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There are currently three cloud related tags:

  • Cloud computing
  • Cloud storage
  • Cloud

Currently, cloud is a synonym of cloud computing, and have 186 questions. Cloud storage was just created and has just two questions. To me, the current situation seems a bit unintuitive, and therefore prone to bad tagging. Why would cloud point to computing and not storage? Do we even need separate tags for cloud computing and cloud storage?

I feel the current system is just a product of the order the tags happend to be created in, and I think it would be a good idea to clarify the situation before more question accumulates. However, I have no answer to what should be done. Suggestions?

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The problem

This is a bad one. There are two and a half completely separate tags overlapping. I'll be using the Amazon Cloud as an example here:

Cloud

  • Refers to someone else whose services or platform you use remotely
  • They can offer anything from Computational Services(Kinesis Stream), Platforms(EC2), APIs(API Gateway), Messaging(email, SMS), or Storage(S3, Deep Freeze)
  • This refers the them as a whole

Cloud Computing

  • Refer specifically to someone else whose services/platform you use to run software(EC2, Kineses Stream, APIs)

Cloud Storage

  • Refers specifically to someone else whose services/platform you use for storage of some sort. S3 and Deep Freeze are easy examples, however SMS and Email are also storage of messages in the cloud, and RDS is also cloud storage.

Really they refer to the person offering all of the services(the Cloud), computational services(Cloud Computing), or storage only(Cloud Storage). Since this is the case it feels like these need some heavy and deep cleaning and are sadly the product of people's ignorance of what a cloud is(actual unknowing, not intentional unknowing).


The Solution

Since it's such a bad intermixing of things that should be separate there are a few ways to handle this, but probably the fastest and simplest is to actually do what should have been done in the first place:

Seperation of Ideas as Other Tags

Put it all under one tag, and let people use other tags to clarify

  • Cloud Storage becomes two tags: Cloud Storage
  • Cloud Computing becomes two tags: Cloud Program/Computing/Services(whatever makes the most sense?)
  • Cloud becomes... well Cloud with whatever they need to address the specific part of it like Cloud Company or Cloud Platform or Cloud MFA

This way we have a Cloud tag to specify it's related to a cloud, and other tags to tell us what specific part of the cloud it belongs too.


This separation gives use one advantage in that it helps identify those who need more help. If a question is just tagged as Cloud and is about Cloud Servers or Cloud Computing we know they might not know how to distinguish between the two and it could help us address what level we need to address it on and how long our trail of bread crumbs should be. A seasoned professional is probably fine with a blurb. A new person probably needs an article. This could help tell us which type of user it is before we edit their tags and post an answer.

  • Thanks for the answer! I agree the situation is messy. How would you propose moving forward with a cleanup? Should they be three separate tags? Do we need to retag questions? Or should we just accept the mess? – Anders May 12 '16 at 17:37
  • That's the million dollar baby right there isn't it? There are a lot of things to consider there. I think it might deserve an edit on how to approach the problem. – Robert Mennell May 12 '16 at 17:48
  • @Anders Did the edit help clarify it at all? – Robert Mennell May 13 '16 at 23:02
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    Thanks for the edit! There is already a [storage] tag, not sure if it is a very good one, though. I think [program] or [computing] or [service] would be very broad and unenlightening tags that probably would not be used in a very good way. So I am not sure this would solve the problem, but on the other hand I do not have a great solution myself, so perhaps this is the best. I think I remain agnostic on what to do. – Anders May 17 '16 at 14:51
  • Actually I'd say Computing would be the right child tag here since it is actually down to a what happens on the processor and in memory level of analytic, which if you're doing it in cloud computing you care about. Another good tag would be Server since a Cloud Server is really what we are talking about there. – Robert Mennell May 17 '16 at 19:36
  • Maybe changing old questions to cloud and server or computing would make sense, but I doubt if anyone would tag questions about cloud-computing with server in the future? – Anders May 17 '16 at 19:48
  • It helps weed out those who need more help. If a question is just tagged as Cloud and is about Cloud Servers or Cloud Computing we know they might not know how to distinguish between the two and it could help us address what level we need to address it on and how long our trail of bread crumbs should be. A seasoned professional is probably fine with a blurb. A new person probably needs an article. This could help tell us which one it is before we edit their tags and answer ;-) – Robert Mennell May 17 '16 at 19:50
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I am not sure what the right course is here, but for the sake of discussion I will add a proposal:

Pros:

  • We don't have to do any retagging.
  • It is easy to use, or rather hard to missuse. If it is cloud related, tag it with a cloud tag and everything will be allright. No vague distinctions.

Cons:

  • Not possible to separate what aspect of the cloud security the question is about.
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Cloud is basically both of these:

  • Cloud data/storage
  • Cloud servers/computing

The tag cloud is way too general, and plus, the other two existing ones will still show up if we drop it.

So I believe we should drop cloud and leave everything else alone.

  • But there are lots of questions about cloud-storage tagged as cloud-computing now, since cloud is a synonym of it. Some retagging would be needed to handle those. – Anders May 22 '16 at 15:02

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