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We (the moderators) were notified that Stack Exchange have now implemented Unicode in tags.

And I quote:

New Unicode Tag System

Full Unicode support for tags now available and can be turned on for sites that need it. If you think your site would benefit from it, make a meta post, including examples of how it would be beneficial, gather community support, and propose a plan for how you’d use these tags either alongside or instead of “normal” tags. The more information you can provide, the more easily we can implement your request. [...]

The question is simple, do we need them? I want to hear your opinions on this.

What does Unicode in tags mean?

  • We can have weird characters (such as ¿, µ, etc) in tags.
  • We can have tags in different languages (such as Japanese).
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I think this is a no.

I say this for a few reasons:

  • It could potentially lead to lots of non-English questions. I think we should try to stick to English as our primary language due to its significant presence throughout existing SE sites (even on language and usage sites).
  • People coming from a Japanese background will still know rōmaji and have the IMEs to use English. Those of us in English-speaking countries do not always have (easy) access to (for example) Japanese IMEs, so we may not be able to easily search or understand tags.
  • There are few instances when a tag name is too long. In these cases, unicode may be acceptable (such as changing ou to ō or a similar concept) to make the tag fit into 23 characters.

I don't think we'd benefit at all from the unicode tags, and I think more than anything it could prevent people from finding the tags and questions they're looking for.

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  • Just to note: This is an English-language forum. Questions posted in other languages would be closed. Including translations is okay, but the text must be available in English. Apr 2 '13 at 14:29
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    @RobertCartaino: This is an English-language forum. forum forum. FORUM?! -Twitches Uncontrollably- Apr 2 '13 at 15:06
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I would have to say no, it would only further complicate things as they are.. I say let English be the norm.

Cons

  • Im assuming at least 80% of this site consists of English speaking individuals.
  • It could and will more than likely lead to a barrage of cryptic questions, tags and answers.
  • To a non japanese speaking individual (using a tame example, imagine more cryptic symbols than this), what the hell is (はじめの一歩)? Hajime no Ippo
  • Tag maintaining nightmare.
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There are a couple things I need to know about how the Unicode tags will work before I can decide if we have use for them. We definitely don't need them, because tagging on our site is functioning decently at the moment, but there are a few issues that these could help with.

1) Will this increase the 25 character limit? If not, it still gives us a couple more characters when using Japanese titles (because of macrons), but not a lot more. That is, of course, assuming we don't use actual Japanese tags, which seems like a good idea since a lot of our users do not read or speak Japanese.

2) How will searching for the unicode characters work? For instance, will it catch tags using "ō" if I search for something with "o"? If not, we'll need synonyms in each of these cases because many of our users are not going to be accustomed to typing strange unicode characters.

The only real issue I have with the tagging system right now is that 25 characters is frequently not enough for us. If this will increase that limit, and the searching is going to remain intuitive for new users, then I'm all for it. Otherwise, I don't think it's a big help to us.

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    +1 for the search bit.
    – iKlsR
    Apr 1 '13 at 22:09
  • For people who can type Japanese, there is unlikely to be any confusion in tag search. The problem is with the variations in romanization.
    – nhahtdh
    Apr 2 '13 at 0:48
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I think each series tag should have all possible (official and unofficial, local and export) show names and variants, including those which are supposed to be written using unicode symbols in the tag's wiki, so that they could be found through search. The tag names themselves should stay alphanumeric.

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