Tag explanation - feature request

is it possible that tags also have some space for extra information, something like categories pinned topic?

is it good to have such a thing? and does anyone else need this?


I feel like this has come up before, but I’m not finding the topic. I would love the ability to add a “description” to a tag - would be very helpful from some of the tags we use.


Previously discussed here:

I liked it then and I still like it now. With tags now being a core feature with some increasingly advanced functionality as well as being key to some of our clients, I hope this request can get more support this time around.


thanks for the link and replies.

here i found a reason for the non-existing description:

meanwhile, since naming has some limits, it’s better be short and also for tags it’s better not be several words (or it needs a _ to join the words); description would be useful.

a sample in our forum: we have the “energy” tag used for topics which are about energy usage or energy waste. then topics about positive psychology (e.g. “i got lots of energy doing bla bla”) are tagged with the same tag as well!

and such things create extra moderation effort.

A good example of a tag in dire need of a description would be our #pr-welcome tag. Users who discover this tag organically through a topic they visited will not be much wiser by drilling into it. They’ll see it has something to do with features, but that’s about it. It would’ve been great to have a description there to say

“pr-welcome” means we welcome developers from our community to commit [Pull Requests] on this feature.


Sort of, if one is unfamiliar with GitHub, pull requests, and so on. But for a programmer familiar with GitHub, “PR Welcome” pretty much does what it says on the tin.

I think this is exactly where @erlend_sh, @Pad_Pors, and I are coming from. For someone who is familiar with the topic, or frequents the forums often, tags are largely irrelevant/fluff for them. Here are some similar examples (to #pr-welcome) that we use at Stonehearth and could do for some description text.

  • confirmed_by_users tag added :arrow_right: One or more forum members have replied in the thread with the same bug, and has been confirmed to not be an isolated incident.
  • acknowledged_by_devs tag added : title goes here :arrow_right: The bug has been acknowledged by Radiant, and they have added it to the running list of issues to resolve.
  • resolved tag added :arrow_right: The bug has been resolved and the build with the fix has been released.
  • not_a_bug tag added :arrow_right: The reported issue was deemed to not be a bug, but perhaps a misunderstood, intended experience.
  • not_reproducible tag added :arrow_right: The reported issue may be a bug, but the developers were not able to recreate the issue in their testing, and thus cannot fix the error.
  • no_longer_applicable tag added :arrow_right: The reported issue may have been a bug, but the feature and/or code reported is no longer in use, and thus the bug report is no longer applicable.
  • duplicate tag added :arrow_right: The reported issue is the same as a previously reported bug, and the topics have been merged.

That quote is copied directly from our About this category topic, as we needed to explain what the tags are. Giving users the ability to see the description on the tab list, or more ideally, via mouseover, would help decrease how much explaining we have to do for new users.


I understand, I just don’t agree in this particular case it is our job to teach non developers how to be developers. It is like snowboarders using snowboarding slang, it is signaling to a specific crowd.

I don’t think we are really against this feature, but there is a fair bit of UI work to make anything like this happen.

Some UI mockups of how you feel this should work would be very helpful.


Thanks Sam. Will work on making proper mockups later in the week. One outstanding question is what will happen to tag descriptions if the tag is not used by any topics? Is it possible for the tag to remain listed, or if not, will the description remain when the tag is used again?


the simplest way is just to have a pinned topic on top of the tag pages, which is “about the …-tag”. can’t it work?


I really like this idea! We already have UI for making pinned topics, just
add a button to the existing UI that says “make this topic the description
for xxx tag” with xxx being a tag selection menu.


We’ve recently added tags in large part to help users categorize user-made games, and there’s been a bit of a request for this. Specifically we’ve found that some tags are useful, but people will have a lot of trouble figuring out certain things. For example, I created a handful of tags: 1) pc-customization, or 2) a set of low-fantasy, heroic-fantasy and high-fantasy.

The thing is, people could not parse what they meant. There was discussion as to whether pc-customization meant AFGNCAAP, whether it meant a ‘pick your hair/eye/skin color’ question, or whether it meant any kind of customization at all no matter how small.

Likewise when I made the various fantasy tags, I meant them to distinguish three different types of fantasy, i.e. to be mutually exclusive, but some games were marked with multiples of them. (I know, I should have defined that then, hide sight is 20/20, but still, not the issue at hand).


Is there any appetite for revisiting this in some form?

We’re still in the “ruminating” phase on how we may lean on tags much more heavily than categories going forward (see: Does your community rely heavily on tagging? What tips do you have?).

But this question of whether there’s a way to have descriptions for tags has come up.

As for UX, I see two possibilities:

  1. The pinned topic idea
    (might make sense anyway. it’s more generic and we might pin topics other than the “about” one for a given tag if this feature existed)
  2. A first class description
    (I think this would be better way to add descriptions for tags in the long run)

As for UI, I’m thinking it could be something like a div of text above the topic list with an edit pencil to update it:


I think now that tags are first class entities it is much more appealing, we could keep an extra field here for the description or maybe even allow for a topic per tag like we do for categories.

I do like the idea that you could get a little bit more guidance when tagging and when looking at tags.


I think this might work as an optional thing - requiring a topic for every tag seems a bit overkill, but you could put a link to the topic at the end of the tag description display. (Read more…)


That’s my feeling as well. Granted, I have a very narrow view in terms how different communities are using them. My rough impression is that tags are a magnitude more numerous than categories and a magnitude less in the number of topics they have.

I’m thinking a short (half an old tweet length?) description field as a tooltip would be a good starting point.


I don’t think tag descriptions would ever be long enough to necessitate a topic, even the complicated ones tend to only need a sentence or two of explanation. Adding a description text field to the tag editor would do the trick.


Tag descriptions are useful in Stack Overflow and they would be useful in Discourse as well. Just a sentence or a few words would aid in understanding what tags are about. Here’s are some examples from Stack Overflow:




We have a lot of employees who work with Discourse, and many want to see tags like in Stack Overflow. This is especially important when tags are part of the navigation. If this is added to the core of the site, then this is just great news.