Enabling selective notifications on ELU
Other busy sites like Stack Overflow have pop-up notifications that trigger on various titles and tags, but we do not. For example, this is an outright ban when trying to use a particular word in a title:
While this is a warning pop-up for guidance when trying to use a particular tag:
After years of observation of trends, and some help from staff with the analysis of aggregate data, I would now like to propose some simple mechanical measures like these to help guide askers into asking better questions. The exact texts and links would be decided if and when the community at large decides we should go ahead with either or both of my concrete proposals below.
These two restrictions would only affect questions newly asked or edited.
Title Ban: “grammatically correct”, “correct grammar”
The first is that I would like to ban from titles the two strings “grammatically correct” and “correct grammar”. If someone attempts to use these in a title, they would get a pop-up notification.
The reasoning is that these are nearly always yes/no proofreading questions without any research that draw poor answers at best and which are usually closed. The notification text is something we’d work on. It needs to be short to be effective, but we can include links to longer pieces for further guidance and examples of good and bad titles.
If need be, we can use fancier regexes for the strings such as
Tag Ban: “grammar”
Most questions that use the grammar tag should not do so. That’s because they usually have nothing to do with grammar at all. People use the tag as a general catch-all equivalent of “language”, a tag which we already ban.
If someone tries to use the grammar tag, we can have a pop-up notification explain that they should instead use syntax or morphology or grammaticality if it’s really about grammar. We could also mention non-grammar tags like orthography, punctuation, or capitalization.
We current have ~8.5k questions tagged grammar, which shows you just what a “garbage” tag it really is! Those existing questions wouldn’t be affected by this until and unless they should be edited, at which point the ban would force the editor to choose something more suitable.
Is this a great idea, a good idea, a so-so idea, or a lousy idea?
To change our site rules this way requires the collective will of the community at large. I’d like you folks to please discuss these two proposals below, whether pro or con.
Plus now that you know what sorts of things are possible, you might even have your own, better ideas about such things you might put forward as suggestions.
Finally, if we don’t like how it works out, we can of course always turn it off again easily enough: we could run these on a trial basis if we cared to.