About a week ago I made a tag to complement the tag and I named it .

My thinking at the time was that there were plenty of game and software emulator files for systems that commonly used compact cassette rather than floppy disk drives back in the day.

But the thing is, only some of these files are representations of the data on the compact cassette. Typically they preserve the sequential and audio properties of the tape format. Some might be just encapsulated sound files, some support fast loaders, some support games which load more stages or data after the game loads.

But in my experience these actual tape images arrived later on the scene of at least Spectrum emulators. The first kind of files for those emulators on the Speccy were called "snapshots" and they instead contained a representation of the entire state of the machine, including all its memory, the CPU and hardware registers, the screen, and everything else. I think they were called snapshots because a hardware hacking device back in the day that plugged into a real Speccy also let you save the state of the machine, perhaps using the same file format as one of the Speccy emulator formats?

So that's the background.

Should we rename to cover both types of file?
Should we create a new tag for snapshot files? If we create a new tag, what should it be named? Is good or not? Perhaps "snapshot" is only meaningful to Spectrum users and other platforms had different names? If so is there a generic name used across multiple platforms?

I suppose other alternatives could be or ?

Just please not anything with "rom" in it! Such names could be used for Timex TS2068, Sinclair Interface 2, and other actual ROM cartridge emulator file formats like for most game consoles.

Or just nuke the current tag and wait a few years until there's more applicable questions?

1 Answer 1


As ever, we should avoid meta-tags.

A tag would be a meta-tag. It fails the tests of being specific and of being able to be the only tag on a question. The term has different meanings in different contexts and so would just be confusing.

I'm not keen on your suggestions either. What is wrong with the existing tags and ?

  • I agree, there is no sense in overly specific tags - it only leads to two rather bad effects: tag clouds for each question as well as less hits due less entries per tag. Tags are meant to give categories. Overly detailed tags are as unhelpful as too distant. While the first will be not used by anyone searching, as he will never have an idea they exist, the later will bring up too many entries thus as well having no practiacal meaning. It's important to keep in mind that search already covers all words withing question/answers. So no need to use common words either.
    – Raffzahn
    Commented May 6, 2020 at 21:26

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