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How should we tag names?

I've just gone for for the astronomer, but this got me thinking about how we should standardise it. might be acceptable in this context but what if there are multiple Digges? There are multiple examples of people with the same surname - the Braggs, the Stirlings (all three were engineers), and unrelated examples such as Arthur Cayley (mathematician) & George Cayley (scientist/engineer/inventor/"father of aerodynamics").

Perhaps ?

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  • $\begingroup$ In some cases, I'd use the full names. In Astronomy, there was some confusion with the 'kepler' tag. Some used it refer to the scientist; others used it for the telescope. Someone ended up making a 'johannes-kepler' tag to solve it all. But I doubt "Digges" will bring a lot of problems! $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Oct 29 '14 at 1:17
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I do not think that we need tags for names as the amount of questions you can theoretically ask about most individuals is very limited. There may be a few exceptions though like Einstein.

Moreover, there are two main purposes for tags and neither needs tags for individuals in my opinion:

  • Finding questions (in particular those that may already contain your answer). Here, the tag is not needed, since names are very suitable for classical searching.
  • Filtering questions (e.g., if you only want to read questions relating to mathematics). I cannot imagine why you would only want to read or blacklist questions about a given researcher (unless if you are the prime expert on that researcher’s biography and care about nothing else, but that’s not really a case we need to consider, in my opinion).
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Setting aside the question of a need for them, it won't matter if they are or . Searching the tags for any letter combination in the name will find either version of such a tag.

If we do have them, we should probably standardize on either or , with the other pointing to the standard tag as a synonym. And for cases where is unambiguous, have that as another synonym.

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In the cases where we have tags for individual scientists, we should use the standard naming order or just .

The reason for this is search engine optimization. The most common tag which isn't already part of the title gets added to the page title used by search engines. Search engines are pretty smart, but they prefer when words are in order, and most people are going to search for "Albert Einstein" rather than "Einstein Albert". Just having "Einstein" would probably work, but will add the phrase "einstein-albert" to the page title, which just isn't as good as "albert-einstein" either in terms of Google's own rankings or in terms of getting people to click, and will probably lower traffic.

Where unambiguous, just is preferable to because it's fewer characters and thus obscures less of the title itself. This is also probably easier to remember, since we tend to remember most scientists by last names.

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