[Tagging] Please don't think name_1 tags are errors.

moltonel 3x Combo moltonel at gmail.com
Wed Jan 20 22:17:23 UTC 2016

On 17/01/2016, Hakuch <hakuch at posteo.de> wrote:
> for me the use of alt_name_1 is more logical than the name_1, because
> alt_name is the meaning of name_1! So, if you have a second name and you
> dont know where to put it (loc_name, old_name...) you can use alt_name.
> And if you have a third name you SHOULD use alt_name:name2;name3 but in
> a bad manor you can use alt_name_1=name2, alt_name_2=name3. But name_1
> doesn't make any sense.

Well "alt_foo" and "foo_1" both mean "here's another value for foo".
So "alt_foo_1" expand to something like "here's another another value
for foo". "alt_" and "_1" are two ways of saying "another", and
juxtaposing two "adverbs" with the same meaning is superfluous and
grammatically akward. To use another analogy, it's like talking about
the "TCP protocol" or the "MIT institude of technology".

And because "_1" naturally naturally brings "_2" and so on (while
"alt_" doesn't naturally bring any followup), it makes sense to give
up on "alt_" altogether. It doesn't bring any benefit compared to "_1"
(but "loc_", "old_" and others are still ok because they carry a
different meaning).

Concerning your suggestion to use "name=n1 alt_name=n2;n3", let me
rethorically wonder why you didn't suggest "name=n1;n2;n3" ? I expect
it is because the risk of semicolons in the "name" tag catching some
consumers unaware. Well, that risk of catching consumers unaware is
pretty much the same with semicolons in "name" as in "alt_name".

So when are semicolons a reasonable way to specify multiple values ?
IMHO whenever the values are fixed or sanitizable (unlike for example
"name", which the mapper has no control over), and empty fields don't
make sense. There are actually quite few of them that wouldn't benefit
from a more elaborate mapping or tagging scheme. "Sport" and "ref" are
likely fine, but I'd rather leave the fun of determining which keys
are semicolon-safe as an exercise to future generations of mappers and
consumers. Myself, I'd rather use foo_1 everywhere and stop worrying.

Obligatory xkcd quote: https://xkcd.com/327/

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