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When building the base of 'the guide to wonderland', I've looked through the and tags. But I don't really know what the difference is, and I'm unsure why a significant amount of them are about a .

  1. Something being on/off topic is part of site policy.

    Why is this but this is .

  2. There is no distinction about:

    1. Changing site policy. 1
    2. Using site policy. 2


    Given the above two examples, you may say is the distinction, but it's not included in all questions, and shouldn't be added in others.

  3. Some questions don't have either or . And so it's not clear what to search for these questions, or what I should tag them as when I do find them.

Should we change our tags?

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Puts "normal user hat" on.

The difference is easy to state and hard to communicate:

  • is about the "On Topic" page in the help center
  • is about and all the other rules that govern Code Review, whether that's the ban on answer-invalidating edits (which is specific to CodeReview) or the Code of Conduct (applying to all sites in the StackExchange Network)

This implies that is much more comprehensive and broad than . I would assume that the specific tagging query you have is not something that has a deeper meaning.
All the users on meta are also just humans, sometimes we use tags incorrectly ;) I wouldn't take the status quo of any meta question's tags as gospel.


Considering the question about the distinction between changing and applying site-policy (including scope), I don't really see an issue...

Any question that is about how policy was applied implicitly asks for the policy to be changed. This also works vice-versa. Any question that asks for a change in site-policy directly wants to change how these policies are applied.
In fact: Site Policies and their application are inextricably intertwined. Only by application does a site policy manifest.

This is somewhat similar to the idea of a law only being a law if it's enforced by someone.

As such I think that the problem you've spotted can be alleviated by updating the tag usage guide and retagging relevant questions.

I would not consider these tags to be overlapping enough to warrant merging. I could get behind removing the overarching -tag and replacing it with more specific tags, though I think the tag has a lot of merit as a search help.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Splitting [site-policy] into more tags would be the last thing I'd want, it would make tagging more annoying and lead to more improper tags. It also would make searching for any rule via tags a PITA. \$\endgroup\$ – Peilonrayz Apr 6 at 20:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ "Any question that is about how policy was applied implicitly asks for the policy to be changed." I don't think "Why was my question closed?" implicitly means "Make my question on-topic." And having looked through a lot of these questions the past couple of days see a clear distinction between the two. \$\endgroup\$ – Peilonrayz Apr 6 at 20:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ I agree with this answer the most - that scope is about what's on-topic, wheras site-policy can be about other things, for example, the recent question about whether we should allow Mods to veto on the Hot-Network-Question list. I also agree that a little bit of time re-tagging questions could clear this up a whole lot more than trying to manage the tags themselves. \$\endgroup\$ – rolfl Apr 7 at 14:25
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Why is this but this is .

Site-policy is wider than scope, but both are common enough terms that I understand why both are in use. However, I don't think it makes sense to make a distinction between the two in the tags so I support your proposal to synonimyze with as the wider master.

There is no distinction about: Changing site policy. 1 Using site policy. 2

And we should fix that by simplifying the tags, not creating more of them.

Given the above two examples, you may say specific-question is the distinction, but it's not included in all questions, and shouldn't be added in others.

If is the distinction, than that tag, , is doing it's job. That has little bearing on the rest of the tags used, they have their own jobs, so I don't see a problem with this in regards to synonimizing.

Some questions don't have either site-policy or scope. And so it's not clear what to search for these questions, or what I should tag them as when I do find them.

Tricky. In part this can be determined by looking at the answers, but that has it's own pitfalls. Synonimizing would at least fix part of the problem, since we no longer have to decide which of both it is: pick the master tag.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ In response to your third paragraph, you seem to have ignored "and shouldn't be added in others." How do we handle that? \$\endgroup\$ – Peilonrayz Apr 6 at 17:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Peilonrayz If a tag is not there and adding would be inappropriate, don't add it. If it's already there and still inappropriate, remove it. \$\endgroup\$ – Mast Apr 6 at 19:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ Then specific-question doesn't fufill the job you said it does. It's not adequate to be the distinction between 'changing/using site policy' as you have said it is. \$\endgroup\$ – Peilonrayz Apr 6 at 20:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Peilonrayz There's no need to make the distinction, since they're too related anyway. \$\endgroup\$ – Mast Apr 7 at 16:11
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  1. I think changing and using site policy should be two different tags. This is as on meta there are only 4 tags available, and having these take up two of these remaining slots means that these questions would have two remaining slots. I think this is very limiting.

    This would also encourage picking either or, I've not seen any questions simultaneously changing site scope and challenging a ruling.

  2. I want to be able to have links in the guide to wonderland that link to questions where these rulings are used. And so something like [broken-code][ruling] would list questions around the broken code rulings. Where if you want to see the different proposed rules you could do [broken-code][rule].

    I've used rule and ruling to show the distinction between changing and using the rules. I don't know of a good similar name in regards to the name site policy.


And so I think:

  1. Synonymizing: master <- synonym .
  2. Add a new tag .
  3. Update old questions to use instead. (I have a list)

Usage would be:

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  • \$\begingroup\$ "I think changing and using site policy should be two different tags." What if using site policy turns into changing it? For example, a discussion question about whether something is or isn't on-topic and the consensus is that old posts/rules about it are behind the times and need changing? \$\endgroup\$ – Mast Apr 6 at 17:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm all for synonymizing, although scope is narrower than site-policy so I understand why both are in use, but we don't need a new tag IMO. \$\endgroup\$ – Mast Apr 6 at 17:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Mast Post your second comment as an answer :) \$\endgroup\$ – Peilonrayz Apr 6 at 17:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sure, might take a minute. \$\endgroup\$ – Mast Apr 6 at 17:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Mast as for the first comment, I see that as challenging the rules from the beggining. I don't see how it flips. Maybe I'm wrong, but I've not seen this so far, maybe I've missed it? \$\endgroup\$ – Peilonrayz Apr 6 at 17:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ What tag would you want to put on rule-challenging questions with your proposal? \$\endgroup\$ – Mast Apr 6 at 17:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Mast I've updated the bottom of my answer to address that. \$\endgroup\$ – Peilonrayz Apr 6 at 17:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, but what would you put rule-challenges under? The intent is either a change or a verdict, but often both are acceptable outcomes. Tagging them with both would be undesirable IMO. \$\endgroup\$ – Mast Apr 6 at 17:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Mast rule challenges would be site-policy. "Where if you want to see the different proposed rules you could do [broken-code][rule]." \$\endgroup\$ – Peilonrayz Apr 6 at 17:46

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