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A description and wiki was added to recently. The tag has nine questions as of this writing.

Is this tag actually useful? Can one become an expert in artifacts, or should the tag go the way of similar meta tags like ?

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My stance would be "no," the artifacts tag isn't useful in either it's current form or any more-generalized form. In both cases the tag is describing what is being observed in the question, not the problem attempting to be solved in the question.

Even when localized specifically to rendering artifacts, it's very possible for two artifacts to be caused by two very different rendering issues such that it's unlikely that there exist a significant body of users out in the real world with dedicated experience fixing all forms of potential undesired rendering behavior... and thus nobody would every put the tag on their "highlight these tags" list. Certainly, at least, the people who would are also the people who'd use existing tags like or some tag more specific to the graphics subdomain involved.

If we were to remove the graphics focus from the tag description, it would only make the problem worse (then it would cover audio artifacts as well, for example).

Consequently I think we should treat this tag like we treat and blacklist it.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree that it's not useful. I didn't see any usage that would not be synonymous with bugs, errors, etc. I don't think a tag describing what is being observed is necessarily bad though - E.G. Deadlock on SO. \$\endgroup\$ – Pikalek May 17 '16 at 19:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Pikalek This isn't SO, though. I concede that on a case-by-case basis, it's possible certain tags primarily focused on the observed effect may be appropriate because they also scope question context (the same way platform and API tags do). But I don't see a good reason for this tag specifically. I've removed it and added it to the blacklist. \$\endgroup\$ – Josh May 17 '16 at 19:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ Fair point about GDSE not being SO. Observed effect that scopes question context is a better way of stating what I was trying to convey. \$\endgroup\$ – Pikalek May 17 '16 at 20:31
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Personally I think the tag should continue to live on, maybe renamed to "graphical-artifact". The thing is, artifacts are not really any type of "effects" at least not desirable ones; So I doubt anyone will tag his question.

If I were to ask a question about those kind of graphical issues, I think this tag would be the best option we had indicating we are actually asking about solving a bug!

Looking at the search results for artifact also shows we actually do have a lot of questions about the issue, but people don't like to tag their question for some reason, which makes going through similar question a bit harder.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ So you think the tag should exist, but that nobody will use it? I don't understand your first sentence. Remember that tags are not for every topic mentioned in a question; we blacklist plenty of tags that, if you were to put the word in the search box, still have tons of results. That seems like a flimsy argument for keeping this tag to me. \$\endgroup\$ – Josh May 16 '16 at 17:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ Further, about half of all questions are about solving a bug in some form. The point of tags is not to mark a question with what the question observes, it's to mark the question with what the problem being solved is; the content of the question rather than a product of the attempt. The fact that a problem results in a graphical artifact is a consequence of the user attempting to solve some higher-level problem; that higher-level problem should be the tag. \$\endgroup\$ – Josh May 16 '16 at 17:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think the tag should exist, and we should add it to the related question which are not marked by it. Also many of these questions do have artifact in their title. I have a feeling people don't know "artifact" can be used as a tag. In the end, I think it adds more information to the question (before you open it/ while searching). First it means something went wrong, and second it tells what exactly is wrong. \$\endgroup\$ – Ali1S232 May 16 '16 at 17:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ Tags are not just "for adding information to a question" though. They're for adding a specific kind of information to a question; information about what the problem is. Not observed effects of the problem. It's why we don't tag questions with "bug" or "problem" or "compiler-error" or "looks-funny." \$\endgroup\$ – Josh May 16 '16 at 17:59

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