When I look at the [history] tag, I see at least three senses of that word being mashed together:

  • History: The 43 year long story of emacs
  • History: a record of user input; previous commands
  • History: previous versions of some data

Should we do something?

  • How does meta work? Am I supposed to accept the answer below or something? (Maybe I should ask this on meta-meta. ;) ) – daveloyall Nov 6 '19 at 23:44
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    Meta doesn't get much attention. Your question has been seen 11 times in the past week, and probably at least two or three of those views are me on different machines. So in absence of any dissenting opinions, you could probably just go ahead and create the new tags and start updating the existing history questions – Tyler Nov 7 '19 at 15:20
  • I think we're OK with just history, meaning Emacs history, and history-variables, meaning minibuffer input history. Versions of data should use a tag that mentions "version", not "history", IMHO. – Drew Nov 21 '19 at 23:21

I think it makes sense to split the tag. The new tags should be intuitive to users, and have a clear explanation of their intended usage in their wikis. Here's my suggestions:

  • emacs-history :: use this tag for questions about the history of emacs. i.e., the development of the Emacs program, or people associated with it over the course of its development
  • input-history :: use this tag for questions about using, storing or otherwise manipulating the history of user inputs. e.g., search history, command history. Don't use it for the kill-ring, which has its own tag
  • file-history :: use this tag for questions about storing previous versions of a file, or locations within that file.

file-history in this schema seems like it might be a synonym for something else, maybe something related to version control?

  • I agree with all of this, including your thoughts on file-history. Here is a question currently tagged with history that clearly needs some other tag, but I'm not sure what the other tag should be. – daveloyall Nov 6 '19 at 23:43
  • -1. We already have tag history-variables, which is about input history. Is there any need for input-history? And I don't think that file-history is good. That kind of thing is better expressed in terms of "version", "versioning", or persistence. – Drew Nov 21 '19 at 23:19
  • Good, thank you, Drew. – daveloyall Nov 22 '19 at 0:11
  • @drew that makes sense. I still think the history tag is ambiguous. I created emacs-history and switched the tags for the few questions that applied to. I see someone else started with history-variables, all that's left is to decide which tag to use for file-history. – Tyler Nov 22 '19 at 12:46
  • @tyler: FWIW, I think I disagree with emacs-history. I prefer just history. This site is about Emacs. An unqualified term like "history" applies generally (and the tag description should say what it is for). The only use of "history" as something specific in Emacs jargon, AFAIK, is input history - specifically, history variables. And I think the concept of "file history" is ill-conceived. A file is an object that can be versioned, like many other kinds of objects. The right term to use for that is "version", not "history". – Drew Nov 22 '19 at 17:27
  • @drew re: "version" instead of "file-history" - I didn't mean to suggest that we need to create a new tag, only that we needed to decide which tag (new or existing) best captures the intent ("something related to version control"). We already have vc, version-control, version and version-support, so perhaps one of these is best. And maybe the rest are synonyms of each other? – Tyler Dec 2 '19 at 15:00
  • @Tyler: Good question about the variant tags for things having to do with "version". I don't have an answer/opinion about that. My only point about "version" was that something having to do with "version" is better for files than is file-history. – Drew Dec 2 '19 at 16:07

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