo sweet to having tagging.


#8

Thanks @jgoggins for the update, I’ll keep waiting then :wink:


#9

Hey @ScruffR @BDub , last weekend I had a moment to evaluate this Discourse tagger plugin more closely. I was quite disappointed. The CSS was a little wonky on Desktop, and super wonky on mobile. Furthermore, the tags didn’t show up in search and the author of the plugin expressed how this would be very difficult to do properly. :frowning:

We should clamor on the Discourse forums to get a searchable tagging feature integrated into the core of Discourse!


#10

@jgoggins, that’s a pitty.
Maybe it’ll help to rattle the Discourse people on their forum.