Over one and a half years ago, the tag was created, and put on What soviet computer used trinary bits?. It makes some sense on this question, because this question is actually an question about a machine known to be from the USSR. It's understandable that wasn't used when this question was asked, since that tag did not exist when the question was asked. The creation of the tag is also understandable, since the only question that had been posted with just the tag was the tag's test question and a tag about different bit architectures was not as likely to be useful.

For over a year it only appeared on one question.

Less than two months ago, the tag was edited into How were the electronics in the Elektronika IM (Электроника ИМ) designed? by its owner, with the edit description:

Added a tag to my question to clarify that its about Soviet electronics

This use seems to be treating a bit like a manufacturer tag. As I wrote in this meta answer, these tags have been useful

largely for tagging questions about uncommon hardware by these manufacturers that don't have their own tags.

Except... this question was already tagged with the specific tag. The original Game and Watch series was not made in the USSR, so the tag combination —or any combination—is useful only for finding questions about USSR-made clones.

Isn't this a better fit for , or an entirely new tag?

The tag is also used in How were Western computer chips reverse-engineered in Soviet Russia?, where it was edited in by the same user with the edit description:

Added new tag for the Soviet Union

This seems to be a good use of this tag, as the question is about reverse engineering performed in the Soviet Union.

About 16 hours ago I approved an edit to Were there any LSI-11 like home computers outside of Russia? in lieu of a decision as to whether this tag is useful. However, I now feel that this was a mistake as the question is asking about home computers that are not to do with Russia... and Russia is distinct from the USSR.

Currently its tag wiki excerpt is:

For questions about retro devices from the Soviet Union (USSR)

If we choose to keep this tag, what should we change this to? (Should we change it?)

Also, I couldn't find any other place tags. Would be a useful tag? How about for the Inves Spectrum to disambiguate it from the ZX Spectrum? A tag for the to disambiguate it from the tag-synonym (relevant consensus)? Or is there something special about that makes it more useful than other similar tags?

Is the tag useful?

2 Answers 2

  1. I very much agree with Wilson's answer (already upvote). Yes, the is useful.

  2. Except the need for a tag. That would be rather pointless and not adding any clear definition either.

    For example most would consider Yougoslav designs part of that group, except, the country wasn't part ot the treaty ... and so on.

    And more important in a technic related sense, these countries where still quite seperated and over all economic steering was on an abstract level, not realy influencing computer design.

But Wizzwizz4's question includes many more points (which may need a better structure to structure discusion):

  1. Unlike the argumentation suggests, is not a manufacturer tag, but classifying the kind of device. Handheld LCD game of that style may have it, not just one manufactured by Nintendo. So there is no contraindication to using it together with the 'manufacturer' tag .

  2. There is no use for [Tag:non-*] tags, except each and every tag gets one as negation. But then a more complex search term would be more apropriate, wouldn't it.

  3. And no, this doesent exclude the word 'non' from being used, as may be a usefull one.

  4. Using the is ment for Sovjet related issues, right? Well, the question linked is related. And people looking for information about Sovjet era computers may quite enjoy geting this information. After all, if taken as a manufacturer like tag, this is the equivalence of a question like "Where there Commodore Compatible Computers?". I'm sure someone searching for information about Commodore will value that additional bit.

  5. Using EE country names as 'manufacturer' tags does make a lot of sense, as for one within each of these design and manufacturing was centralized, while at the same time there where large differences. So a does make as much sense as or (Just think of their Apple II clones). Note, while the USSR and DDR have been disposed on the heap of history, Bulgaria is still a country and thus a distinction from todays bulgaria i needed to make it the manufacturer alike tag we're talking about.

    (Please note, I'm not saying each and every of the the EE countries need a tag, just when it comes up, it should not be verboten).

  6. Making a distinction between Sovjet Russia and USSR is at best an ivory tower issue. There was no Russia. There was a Russian S(F)SR, which in reality wasn't much different form a county in any other state. All of the SSRs where controlled by the same over all economic planing. Except that the Russian_s_ effectivly ruled the USSR. And that's a source for many confusion, like in the cited article. People tend to use Russia and USSR as synonym - which is a bad idea to start with. Bottom line, there is no use for Russia on RC prior to ~1992.

  7. Renaming the Tag. works fine, except looking a bit strange in lower case (and instead of UdSSR :)). I can live with it, although, I would rather prefer caling it . While informed (or simple old) readers will recognize it, using 'Sovjet' is way more telling in everyday language - and most younger audience may not even remember USSR/SSSR/СССР.

  8. I'm not sure that general country tags are useful. Outside EE there was no centralized economy where designs and products where ordered and shifted beween 'companies'. Ther is no All-American or All-Japan Computer. So no, not useful as manufacturer tags. Not withstanding possible other use of course.

Conclusion: Using as a manufaturer alike tag makes sense. I should be well enough defined for most purpose (all I can think of now at least). Renameing it to may increase readability.

And as usual I need to make a stand for as many tags as useful, not as little. Tags are not about finding the one and only tag, but to classify a single question into multiple cathegories to cover the various aspects a question has. It's not a one-size-fits-all thing.


To my mind, is useful, yes.

The USSR is not like other countries when it comes to electronics and other technology (except perhaps the other countries in the Warsaw Pact -- maybe the tag should rather be !) because of how imports were strictly regulated and industrial reverse-engineering was so important over there.

  • Sounds a bit like Brazil. Commented Nov 17, 2018 at 2:12
  • @AlexHajnal Does Brazil need its own tag? Not as of now, since there's no appreciable number of Brazil specific questions. But if that changes, I'm all for making a tag. Commented Aug 2, 2023 at 11:30

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