I noticed today that we have a few questions tagged .

Should we delete this tag, or keep it?

I have no question that tags about specific variants (maybe even builds) are ok. I just wonder whether this specific one isn't too redundant.

  • this is MY tag. ;)
    – nicael
    Sep 29, 2014 at 7:50
  • Given all of the options below, I would take a cue from TeX.SX. We have tex-core for just this kind of thing – questions about GNU Emacs, but about the thing itself in all of its GNUness. Similarly, we could have gnu-emacs-core and xemacs-core, but this opens a dangerous door to all prepackaged distributions (such as prelude) which should rather be tagged as the component package it is concerning. Nov 16, 2014 at 1:56

3 Answers 3


This tag is mostly redundant and of little use. The vast majority of questions will apply to gnu-emacs.

Of course, there may be questions which pertain only to specific variants, so we could take this tag to mean "specifically not variants". But none (or, arguably, one) of the questions currently tagged as fall into this category.
This indicates the tag is likely to be misused much more than it will used accurately.

Furthermore, if we follow askubuntu's example, they do not have an , while they do have tags for the variants.

  • To prove you right, we already have an example of gnu-emacs used for “I didn't know what tag to use”. Sep 29, 2014 at 18:18
  • @Gilles yay! And even I added an excerpt to this tag earlier today, discouraging such usage.
    – Malabarba
    Sep 29, 2014 at 19:47
  • Though, to be fair, it might not have been approved by the time the question was asked.
    – Malabarba
    Sep 29, 2014 at 19:48
  • I'm with you, Malabarba. It's a redundant tag that can be applied to too many questions. Sep 30, 2014 at 11:29
  • I agree that it's useful, but only if most people don't use it. As such, I would be inclined to start the description with the dissuasion: "Do not use this tag. Unless ..."
    – phils
    Oct 1, 2014 at 8:28
  • @Gilles Since this comment that you made, I've fixed about 6 or 7 misuses of this tag (and a few still still got past me), and I haven't seen a single correct use of it. Might it be time to ask this question again?
    – Malabarba
    Nov 2, 2014 at 22:58
  • @Malabarba Indeed, seeing how it's been so heavily misused (rather predictably), I'm leaning towards getting rid of it. Most threads have an assumption of “recent version of GNU Emacs” anyway. Nov 3, 2014 at 19:49
  • After another cull of misused tags, there remain very few that legitimately use gnu-emacs. I'd suggest we kill it off and allow people to tag non-GNU alternatives like xemacs when their questions explicitly address alternate implementations.
    – Dan Mod
    Nov 16, 2014 at 19:19
  • @Dan yes, it's about time we nuke it, I just haven't had the time. You have my support to remove it from existence or to ask the community's help.
    – Malabarba
    Nov 16, 2014 at 19:21
  • Okay: I've burninated gnu-emacs.
    – Dan Mod
    Nov 18, 2014 at 20:58

This tag is meaningful, but it should only be applied to questions that are specifically about GNU Emacs.

Given that there is hardly any viable alternative to GNU Emacs, we could decide to do without this tag, due to the high risk of misuse. Most questions implicitly apply to a reasonably recent version of GNU Emacs anyway.

  • The risk of misuse is my main concern. I can see questions 1 and 3, but I see no sense on the 4th.
    – Malabarba
    Sep 28, 2014 at 23:23
  • I guess we can just wait more and see how it gets used.
    – Malabarba
    Sep 28, 2014 at 23:24

I can't really imagine what would be a good use for this tag. Is there an existing use of this gnu-emacs tag that is useful? If not, we should just remove it.

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