We must do this before we go Public.
This is because, on the day Public starts, all of a sudden, tag creation is limited to all but the highest of rep counts. Tag style will more or less be "locked in" on Public day.
So far, I see some major philosophies:
Inspired by arXiv
If you have a question about Number Theory, tag it
number-theory. If you have a question about infinity, tag it
infinity. If you have a question about calculus, tag it
- More accessible to new people
- Allows "Creative Freedom", and a broader range of questions
- Tags will be in general less helpful because they have the potential to be very vague.
- Can be abused by entering as many tags as possible that are vaguely related to your question
"Tags are special."
Tags should only be made with very specific and community-established categories. They should be labeled with a prefix, such as
Because tags can only be created by users with decent rep counts, only users who are familiar with the system have the ability to create new tags, which should be done with much discretion.
- Much more easier organization/searching
- No vagueness about boundaries; tags are much much more helpful in identifying/searching questions
- Less accessible to new people...however, new people will not have any problem locating the tags, due to SE's tagging suggestion system
- Possibly slow process of introducing new tags that are accepted by the community
"Some are special, but allow some loose ones."
I do believe that this is the style used at Math Overflow; correct me if I'm wrong.
You have major categories like
nt.number-theory, but also loose and minor ones like
It will be important to establish where to draw the line between special, category tags and loose non-category tags. Otherwise we run the risk of confusion for everyone.
I could be wrong about all these things; please please please edit my post to more accurately reflect what these styles are. I have little background using strict-style or math overflow-style tags, so I bet most people reading this will be much, much more knowledgeable than I and qualified to list pros and cons and descriptions.
I have only established a skeleton that we can start filling in.
Anyways, answers to this question will hopefully contain which elements of all three of these camps we should borrow, and for what reason.