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10:06 AM
seeing how people often handle off-topic questions closure on the main meta site is quite depressing.
Too many users only post canned, standard comments.
Now, mind you - most of the time they are probably sufficient to get the user back on track. But when they obviously won't help... people won't care
Or at least that's my perceptions. It is pretty possible that I am wrong there, but....
Once again it seems like many try to be "nice" just because they have to.
And that they think that the canned comment is already a great effort to show how kind you are.
So sad.
@Miniman It's so ironic that this and the new meta seem to be indicating that KRyan's concerns about people who don't use the tag pressuring those who do use it to stop using it are not baseless.
I mean, just after I thought 'nah, I guess Ryan is overreacting after all', I stumble into this.
10:27 AM
That seems reductionist. An eloquent, well-supported proposal with space for counterpoints is not "pressure" in the sense you're implying, nor is six years of trying to make it work a conspiracy to stop using it, nor is Mini's observation that the tag continues to regularly fail universal tag standards (and thus be removed) in any way unfairly targeting the tag.
Mistakes have been made in the past, they are acknowledged and accounted for in the current post, which is concerned with the future of the tag given its current state.
The tag is causing problems for the site. These problems have been presented clearly and fairly. One solution has been presented. Other solutions are welcome.
I mean, last time the site talked about this it kinda blew out of proportion
it would be nice if anyone who didn't like the idea of getting rid of the tag would just,... suggest a different option
without getting mad about the suggestion that the tag might need to go
If the desired solution is "do nothing," then we need an answer which shows that the problems mentioned aren't actually problems.
and I mean,.... you know it's bad if I noticed it just sitting in chat
11:12 AM
@BESW I don't know why this makes me think of Seanan McGuire but it does
> That seems reductionist
Perhaps I should reconsider and try to see it in more details. My impressions have been coloured by things noticed so far, and may lack the historical depth of long-stay people of the site.
11:40 AM
@trogdor I'm probably not the best person to make an Official Suggestion on the matter, but I think it's a case of Lack of Consensus + Attempts at Strong Enforcement (of majority opinion or generally one's opinion) = Drama.
@trogdor I see a lot of argument for leaving things be and letting folksonomy sort things out in general, and the Strong Opinions about whether an author has or lacks the right to attach the tag to its question don't seem consistent with that. But I probably don't see the whole picture!
12:10 PM
@vicky_molokh that's fair, my issue is that some people take it a little personally when that doesn't seem necessary
Hopefully this time round will be different
@trogdor The way I see it, I take a lot of things . . . I'm not sure 'personally' is a the right word, but I'd describe it as 'importantly' when they clash with Respect for the Author (e.g. stackoverflow.blog/2009/03/04/the-great-edit-wars).
Repeatedly changing the tags that the author assigned, even after reversions, or exerting peer pressure on the author into accepting such a change, seems like it's at odds both with the respect for the author and for the principle of folksonomy the way it seems to be usually explained.
The emergent folksonomy is not sacrosanct. It means that we let tags grow organically until there is a problem, and then we intervene to address the problem.
As for Respect For The Author, stances evolve and you're citing a ten-year-old article by someone who hasn't worked on the Stack for seven years.
A: Who has the final authority in an edit war? OP or a moderator?

Shadow WizardTL;DR: moderator. Stack Exchange exists for the sake of good content. Who post this content is less relevant. Now the question is, who can decide what is good content and what is bad content? Or, which content is better, when both are not bad? Answer is "the community", i.e. the users of the ...

What do you see as the reason that there's a problem? As in, actual problem that causes high blood pressure and/or reduces clarity below default level? As far as I know, the public editability exists for improving the author's post, not as a way to enable infringement of moral rights.
12:27 PM
Maybe it shouldn't be made hard to apply though? As I mentioned, I have been acquainted with the general concept of RAW and a RAW-based approach to resolving a mechanical question elsewhere (GURPS, WoD etc.), and yet coming here I stare at a Byzantine series of technicalities about what is and isn't covered by it on this site. As a newcomer (barely over 100 days here) that makes it hard for me to apply it.
@vicky_molokh I would suggest thinking very carefully about the situation before accepting the conspiracy theory kool-aid at face value. There is no effort to expunge RAW from the site, just deal with tagging curation.
Part of improving site content is curating the sorting system and ensuring tags are used in ways that bring experts to the questions. Enforcing tag standards is not an exception to this, and the RAW tag has been creating more confusion than it creates value because its very existence pushes against tag standards in ways that we have been unable to rectify and which make it hard for answerers to provide good feedback.
@vicky_molokh Nobody made it hard to apply on purpose. It's Byzantine because we've spent six years trying to find ways to bend the rules around it instead of getting rid of it in the first place because it doesn't fit the kind of use tags are designed for.
@BESW Some concepts just don't have sharp lines. There are other tags with fuzzy lines too. They're still helpful for searching questions or being notified about the topics they relate to. Wasn't there a similar fuzziness on the main site about 'what is programmer-related'?
Nobody said anything about fuzzy lines.
Then I am not understanding something more.
12:33 PM
All of the things you're saying have been hashed out in the histories, I'm not going to re-litigate it here.
> It's Byzantine because we've spent six years trying to find ways to bend the rules around it instead of getting rid of it in the first place because it doesn't fit the kind of use tags are designed for.
Just try not to assume bad faith, huh.
That's how this whole thing got nasty in the first place.
Just because things don't work out well doesn't mean there's a villain.
/me takes a pause and re-reads the paragraph, trying to figure what went wrong.
@vicky_molokh I had a similar disorienting experience when I encountered the meta discussions on the tag, not realizing that it had been an on again, off again, source of disagreement for four years prior to my having begun to participate in meta.
To be clear: historically there has been a problem where some people conflate removing the RAW tag with banning requests for RAW answers. This is not now the case, if it ever was.
12:37 PM
the post in question even clarifies that
if we are still talking about that meta post
rather than just,... this topic by itself
@trogdor which meta post? Recent one, or one of the ancient ones that were involved in the kerfluffle?
RAW is allowed just as much as any other lens for answering questions. The issue is whether tagging certain questions that way is creating more trouble than it's adding value.
@BESW That's not what I am worried about. I'm seeing a push to get rid of RAW being a recognised topic (tag). @doppelgreener, in case it was ambiguous, that is what I'm referring to. As KRyan did point out that people tried to discourage use of the tag (in addition to any other statements).
11 hours ago, by The Oracle
Q: Time to retire the [rules-as-written] tag?

mxyzplkWe have recently seen some issues around site users being unclear on how to use the rules-as-written tag and some unpleasantness broke out on the topic. Sadly, this has been happening for more than six years on this site. History of the RAW Tag Here's all the meta questions debating the RAW tag...

@KorvinStarmast Right here.
12:39 PM
@vicky_molokh Whether it is a recognised topic is entirely separate to whether it has a tag and how the tag is handled.
Tags are topic-indicators, right?
@vicky_molokh the utility of the tag has been clearly spelled out in terms of searchability of a class of questions. I am pretty sure that nobody disagrees with that.
@vicky_molokh No other topic of the same category is tagged. It is a tag describing kinds of answers, which is not and never has been a legitimate use for tags.
Every other way to answer questions remains untagged.
Again, this is all gone into in excruciating detail in the meta history.
Tags describe the content of the question. Not all content of a question needs to have a tag available on the site. The lack of a tag does not make the topic “unrecognised” somehow, because having a tag is not a requirement for a topic to be a “recognised topic”.
We don't have a tag. People can just put it in the question text if it's a preference.
12:41 PM
@vicky_molokh they are an aid to search and to help confirm a question's content. Nothing replaces a clear, well written, coherently titled question.
"Tags describe the content of the question" is different to "tags indicate the topic".
Network sites tend to not have a [beginner] tag or [homework] tag despite those being topics because they make for poor tags.
Note that on the "recognised topic" concept, we have removed and blacklisted the [rules] tag, but rules questions haven't gone anywhere and their welcome on the site has never been in question.
I admit to having a personal pet peeve about how unskilled a lot of people are at putting a title on a question. Granted, as I've learned, for the purposes of this site it does take a bit of a learning curve to get that question title to fit the general tone of the site.
@doppelgreener I actually find it somewhat bizarre that [rules] is blacklisted. Rules, lore and some others are different topics and different question contents.
@vicky_molokh rules was a meta tag, which are in SE world not good tags
We burned and didn't lose mechanics questions.
12:44 PM
/me wonders nervously whether its post has accidentally imperiled [lore].
as was explained a while back
@vicky_molokh It has not.
Whew. ^_^
[rules] was burninated due to its virtual omnipresence.
When 90% of the site's questions are about a thing, we don't really need a tag for that thing.
is very useful, in that it actually opens up a question, but that point needs to be in the text of the question as well, not just in a tag.
12:45 PM
This seeems r🐘:
A: Are meta tags banned across the board on all Stack Exchange sites or can each site decide if it wants to allow meta tags?

Robert CartainoFor a quick historical background, tags were designed to describe the subject of a question. That is the purpose of the feature and how the UX was designed. But it wasn't long before folks started using tags to describe other axes than what the question was about. We've all seen tags like [homewo...

Stack Overflow doesn't have a [software] tag. It does have a hardware tag.
@KorvinStarmast For the record, I view the idea of the question-content needing to include support for the tags applied positively. If anything, the system tags conspiciously lack such support much of the time.
Similarly, we don't have a [rules] tag. We do have [lore] and [social] and other stuff.
@vicky_molokh I disagree; (in re your point on system tags) particuarly when a game like Traveller has multiple editions. Or when someone asks a question about Fate and people dump D&D answers on them. :p
@KorvinStarmast I run into [d&d-5] questions lacking a tag almost every day, and most of the time those don't make it clear what tag applies based on question content alone.
12:48 PM
@vicky_molokh from newbies, right?
@vicky_molokh That is the norm: tags describe the content of the question, therefore if a tag is present, we should be able to see the content that it's representing, and if there is no content correlating to the tag, the tag should not be present. System tags are this site's sole exception.
@KorvinStarmast Or non-newbies who just forgot to tag it.
The system tag issue is a related but separate meta conversation with its own long history.
And then someone reminds them ... which is the site working as it should
In short: as of the last time we investigated it creates more site stressors to enforce "include the info in the body as well as the tag" for less value, than it does to allow tags to independently indicate the question's system scope.
12:49 PM
@doppelgreener I find that characterisation technically true, but only because of the way the set is assembled. (That is, don't system take up an overwhelming majority of the tags of the site?)
@vicky_molokh Well. Yes? To all of that?
@vicky_molokh Because so many game terms are similar between 3.x, 4, PF, and even older editions, but their implementation varies, not tagging would lead to a heck of a lot of noise. SE values a favorable signal to noise ratio.
If anybody thinks that's changed, they're welcome to make a meta post showing what problem our current system tagging policy is creating.
less noise is better
I am not sure why the "but" is there. That characterisation is technically true because it is true. It's that way because we chose to make it that way.
Whether system tags are the largest category of tags is neither here or there though.
We didn't decide "the largest set doesn't have to be justified in the body".
We decided it was going to be boring and unnecessary to force someone to say "oh and I'm playing D&D 5e" in the body.
12:51 PM
@vicky_molokh And then we have DW games that also have similar terms, but we don't want D&D answers for those questions.
The same way on Stack Overflow you get to tag your question [python] without needing to say "btw this is Python code".
Whereas if I use the for a Mazes and Minotaurs question, I may be referring to a monster.
@doppelgreener I feel like there's a herpetology joke in there, but I don't know enough about coding to make it and it's probably already been done better elsewhere.
@doppelgreener To elaborate, I just have a grain of scepticism when it comes to calling it an exception given how big a chunk it is. Given its scale, it looks more like an outright rule.
But I'm probably chasing a wild tangent at this point.
(Which went badly the last few times, so . . . stepping back.)
@vicky_molokh Yes, you are again focusing on whether a specific term is technically accurate when the point being made in relation to the major conversation is perfectly clear regardless.
12:54 PM
@vicky_molokh how would you answer a question about a lawful neutral character having difficulty trying to fit into a group of chaotic good characters in a D&D game? (If it were within our alignment guidelines ...)
(Spoilers: "exception" does not imply anything about the relative size of the group being excepted, rather it is about the relative number of groups being excepted vs not excepted; there is one group of tags which is excepted and all other tags are not. That the one group contains more individual items is not r🐘.)
Stepping back, I think both are reasonable:
- Tag carrying information about the question's content that isn't present in the body (the system tags are an example that it can be made to work if done right).
- Tag not carrying such info, and being merely a confirmation/search aid/etc. reflecting question body.
I'm not sure which of the two RAW is, as I'm getting contradictory statements.
@goodguy5 Could be, but isn't mandatory. Let the author decide as per FAQ.
@vicky_molokh That is one reason RAW is being proposed to be removed as a tag: there are fundamental confusions within the wider hobby about what the phrase even means, in ways which make its implementation as a tag unclear.
@vicky_molokh what problem are you trying to solve?
1:00 PM
@BESW Conspiracy is a loud word. It's more about whether those who prefer not to use the tag want others to stop using it too. That's the part of KRyan's post that seems to have some basis, as evidenced by the meta about deleting the tag.
Your context implies that you mean "without good reason." Which is where it becomes a conspiracy.
If there's good reason not to use the tag, then it's just people talking about how the site uses tags! Like we're... supposed to...
So don't hide behind weasel words. KRyan was talking about a conspiracy of moderator abuse of power to eliminate RAW answers from the site. That's what you're getting behind.
Also to eliminate people ever asking for RAW answers on the site.
Please remember that how we handle a tag has nothing to do with its legitimacy as a topic.
Nobody, at all, ever, has ever asked for RAW questions and answers as a whole to go away.
You're stepping into a loaded debate and not making a distinction between reasonable discussion about a tag that's created a lot of problems, and unreasonable attempts to eliminate a topic.
@BESW Based on your message: I may be remembering KRyan's posts as less radical than they are.
@doppelgreener And I'd hate to see us go there. RAW as a way to engage with the rules/games is a valid, and even valuable, topic or question set.
1:04 PM
RAW questions and answers are fine and healthy and, in fact, the questions actually tagged [rules-as-written] are almost certainly a minority of such questions.
@vicky_molokh What sparked this conversation in chat was an uncharitable assumption of bad faith about the meaning of this comment:
11 hours ago, by Miniman
Eh, it's already banned. It gets removed from every question it's put on. This is just a statement of what's already happening.
@KorvinStarmast I believe once or twice someone has actually asked to expel RAW questions from the site, and they were downvoted powerfully because we accept a plurality of playstyles.
@doppelgreener was that before my time? I don't seem to recall that.
Mini was observing that the tag gets removed from questions a lot. It does that because it's a confusing tag that gets mis-used a lot, so it gets put on questions where it has no place because they aren't asking about RAW.
@BESW To minimise ambiguity: Uncharitable assumption on my behalf of Miniman's comment? Or on the behalf of others about my comment?
1:06 PM
@KorvinStarmast Not sure.
@vicky_molokh You directly responded to Mini's comment, saying that it made you believe KRyan's accusations about a subset of users bullying RAW content off this site.
@vicky_molokh what I was worried about when I answered your meta question seems to have come to pass. insert sad face here
@BESW Well, I did get the impression that it is being removed very actively from all new questions, even when they deal with the letter of the rules. Or maybe I just remembered too many where it was and none where it wasn't removed.
You're saying that the most reasonable meta we've ever had about the RAW tag, is support that people are bullying users into not using it.
I don't like doing this, but I'm going to flex room owner's privilege before this gets out of hand. Like the last time we went through this:
Hopefully I didn't actually use the word 'bullying' anywhere, because that looks rather intense compared to the way I see it. I do have an impression that a mixture repeated edits, peer pressure and appealing to authority is being in use, but I do not see evidence of a conspiracy or use of violence.
1:12 PM
@vicky_molokh Well, that is the wagon you are hitching yourself to in saying "wow that KRyan guy's answer looks correct"
He is the one that believes in bullying and a conspiracy and explicitly described as much.
@doppelgreener Now I wish to edit in one of the later clarifications into that message . . .
I trust BESW's moving this topic?
140 messages moved from RPG General Chat
@vicky_molokh I still get comments from people who want to argue with me about what is strictly RAW in a question or an answer, even when I clearly identify the tone of the answer as being RAF. My latest iteration of that was with PixelMaster. People bring different perspectives with them when they engage.
Or edit it in the bar for that matter.
1:13 PM
whamo! magic chat conveyor
2 messages moved from RPG General Chat
@vicky_molokh Are there people who think the tag should not be used? Obviously that's what the meta's about! Is that bad? NO that's what meta's for. Did Mini imply that there's undue pressure being exerted on the tag on mainsite? No, simply observing that applying regular tag standards gets that tag removed a surprising number of times which is indicative of a need for formally examining its suitability.
Why did I get moved here?
whoever is asking to move messages, cut it out
You got tagged with us.
20 mins ago, by goodguy5
Should this be system agnostic?
That got moved
that seems like main camera material
1:16 PM
@goodguy5 Because we like you.
@goodguy5 Sorry, I was rushing and missed your post.
People kept adding MORE THINGS for me to move after I announced it needed to be moved.
Shifted back. Sorry again.
I don't really know much about the RAW tag issue ongoing, and I've actively avoided delving too deep in the drama surrounding it, but I don't believe for a second the intent or outcome of removal of the tag is to squash RAW. 5e rules questions almost invariably get answered with RAW and I don't see any mods targeting them.
Moving it all up to and including my first reply of the day is reasonable (acceptable without loss of the thread of discussion), but probably an undue burden.
1:19 PM
There was a time, a long time ago, when there was a visible group of people being Not Nice about RAW content. When they were also vocal about the problems with the RAW tag, conspiracy theories sprouted.
The Not Niceness has, so far as I can tell, died out. The tag problems remain independent of it.
@BESW apology accepted
@vicky_molokh Oh, it was absolutely necessary to excise the instigating claim associating (however unintentionally) Miniman and the meta post with accusations of bullying and abuse of power. Or it would've just started up on main chat again as soon as someone else came in and saw it.
Insinuating Miniman was bullying and abusing power? Will no one stand up for power?! It seems like it's always getting abused! /S
Overall, while there's of course a matter of disagreements, the thing seems to have been aggravated from the ambiguity between 'X has a point' and 'X is totally right'.
Are there metrics on the the UI use of tags? E.g. how many users include a tag in their filters? Seems like that would be informative.
As it's one of the uses for tags. The other use is to tell something about a question at a glance... which seems like it's failing at.
1:28 PM
@vicky_molokh are you familiar with the phrase "let sleeping dogs lie" (or is there an analgous phrase in your mother tongue?)
The vast majority of users don't even know filters exist.
@KorvinStarmast I'm guessing 'Do not carry the dust out of the hut', in the sense of ceasing all the arguing when an unrelated person comes to the scene?
Checking the definition . . .
> avoid interfering in a situation that is currently causing no problems but may well do so as a result of such interference.
@BESW Seems like that would make the data easier to interpret. Only the users that know about filters end up using them. So assume no unintentional use.
What about "don't poke a sleeping bear" ?
That looks closer to the above quoted definition.
@vicky_molokh Hmm, I think that the the analogous English phrase for the dust thing is "don't air your dirty laundry in public" - you captured the idea with that cite. The sleeping dog woke up.
1:40 PM
@KorvinStarmast Did it wake up because of my question about the benefits of impulse drives according to the letter of the rules, because of mxy's meta, or because of my reaction to one of the reactions to the meta?
@vicky_molokh Here something you probably haven't noticed since your relatively new here, this whole RAW thing is a very common "disturbance" for new users to make. The old folx here have fought these battles and generally just wanted the fighting to stop so they came to as good of a solution as they could for keeping the peace.
I find it useful when a new lab member brings up old problems with systems that are still in use. It points out that they're probably still a problem despite the existing staff/users being accustomed to it.
But seriously every new user that seriously gets involved in this site hits their head against the RAW tag issue to some degree or another. Because it is confusing, non-inutitive, and because honestly the whole issue is confusing and not really ever solved.
Sounds like it's a problem.
Yes, it's a problem. So let's not muddy the issue by legitimizing old conspiracy theories that attempts to fix the problem are actually attacks on part of the community.
1:44 PM
@vicky_molokh It was the straw the broke the camel's back. I made a big deal out of it when I first joined as well. Mxy even alludes to new users casuing a ruckus about this in the Q part of the meta. It is something that happens a lot. And not a bad thing for users to do that. Confusing things should be asked about. Problems should be pointed out. But the persistance of issues is a sign of an issue with the tag itseld.
I wonder how many questions tagged with it leave it as an unstated assumption vs how many make explicit reference to the desired answer materials in the body of the post.
> Because it is confusing, non-inutitive, and because honestly the whole issue is confusing and not really ever solved.
Speaking as a newbie: it's confusing and non-intuitive because people here use 'RAW' to mean things that are not the same as the meaning of RAW outside of the site.
I would assume very few tagged with a gaming system reference the gaming system in the body of the question.
@BESW I really don't get this perspective. I see more answers written from a RAW perspective for D&D than any other interpretive light. We seem to be very friendly to the idea.
1:47 PM
@Rubiksmoose It's rooted in a very old grudge between a handful of people, most of whom are no longer here.
@vicky_molokh You get that everywhere. One of my favorite terms is "vector" as it has a myriad of meanings in different fields and sites.
@BESW I am not so sure, but you might be right. I think that vicky's reasonably well expressed frustrations with this site are the core problem vicky is trying to address. And I may be wrong about that.
@BESW Yeah I remember reading the old metas... It's really honestly very sad to see such scisms.
There are many definitions of RAW throughout the hobby, not just here. It's just that here, we can't pretend our corner of the hobby is the only corner and has the universal definition, because we're an intersection of different parts of the hobby.
Conspiracy evokes a sense of a level of organization that I would have a difficult time attributing to the users here.
1:49 PM
@BESW I rather see it as the definition is broad and encompasses some sub-entities inside of itself.
@vicky_molokh I think the tag is really the only thing RAW that we have in this site that is distinctly outside the known uses of the term outside of it though.
Rephrase, @Rubiksmoose?
@vicky_molokh Rube is saying that the use of RAW in questions and answers is mostly clear and coherent; it's only the tagging that's confusing.
@vicky_molokh It woke up in response to your meta question that I recently answered. The one where you covered (in meta, as was proper) your back and forth editing with Seven.
@vicky_molokh Sure. Maybe I'm not getting your point, but I actually think our use of RAW as a term of art here fits well within RPG norms of using that term. I think the tag was the only part of what was labeled as RAW that does not fit within that norm. does that make sense?
1:51 PM
Ah. Well, yeah, I implied but didn't specify that by 'RAW here' I meant 'the meaning of RAW as a topic/content of questions'.
@vicky_molokh even still I stand by it. When I say "RAW" in my answers (which I do on a very regular basis) are you saying that I am meaning something different than the larger RPG community would consider normal?
Let me be clear, the tag meaning of RAW has nothing to do with how the term is actually used in questions or answers on this site. That is, in fact, part of the issue with the tag.
In my own words, the way I saw RAW used outside here, it tends to mean an approach that favours the letter of the rules as they are found in the book, as distinct from the spirit of the rules (and adjusting mechanics to fit the spirit), from houserules, and from other fiat (rule zero etc.).
It's the way I've seen it used in GURPS, Exalted and WoD discussions.
@vicky_molokh And how have you seen it used here?
@Rubiksmoose In an unclear manner with a surprisingly strong emphasis of the absurdity of outcomes (that one thing stood out a lot in recent discussions).
@vicky_molokh Sure but those all had to do with the tag only.
1:56 PM
The tag meaning being so different from the other meaning absolutely does not make thing less Byzantine.
@vicky_molokh Correct. Which is what I am saying. That is a major problem with the tag.
Sometimes, when I flush the toilet I just watch the water swirl in its little vortex until it eventually goes down the drain. @vicky_molokh not sure if you ignored this, missed it, or flushed it.
RL has intruded, best wishes all.
The tag definition has essentially nothing to do with the term of art RAW which is used in a broadly correct sense across the site from my experience.
@KorvinStarmast Was confused by the question and how it may be applicable to the current context, and eventually gave up and switched to replying to the other messages that came up in the time frame.
@Rubiksmoose And I'd say making the two less different from each other would make things better. I think a lot of the problems come from trying to give it special meaning and other stuff instead of letting it describe a RAWish content of the questions.
when we were explaining how we use the tag to you, we were not explaining how we actually see the term RAW, but how we had to define this deceptive and confusing tag to sort-of work on this site. Does that make sense?
1:59 PM
@Rubiksmoose I read your words and I parse your statement, but I have trouble arriving at the same conclusion you did that caused you to make it so.
@vicky_molokh which conclusion specifically?
@Rubiksmoose Whatever conclusion that lead the community to turning the RAW tag into something that has no intuitive match to the RAW as it is commonly seen in RPG communities (that I've frequented, at least).
@vicky_molokh To be clear, that was before my time. Those battles were fought years before I got here.
What's the cost of deleting the tag?
@Rubiksmoose Now I feel like even though the definition, banning or other modification of the tag will affect me, as a new-but-active user of the site, I can't even get through the gates of participation because the way things are to be done depends on some obscure, hard to read or even outright deleted or hidden-in-chats history.
2:05 PM
But I also don't blame you, it is a twisting confusing path that lead us to this point. However, it can be summarized simply: the tag didn't work when it was used to be the same as RAW the term of art and it caused problems. Compromises to try to make it work better by fitting how tags are used as a tool here just made the problems worse.
How about:
Wipe the slate clean. Delete the tag but *Not* blacklist it. Let the new authors use it in the common RPG sense of the word, and let the tree of tag taxonomy sprout from the fresh seed, reducing the influence of the old guard?
Too naïve?
@vicky_molokh I fear so. The current position (unless any other great ideas come up) is that all the variations of using the term have already been tried.
I'd like to see [raw] blacklisted so we can learn from what people put in its place. We'd probably wind up bringing it back but we might be able to do it better after observing what happens in its absence.
I'm positive that RPG.SE nature abhors a [raw] vacuum, but I think we'd improve from knowing what that looks like.
@BESW I do have a term that would describe the concept in different words and hopefully not carry as much local baggage. It probably won't catch on though, and might get shut down out of fear of resurrecting said baggage.
@vicky_molokh Ad hoc taxonomies usually end up with warts like the raw tag.
2:09 PM
@ColinGross Besides the potential appearance of disengaging a community (which we are not doing) I don't really see a cost. The tag, in my view has not ever added anything to this site but problems.
@BESW I propose 'rules lawyer' tag.
Because [raw] is not a good fit for the tagging structure, it creates a constant low-key stress on the site. But we've seen that the community won't let it go away entirely, there's a sense that it's necessary. Any sustainable solution needs to accommodate that tension.
here the thing to remember: tags are tools built for a single purpose. Not everything gets a tag, not everything needs a tag, some things can't be tags. Not every aspect of questions on this site needs to be tagged.
For some reason the community really wants to tag RAW, but I can't for the life of me see why.
There's an argument to be made that [raw] connects experts to questions, because facility with the [raw] lens is a skill.
I like the idea of seeing what happens in a vacuum though. Maybe something interesting will come up. Or maybe people will see that we just didn't need it.
2:14 PM
@BESW Are you willing to post your temporary vacuum idea in the meta?
This... doesn't change the fact that [raw] used this way is a meta tag and falls outside the intended scope of tag use.
@vicky_molokh We'll see what happens. I don't care about the tag except inasmuch as it's been a blight on the site for most of my time here. I don't ask questions in the systems it applies to, and even if I were to answer a [raw] question it would be a frame challenge.
I haven't contributed [raw]-related content in almost five years. I don't know what the situation is on the ground right now with confidence to make useful proposals.
@ColinGross Is this the Colin Comedy hour in progress? I think that if you go back to the history of the site, you may find a discussion on that having a tag, or not, and it being chosen against. (I may be mis-remembering an old meta I read, though)
@vicky_molokh you seem to be very adamant on having this tag. If you want it, then propose a method with which you think it will work. But do your research read through the old metas thoroughly. Come up with something that hasn't been tried before. I won't tell you not to try, but you do have to respect the experience and viewpoints of people that have been here much longer and have seen the issues it causes.
Q: Synonimise [rules-lawyering] to [rules-as-written], then destroy it

doppelgreenerFrom this meta Q from 2013, the rules-lawyering tag is for questions about engaging in that practice, or people doing so. It isn't for asking about strict rules interpretations; that's rules-as-written's turf. I discovered a bunch of our [rules-lawyering] questions were really RAW questions, tho...

@BESW I think that's a reasonable argument. EDIT: ooh, I did remember, thanks!
2:20 PM
@BESW hah.
@KorvinStarmast It's reasonable but incomplete, because it doesn't account for the ways that use violates tagging standards.
nods concur with incomplete
And I'm the last person to argue that the standards are sacrosanct, but they're based on learning-derived experience and can't be ignored casually.
@Rubiksmoose It's an ouroboroboroboroboroboroboro [glitch]
Somebody reboot @BESW!
2:32 PM
> Unless someone has a truly new idea we all think might work, not "let's try those things we tried before, but really hard this time and I'm a new user so I think for sure it should work because it's a bright new day"
Maybe my idea is too close to tried-before stuff to post.
@vicky_molokh Since you raised the issue or the problem in using that tag, in your recent meta, can you please offer a proposed solution and then see what the votes say. (On meta). It can't hurt, and it might help.
@Rubiksmoose I went through old metas and I'm finding that it's not helping. Maybe because of the problems with the metas, maybe because of the problems with my own mind, I cannot figure out.
@vicky_molokh OK, glad you got to wade through that swamp ... fun, eh? Wait, no, not fun ...
@vicky_molokh I mean I am 100% with you there. It is hard to grasp the full picture from just those and it certainly is confusing - it isn't just you. But that also kind of embodies the issue itself which is a big hairy ball of lots of issues and nastiness. Still, reading them is necessary if you want to be part of a solution. Even if you don't think it helps, trying is a necessary step to understanding the issues.
@Rubiksmoose I did, that's why I'm worried. Either the metas are unhelpful, or I don't have the social intelligence to grasp the hidden truths they're supposed to reveal. And I'm not being sarcastic, I'm genuinely unsure.
2:40 PM
A: Time to retire the [rules-as-written] tag?

doppelgreenerI agree with retiring the [rules-as-written] tag. Rules as written questions and answers on the site are fine and we as a community affirm they will always be welcome, but the tag sucks at its own job and it's always been an unclear meta-tag. On why it sucks at covering its own topic There's a ...

Managed to write out my thoughts using a bunch of paragraphs and colorful venn diagrams.
@Rubiksmoose Yes. A full grasp of the luminiferous aether is required before you dive into general relativity. /S
@vicky_molokh No worries I didn't read you as being sarcastic.
@Rubiksmoose Given the amount of miscommunication I have caused in this bar, I decided to add a note for clarity.
@vicky_molokh I'm not sure how much miscommunication there has been (I'll take your word for it) but being clear is always a good thing and appreciated.
@doppelgreener that is a really good and clear answer. Thank you for that.
@vicky_molokh fwiw doppel's answer summarizes the history of the tag-related issues with the tag well in the answer above.
(Well, reading when not doing real-life stuff, with breaks.)
2:49 PM
@doppelgreener Can I request answers in the form of an epic love ballad?
@doppelgreener at the risk of getting people upset with me, from an appearances point of view, broaching this topic in meta while one of our users who advocates for that tag has been suspended is not a good look. I completely appreciate why that action was called for, but the optics of the timing may not be so great.
@BESW I'd like mine in semaphore please
@KorvinStarmast honestly, I had the same thought Korvin and I'm unsure how I feel about it. They 100% deserved it, but I fear it may cause issues and drama down the line.
I was actually considering if, when, and how to bring up that concern myself. So thanks for doing so.
@KorvinStarmast Yeah, the fact that KRyan seemed to be one of the representative of the pro-tag crowd (judging by the number of votes in such metas) does mean that the discussion is harder to have on an even ground right now.
@KorvinStarmast I've considered that as well but decided I am okay with it. Their opinion is very well noted at this point. However, it's time the community has a chance to discuss the topic without their input, which has over time been fairly disruptive.
@doppelgreener Read you loud and clear, I just wanted to get that off my chest, I'll sit back for a while and let things move. By the way, your meta post is very well done. golf clap
2:54 PM
@KorvinStarmast Thank you.
Having read through the answer, I find the venn diagrams and the accompanying description of the boolean operation helpful, but (a) don't agree about meta-ness (I see it as comparable to the [*techniques] tags, [lore] and others) and (b) think that the expectation of super-sharp edges of the diagram to be unreasonable in such a fuzzy hobby.
And (c), having third thoughts about whether I can add anything useful to the meta on the topic at this point.
Or at least anything sufficiently clear and eloquent to make a difference.
One of the primary consequences of getting suspended is that you lose the ability to influence the community during the suspension. It would be weird to try to bypass that, I think, in order to have someone participate in the next round of the subject that got them suspended in the first place.
@vicky_molokh articulating your thoughts on meta will IMO be helpful. Don't worry about up or down votes. I posted a reply, though it's not the greatest thing I ever wrote. I just wanted to get a few thoughts on topic ... in there.
@BESW My concern is also that the tact KRyan takes on this topic is combative in a way that chills peoples' willingness to engage in the topic because they don't want to wade in among the rock-throwing and risk getting hit.
@BESW Just to be clear, I wasn't advocating for that, just commenting on the optics piece, though I suspect that you are making a general point.
2:59 PM
Well, yes. I consider them a friend but I've made no bones about disagreeing with their rhetorical approaches.
@BESW I find it unfortunate that Ryan's approach is unnice, because I think the community would benefit from a nicer speaker in favour of keeping the tag.
I wish I could find someone else to vote for in this question.
Someone may yet step up. The meta will likely remain healthily active for a while yet. And surely KRyan will throw their voice in when they are able regardless of the status of the debate at that point.
@vicky_molokh Vote for me and I'll set you free! (that's a joke whose context may not be obvious ...)
It was also my (semi humorous) campaign slogan when I ran for Mod at Christianity.SE, accruing a whopping three votes!
@vicky_molokh I've added a paragraph about (b):
> Naturally a tag or topic doesn't have to be 100% well defined, and some fuzziness is fine, but the magnitude of differences in our interpretations of RAW are far beyond what we see for any other tag on the site at all. (And that's even taking system-agnostic into account!)
3:06 PM
@vicky_molokh Unfortunate is definitely the right word here. There's no reason ever to be Not Nice on this site. If you have a point, you make it civilly and reasonably and with facts and logic and other valid methods of argument.
@doppelgreener not to mention the sheer volume of RAW tags makes the differences even more of an issue.
Honestly we've had nice speakers in favour of keeping the tag for years.
That's been most active community members, including SSD who KRyan recently tried to drag through the mud.
Just that, as BESW put it, the most reasonable meta we've ever had about the RAW tag is now making a pretty good case for why it should just be retired.
(I didn't co-write it.)
@doppelgreener For some of our RAW discussions, HeyICanChan has been a productive advocate ... but I think the drama drove that most excellent member away from the dialogue.
@KorvinStarmast Yeah. A lot of patience and goodwill for the topic has been dried up.
@doppelgreener yeah double sad face
@KorvinStarmast Cynical (in the new sense of the word) take on that: the most persistent persist, the reasonable have long reasoned to drop out of it and give up.
3:16 PM
I think the best arguments against keeping the tag I see are A) I see no reason why you'd want to search by the tag itself; there's not terribly much of a useful theme between [RAW] questions and B) Since there's wiggle room even in how the tag defines RAW questions, you always needed to define what type of RAW answer you wanted in the question anyways or else you didn't get what you wanted, even if they saw the tag in the first place.
(Though I'm now looking in the sidebar and seeing BESW's excellent starred counterpoint on A)
@CTWind as I pointed out in a comment under Colin's answer, there are a number of users who do use that tag as a filter
@CTWind though do note the second part of the statement a couple comments down
That was brought up in at least two of the previous "things" we had on the tag.
@CTWind You wouldn't be likely to do (A) because it actually is bad at covering RAW Q&A, and always was.
This is what i get for hopping into a discussion without reading the full backlog first :-P
3:19 PM
It's alright.
@CTWind grognard voice "back when electricity was recent, we had this tag ..." Hey, you kids, get offa my lawn!
@KorvinStarmast "most of the tags still ran on whale oil though..."
@CTWind Wait, where did I put my teeth? that came out "heyyou kithpzz, geb oggla my lawg"
@BESW I also completely agree with this by the way.
@vicky_molokh This is definitely a thing as well.
@Rubiksmoose my tags always slipped on whale oil, so I switched to coal.
3:35 PM
Anyone seen any good thoughts for alternatives to the RAW tag (not that we should necessarily try them right now)? Not necessarily synonyms, but maybe subcategories that are at least more well defined/less argumentative, even if they don't encompass all of what people consider RAW.
I don't have answers but want to register that I'm 100% down for exploring that topic, both from a user perspective and a moderator perspective.
Hehehe. Nice intro.
Target painted, armour braced.
@vicky_molokh Thank you for making an input.
3:44 PM
I don't agree with wiping the slate clean on the tag yet — that was already where we were at before, and it worked really poorly — but that is a well written post and well made case.
Part of the contributor to why it didn't work before was that, when a question was tagged [rules-as-written], people would get up in arms saying “no! you have to answer this question MY way according to MY definition of rules as written!”
This means when people asked questions with the RAW tag but without describing any RAW requirements we'd all be arguing what that meant for how answers need to proceed, and the most vocal senior members present at the time tended to shoulder everyone out of the way.
... And then the querent would accept an answer that provided a non-RAW interpretation because they weren't looking for RAW literalism anyway, they just picked the tag because it said “rules” or because it matched their interpretation of “rules as written” and weren't aware of all the baggage attached to it, and then we'd remove the tag and feel a bit frustrated and embarrassed.
@CTWind I'm trying to decide if something like [literal-reading] (...or something like that, I'm awful at names) would basically be the exact same thing, given the current [RAW] description, and therefore be unhelpful, or if that would at least be a more specific constraint that people would be less likely to 'incorrectly' tag their Q with when it's not what they're actually looking for.
I am actually very interested in exploring what other tags we can use for this topic, and if that leads to revisiting [rules-as-written] one day with a better defined usage and with less baggage attached so that we don't need to argue about it regularly, I'd be open to that. I don't agree with wiping the slate clean right now though. I think absence of the RAW tag will let us examine what our need for it is/was (if we still really it we'll feel it) and give us room to explore what other tags we might use for the site. — doppelgreener ♦ 51 secs ago
(I'd feel comfortable putting something like [literal-reading] on my last RAW question, which is one of the ones people disagreed with the [RAW] tag being present on.)
@Rubiksmoose It was meant to be illustrative of the general principles. A stack-agnostic choice, so to speak. — vicky_molokh 45 secs ago
@vicky_molokh it was a minor point, but I really don't think tags are ever really stack agnostic. Tag definition and usage is shaped by the stacks they are created in. Context at the very least shifts a lot.
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