I previously asked for clearer instruction in regards to when to use the tags unity or unity5. From the feedback and answer, it appears there is no clear good reason to use one over the other. Should we merge these two tags together, to prevent further confusion between the two?
Response to my previous question
To quote DMGregory, "there's not much value in distinguishing unity general versus unity5 - I can't think of an instance where the tag helped to clearly identify an issue specific to 5." While this is a single answer with 2 additional votes, at the time of writing this, it comes from the only user to currently have a badge in unity5.
It was also pointed out that 5 was not a major revision to the editor. Much greater revision occurred in the earlier 4.6 release, and evidence shows that substantial updates still occur during sub-version releases. Differentiating between pre-Unity 5 and post-Unity 5 does necessarily help us identify the exact version the user is asking about, nor how their version might impact on the context of their question, as opposed to the assumed "latest version" if the user does not specify either way. It is therefore more helpful for the user to mention "I am using Unity build x.y.z" as opposed to tagging the question as unity or unity5.
Analysis of unity5 tag
Looking over some of the numbers associated with the tag, I can see that more than half of the questions also use the unity tag. I personally find myself adding the unity tag to questions during edits, if I identify the context to be non-exclusive to Unity 5. At the time of writing this, there are 904 unity5 questions, 523 of which also use the unity tag.
Looking over the current 50 most recent questions under the unity5 tag, 28 of them also use the unity tag. Of the ones that only use the unity5 tag, there is a clear pattern where the question could easily have applied to pre-5 releases of Unity.
Analysis of recent questions that exclusively use the unity5 tag
Of the left over 22 questions, most could benefit from inclusion of the unity tag. In some cases, the asker acknowledges that they are using Unity 5, but ask a question that deals with more general concepts or implementations. Questions such as 'How do I provide a pixel offset?' and 'How do I change a game objects position from another game object?' deal with basic Unity concepts, that would easily apply to earlier versions of the editor.
There are questions that deliberately target Unity 5, though as they currently stand, may not need to. "Impossible rooms and 5D space" specifically targets Unity 5, but in context, deals with a much more general subject. For what little the current answers actually answer the Unity part of the question, the general response is that 'Unity can not do it like they could do it, you will have to cheat a little'. The suggested "cheats" are not Unity 5 exclusive.
In most questions, I only presume the tag is being used to infer that the user is using Unity 5. Questions like *"How to automatically delete an object" and "Can't get my android device to be connected.." presumably only use the unity5 tag because the user is using the latest version of Unity. They do not actually specify anything in regards to the version they are using, but the context is also that which is not unique to Unity 5.
In regards to the potential increase in duplicates
Of course, there is the issue of the few instances where version difference does have a large impact on the context of the answer. I am yet to find an obvious example for Unity 5, but I am sure there are some there. Further questions using the unity tag would suffer the same penalty from earlier versions, it is simply clear that nobody has thought to include a version tag until Unity 5.
For the purpose of managing duplicates, we could then go in one of two directions:
- Duplicate questions are not duplicates if concerning different versions might be preferred, by some, but I generally disagree. Users may think the version difference would make their question unique, where the context of their question does not change dramatically enough between the two versions to warrant an alternate answer. This leads to multiple questions that don't really need to be in multiple, and it would take more moderation (and moderation specifically from users savvy with Unity and its version differences) to clean up.
- User should mention versions, but alternate answers specific to alternate versions should be encouraged is my personal preference. By encouraging alternate answers for alternate versions under the same answer, we encourage all relevant information in the one place, without further duplication. While I can see this having its flaws, I do not think it would come with any problems not already present with the global issue that a lot of our answers are inevitably going to be outdated, and require updating.
In every case where I perform an edit on a Unity question, I go over the question, and look at the tags. I ask myself "does this apply to Unity pre-5? does this apply to Unity 5?", and as far as I can remember, this has always led to me ensuring that both tags were included. As far as I am aware, these tag inclusions have never been rejected or reversed.
Wouldn't it be better to simply merge unity with unity5? We could employ a suggestion that users mention the exact version they are using, for clarity. By having a single tag, we do not infer that users should only differentiate their questions between older versions1 and the current version. As it stands, having both tags for no deliberate reason seems a unnecessarily confusing.
1 For purpose of clarity, I am only acknowledging currently accessible versions of the software when I say "older versions".