Tags refuse to stick


Hello discourse devs

The open energy modeling community runs a discourse instance here.

For several months now, we have been having trouble getting certain tags to stick. The difficulty has persisted into the latest release 2.3.0 of discourse.

Before describing the problem, here are two related threads on this server:

  • tips for heavy use of tagging / 86745
  • cannot use certain tags / 47400

One can make a new tag (we intersperse ASCII 45 hyphens by convention), save it, and have it appear. But that tag disappears on page refresh, despite being indicated in the page change log (see example below) as a null change:

I have examined our site configuration and operations logs and cannot see anything untoward. I have also experimented in the discourse sandbox and cannot reproduce the problem there.

Any suggestions gratefully received. Also happy to work with devs on further troubleshooting. R.

PS: just had to strip out a number of hyperlinks to allow me to post (kinda dumb?).


If you can’t repro it on try then it’s unlikely to be a bug. Does it happen for all tags, or just some?

You’re a new user so you’re experiencing Trust Levels working as they should. Lots of hyperlinks from a new user is often indicative of spam.


@HAWK Thanks for your reply, much appreciated.

The matter of scope is also somewhat odd. Our problem has been reported to me by three other site users independently over several months. Some tags, such as the tag aarhus-2019, cannot be applied on some pages under certain categories, while similar tags, like zurich-2018 were earlier successful. As indicated:

Hence, sometimes the tags stick, sometimes they are rejected, and sometimes they display but don’t stick. Can the rejection (as shown in the screenshot) be corrected by resetting something?

Sorry to be a bit vague but this is a live site and I am reluctant to experiment too much. How easy is it to set up a local copy of discourse on Ubuntu and import a site backup for more aggressive trials? Once again, thanks. R.

(Jeff Atwood) #4

It sounds like you’ve set up some unusual tag parent-child relationships and tag permissions per category?


@codinghorror That is certainly a line worth exploring. Thanks.

Is this YouTube video titled “TagGroupBug” also relevant? It was uploaded by Leo Davidson on 27 August 2018. So the timing is broadly concurrent with the openmod bug being discussed here.

(Jeff Atwood) #6

I’m curious why any complexity beyond “create tags, let people freely use them as they see fit” was deemed necessary? That usually creates more problems than it solves.


@codinghorror @HAWK It was indeed a site configuration issue.

If one navigates to the Yyyy category page and edits the tag configuration as follows:

  • https://forum.xxx.org/c/yyyy
  • Edit (button) > Tags (tab) > Only allow these tags to be used in this category: = (null)

Then any arbitrary tag can be set! Thanks for your help. R.

PS: It might be worth thinking about the adding more informative feedback under this invalid use-case? I believe this mid‑2016 bug report was similar to ours as well.