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Thanuir Thanuir October 7, 2019 at 1:04 PM October 7, 2019 at 1:04 PM link Permalink

*Mathematics tag unification, experiences from doing it by hand*

TLDR: Tag maintenance is, at the moment, a grueling and thankless job. I recommend not doing it without further tools, except as the opportunity presents itself while going about your other business.

TLDR: Please add the "mathematics" tag to relevant sentences. Please do not add and please do remove the "maths" tag.

Background: I find translations of mathematics sentences helpful. At the moment, there are many untagged sentences, as well as the following tags (and probably others in other languages):

mathematics, 1676 sentences:
maths, 432:
mathématique, 128:
Mathematik, 70:
matematik, 3:

I went through all the sentences with "maths" tag and added the "mathematics" tag. Probably I missed a few and mistyped a few. I did not remove the "maths" tag, as I do not have the power to do that.

Suggestion: Please use/add the "mathematics" tag to relevant sentences. The "maths" tag has exactly the same meaning, less sentences (especially now), and is less regionally neutral; it seems to used in UK, whereas in North America "math" seems to be preferred. Having two different tags makes it trickier to find relevant sentences.
I also recommend adding the "mathematics" tag in addition to any other non-English tag, as per Tatoeba tag guidelines, English tags should be used.

My workflow was to have a list of sentences with "maths" and not "mathematics", copy a sentence number, switch to browser, select the address bar, highlight the sentence number, replace with the new one, enter. Click on the text box for writing tags (possibly after moving the mouse, because the box is in different place based on how many and how long tags the sentence already has) and write "mathematics". Enter. While the page is loading, fetch the next sentence number. Sometimes translate the sentence or open linked sentences to also tag those.

This is very inefficient for a human to do. It requires using mouse (or careful tabbing, I guess) in addition to the keyboard, and manually writing "mathematics", since the sentence numbers occupy the clipboard.

Some possibilities for messing with tags on a large number of sentences. I think any of these should require a conversation and consensus on the wall, pretty much.

1. Manual ad-hoc solution by admins. Not sustainable or a good idea.

2. Separate tag management user interface, available to users of high privilege, with possibility of declaring tags as synonyms, deleting tags, replacing a tag with another, etc. Would require a lot of work to implement, I guess (but do not really know).

3. A bot that can do the above. A user would operate it. Since tags move slowly, the bot could be run on fixed and slow schedule, or just be operated "by hand" to do a given operation on tags. It should leave a comment so that misbehaviour would be easier to detect. I have no idea how demanding this would be to implement.

4. Integrating tags with the search engine more fully would make tag management a bit more convenient in terms of workflow, and also increase the value of tags. This would mean the ability to restrict a search to a tag or a set of tags, exclude tags, etc. No idea about the difficult of implementation.

Suggestions 2 and 3 could be combined, I guess - a user interface could create a list of actions on tags, which the bot would then implement as its own pace.