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Currently there appears to be no tags distinguishing between definite vs. indefinite integrals and sums. This is an important distinction that deserves to be made when tagging. Could those who have some experience with the current tag system please offer some advice on the best way to represent this information.

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    $\begingroup$ I don't particular see the point, but if you insist, what's wrong with tagging "definite-integral" and "indefinite-integral"? But to make this effective someone would have to go through every past post and re-classify definite and indefinite integrals. Else new users will probably be tempted to just use the existing "integral" tag. $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong Apr 21 '11 at 21:46
  • $\begingroup$ (To be fair, I don't really see the point of a tag for integrals in general; I can however see one for integral identities or for stuff related to special functions.) $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong Apr 21 '11 at 21:49
  • $\begingroup$ @Willie The techniques (theory, algorithms etc) are often very different in the definite vs. indefinite case. If one wants to search on one or the other it essential to have appropriate tags, since there is no other easy way to distinguish the two. As the site evolves it will probably contain a large number of such questions, so it would be wise to start categorizing them asap. $\endgroup$ – Bill Dubuque Apr 21 '11 at 22:01
  • $\begingroup$ @Bill: fair enough. But someone has to go through the existing 200+ (integral) questions to retag. Also, while we are at it, some of the integral questions are probably neither of the categories you are thinking of. So maybe we need to split into more than just two categories? $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong Apr 21 '11 at 22:18
  • $\begingroup$ @Willie I have yet to look seriously at the tagging system, which is why I solicited advice from others more familiar with it. Currently, are tags used for anything else besides searching and RSS feeds? It would be nice if we had tags that were somehow correlated to the AMS MSC (math subject classification), but, of course, not restricted to such. $\endgroup$ – Bill Dubuque Apr 21 '11 at 22:24
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    $\begingroup$ @Bill: users can also use the tags to "filter" what they read on the front page. You can designate tags as "interesting" or as "ignored". Questions bearing the former would be highlighted, questions bearing the latter would be faded. Questions bearing both are... will, strange. $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong Apr 22 '11 at 13:46
  • $\begingroup$ @Bill: remember that there is a character limit on how long the tags can be. Using the MSC is definitely not a good idea (we cannot have sufficient "leveling" of tags). You'd need a suitable simplification and flattening of the MSC to be workable (which is why MO uses the arXiv tags; but I don't think that fits our use case here). $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong Apr 22 '11 at 13:49
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As far as I know, there is no easy way to make this distinction on past questions. You have to go through all of the questions tagged [integrals] (or whatever it is) by hand and sort them, and doing so will bump them. What we can do as a start is to try making this distinction on questions from now on.

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    $\begingroup$ If the distinction is important (I have no opinion on that), it's worth bumping the questions to fix the tags. The bumping allows for community review of the choices in retagging, and retagging the past questions, as Willie pointed out in a comment on the question, is the only way to give weight to the more specific tags and take weight away from the existing "integral" tag. $\endgroup$ – Isaac Apr 22 '11 at 4:31
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    $\begingroup$ A mild solution is to go through the tag, if there are more definite integral questions then change (integrals) to (definite-integral) and retag the rest, or vice versa. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Apr 22 '11 at 8:50
  • $\begingroup$ @Asaf: That would work, but it would not provide the easy opportunity for community review of the change on whichever set was larger. $\endgroup$ – Isaac Apr 22 '11 at 12:40

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