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Should 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, etc. have their own tags? Personally I'm undecided but leaning towards no since things don't always break down cleanly by decade. What do y'all think?

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I would say no. They would at best be meta-tags, that is, tags that couldn't stand alone on a question.

We have been running the site for the best part of three years without them. I would suggest we leave it that way.

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  • (Three years? Wow. Doesn't time fly?) I'm not sure how good an argument that is, though, as there are always improvements that can be made to a system. You could instead point out that the tags are superfluous given a good tagging system, or something like that. – wizzwizz4 Jul 16 '18 at 18:42
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    Their superfluity was my main point. You're right in that the fact we've done without them doesn't make a good argument on its own. – Chenmunka Jul 17 '18 at 9:42
  • @wizzwizz4 or Chenmunka, perhaps one of you guys could delete the tags as talked about my answer to this question? – cjs Jan 16 at 12:15
  • @CurtJ.Sampson: Mods can't explicitly delete tags. If a tag is removed from all questions then, after a couple of days, it is deleted automatically by the system. – Chenmunka Jan 16 at 12:34
  • Ah, thanks for explaining that! – cjs Jan 16 at 12:50
8

Should 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, etc. have their own tags?

No. While many developments can be tied to a period of five or maybe 10 years relevance/usage, this period is almost completely asynchonous with respect to calendar decades.


Hmm. Thinking about a bit longer, there could be a use for a similar system, or even two.

  1. Years. For some questions a specific year could be named - much like Wiki having pages (and categories) by year.

  2. Tags in form of pre-1950, post-1950, pre-1970, post-1970 and so on.

While the first is a rather generic thing, could the second be quite helpful to classify questions about certain areas and technologies.

An alternative could be made with tags like pre-/360, pre-minicomputer or post-microprocessor to separate certain eras instead of development.

Just thinking out loud.

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    That could get messy with all the overlaps. Also, what defines the end of an era? Compuserve, e.g., was using DECsystem-10 up until the late 2000s. I guess the eras would be open-ended? – Alex Hajnal Apr 26 at 16:05
  • @AlexHajnal Non, as the tagsare not supposed to be used on each and every question, and even less for certain computers or usage, but when it's about a certain time. Think of a question like 'how was early programming done' (we had something like that already). Here it's important if one means the 60, 70s or 80, as each time had it's own 'first way' , so which is it about? In general, tags are not to be assigned when (somehow) fitting, but when needed for description/classification. – Raffzahn Apr 26 at 16:31
  • I see what you're saying. Mostly just playing devil's advocate, – Alex Hajnal Apr 26 at 17:07
  • @AlexHajnal :) Cool with me. – Raffzahn Apr 26 at 17:22
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I was falling on the "I don't see how they help side," and I'm now convinced by the other arguments here against such tags.

However, we do currently have tags and , and someone's recently been running around adding these and proposed new decade tags to posts. Can someone delete those current two decade tags so that new users don't get confused and start adding decade tags to new and existing posts?

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  • Seconded - as I was just about bringing that up as well. thx. So far I tried to skip or reject upcoming reviews for that. – Raffzahn Jan 7 at 15:05
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    I removed the tags from the posts (I think 10 1990s, 1 1950s, 1 1960s). I am not sure how to actually delete the tags. – manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact Jan 16 at 6:36
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    @manassehkatz Yeah, I was avoiding removing the tags so that the edits wouldn't bring them back to the front page; they go away automatically when a mod deletes the tags. I'm not sure if any mods are seeing this; I'll poke one in another answer here. – cjs Jan 16 at 12:15
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    @manassehkatz-ReinstateMonica Thanks for doing so. – Raffzahn Jan 16 at 14:43
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In computing the more discernable eras are not by decade but by word size.

There's the 8-bit era, the 16-bit era, the 32-bit era, and the 64-bit era.

I think all of those word-size tags would be useful and serve more than just for designating the eras.

I don't think there's any name for the pre-8-bit early days, nor is any tag needed. There will surely be future discernible eras but 128-bit word sizes are probably not very useful so when those eras come people will surely have ways to refer to them. Anyway the future doesn't concern us at retro so who cares? (-:

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    I think the pre-8-bit days were the 36-bit or 18-bit era so that kind of scuppers the neat doubling sequence. Then you've got the PDP-11 which was very influential but unfortunately 16-bit; it begat the 32-bit VAX and 16/32-bit MC68000 of the late '70s. So for for micros you (mostly) get a neat progression; for everything else, not so much. – Alex Hajnal Apr 26 at 15:51
  • Yeah the pre-8-bit days were their own wild west anything goes there's no rules yet days. The 8 to 64 eras are pretty vanilla by comparison but I wasn't around before 8-bits. Anyway I attempted to cover that in my last paragraph. – hippietrail Apr 27 at 5:06
  • Word size isn't a useful criteria for historical ordering in any way, as many sizes were used from early on concurently. Similar by looking just at microprocessors - 4/8/13/16/20 were there from very early one. It only makes sense if seen for the narrow field of home computers. And even here it doesn't, as already the very second (genuine) home computer had a 16 bit CPU. So no need to swamp questions with useless tags. – Raffzahn Apr 28 at 7:59
  • I didn't think there any 16 bit home computers until the IBM PC came out. But maybe I have odd ideas about what "very" and "genuine" mean. – hippietrail Apr 28 at 11:33

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