I recently posted a question here about how we should handle tag hierarchies on this site.
I pointed out the many ways in which are current use of sub-tags is inconsistent, with many of our sub-tags being added to only a tiny fraction of the questions that they would appear to apply to:
- 391 questions that have the word "original" in them, and are tagged star-trek, but don't have the star-trek-tos tag.
- 887 questions tagged star-wars that contain the word "Jedi", but aren't tagged with jedi
- 934 Harry Potter questions that discuss Voldemort, but don't have that tag.
- 150 questions that mention "horcrux", but don't have that tag
I'm certain there are many other examples.
So far, the responses to my question indicate support for continued use of these tag hierarchies.
The top-voted policy indicates:
Tags should "drill downward" from the largest possible catchment to more specific tags with Series tags used to cover an entire canon universe
Sub tags should be used to reflect specific topics that are likely to have a reasonable level of interest. Any tag that's only had one question "hit" in say, 6 months should be considered for closure or merger.
The problem with this is people don't use these tags appropriately.
Any utility of having more specific tags hinges on the tags being used. It seems pretty clear that we're not talking about dozens of instances of sub-tags that need to be added.
We're talking thousands.
At this point, the only way I can see us getting a handle on these is by having a script automatically append selected sub-tags based upon appearances of that tag in the text.
For example, add jedi to any question that has the word "jedi" in it, or add voldemort to any question with the word "Voldemort" in it. We may wind up with some false positives, such as questions that mention Voldemort, but aren't about Voldemort (although he is called "He Who Shall Not Be Named" for a reason!), but the cleanup of the false positives should be significantly easier than our current situation.
Similar scripts should probably be run whenever a new sub-tag is added, since the consensus seems to be that they should only be added once a certain level of popularity is demonstrated, which means that there will be older questions lacking the tag once a decision is made to add it.
Even if we can't get these automated, we need to identify which questions are lacking sub-tags, and start figuring out who/how/when these will get fixed.