I'm thinking of creating a tag called proof-creation, where the tag will be for questions asking about how to start a proof, since I haven't seen it before. Thoughts?

  • 6
    $\begingroup$ What's wrong with the tag proof-writing? $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Commented Oct 4, 2016 at 3:54
  • $\begingroup$ "not the mathematics behind it" $\endgroup$
    – suomynonA
    Commented Oct 4, 2016 at 3:57
  • $\begingroup$ And I should have guessed that from your two lines... how? Starting a proof might as well be about the writing process. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Commented Oct 4, 2016 at 4:05
  • $\begingroup$ answers to questions with this tag would be, for example, hints on how to begin a proof on what the op asked $\endgroup$
    – suomynonA
    Commented Oct 4, 2016 at 4:49
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    $\begingroup$ And that would be different from any other question where someone is saying "I'm not sure how to begin", how? Also, there is a universal answer to that, "unwind the definitions, then follow the smoke". :) $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Commented Oct 4, 2016 at 9:38
  • $\begingroup$ I believe that could be interesting a tag for creativity (creativity in mathematics). I know the philosophy by authors as Ken Robinson. I don't know if this idea could be feasible currently in this site. The idea is that all people can learn to do mathematics (I say his/her mathematics, and one say perhaps it seems impossible, but I believe that after some seasons people can improve in this technique). $\endgroup$
    – user243301
    Commented Oct 6, 2016 at 23:39
  • $\begingroup$ @AsafKaragila Because this tag is for people writing proofs not just solving questions. $\endgroup$
    – suomynonA
    Commented Oct 7, 2016 at 0:58
  • $\begingroup$ So it is about proof writing. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Commented Oct 7, 2016 at 4:28
  • $\begingroup$ @AsafKaragila Yes. But, the description for proof writing is apparently not about mathematics. Unless someone wants to change that. $\endgroup$
    – suomynonA
    Commented Oct 7, 2016 at 4:40
  • $\begingroup$ You do know that you can use up to five tags on each question, right? Someone could, in theory, ask both for mathematical help, and proof writing help. And they could use two tags to describe that. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Commented Oct 7, 2016 at 4:44
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    $\begingroup$ Well, fact is, I don't really like the proof writing tag description. If I could be expanded to include the math behind the proof I'd be good. $\endgroup$
    – suomynonA
    Commented Oct 7, 2016 at 5:29

1 Answer 1


I suppose other users will add their viewpoints or some further details, but what I will mention at least a few points related to the tag proposal which skip into mind immediately:

  • It is a "meta-tag", we should try to keep number of such tags at minimum.
  • The proposed tag seems rather similar to , which was deleted some time ago, see the discussion here and here.
  • And the tag is also somewhat similar to tag, which was proposed before, but after some discussion the consensus was that it would probably not be very useful. See here: Suggestion for "Hint-Only" Tag.

My opinion is that (similarly as with hints) the OP can simply state in their question that they have problem to get started and they want to try to finish the proof by themselves if they have some suggestions what to do first. (Although maybe something like this can be more effectively done in chat than on the main.) It's up to the answerers to which extent they decide to honor such request and whether they will add full solution. (Maybe some answerers will add full solution later, after the OP received enough help. And perhaps in some cases the OP will be able to finish the proof and they will post self-answer.)

I will also mention that the tags starting with proof tend to be used incorrectly. You can see that many users simply put or or to any question which asks for proof of something. This is definitely not how those tags should be used. So we would be adding one more tag which could cause similar issues. However, this is not argument against the tag itself. This is only showing that some users use the tags rather carelessly. (Still, if we can we should name the tags in such way that it will be intuitively clear already from the name what the tag is intended for.)

  • $\begingroup$ I knew that I remembered [proof-strategy] being an actual tag. Also +1 for that last paragraph. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Commented Oct 4, 2016 at 9:37
  • $\begingroup$ I was just reading the other proof tags and thinking that none of them would fit for beginning a proof. Also, I can't view deleted tags. $\endgroup$
    – suomynonA
    Commented Oct 5, 2016 at 0:00

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