Drupal has three contributed notifications/subscriptions/messaging frameworks that are known respectively as Notifications, Subscriptions and Messaging

Some time ago, tags were created for all three of these frameworks, but with no excerpt or other guidance. There are currently 86 questions tagged , 51 questions tagged , and 10 questions tagged .

Currently, many of the questions that use these tags are clearly about the relevant messaging framework.

However, not all questions tagged with these are. These three tags are also used to tag questions with requests for help with custom code that sends the user mail or shows the user a pop-up or alert box. In these "other" uses, they are for most of the time used interchangeably for "How can I send my users such-an-such message?", sometimes also for "How do I notify my users about such-and-such event?", and sometimes as a synonym for the totally unrelated (and now also deleted) tag.

I believe these tags currently are a mess, and that they need to be given meaningful tag excerpts to stop people using them for things totally unrelated to each other.

After agreeing on their uses, they could also need some clean-up (by retagging the mistagged material - the numbers are low enough to make that a realistic proposition).

I started out by trying to giving the most widely used one a tag excerpt tying it to the Notification framework. That exerpt was promptly rejected, with the explanation:

That's not exactly how this tag is used now. Discuss it on Meta first, if you want to change it's meaning.

A week ago, I made a specific proposal here on meta about I wanted to fix these tags.

This proposal had just two upvotes and one downvote after a week. This is not much of a mandate for going forward with such a project, so I tempted do just let this one slide (i.e. do nothing).

However, before I give up, I'll try to get a bit more feedback.

I've reposted my original proposal as proposal one below this question, and in addition posted the two possible alternative outcomes I can imagine as alternative proposals. I.e. there are three proposals, each in a separate question so that each can be voted upon seprately.

If you have another proposal about what to do about these three tags, please join in the fun.

If you want to preserve the status quo completely unchanged, the proposal to vote for is proposal two.

If you like the status quo, but like to see it documented in some way, as well as redundant tags removed, the proposal to vote for his proposal three.

Edit: Can whoever downvoted all three alternative proposals (including #2, "do nothing") please explain the vote?

  • There are already messages in core so delegating this tag to a contrib framework is a bit risky. Anyway, I'm not against these changes (+1 from me), I just think there should be about a week for people to notice your proposal and to say what they have to say (if anything).
    – Mołot
    Commented May 22, 2014 at 14:03
  • @Mołot, "messaging", not "messages". I've surveyed the 10 questions currently tagged "messaging", and this is how they appear to me: Messages contrib framework: 4, How to send some sort of notification to a user (no framework specified): 5, Privatemsg contrib framework: 1, Messages in core: 0. If somebody wants a tag for messages in core, they can have "core-messages" (my preference) or even "messages", but it doesn't seem to be a huge demand. Commented May 22, 2014 at 14:23
  • Well, I already upvoted your proposal. But the fact is that more than half of the tagged questions are not about the thing you want this tag to be about. So it is a pretty big change. I haven't do the math for the other two tags, but it seems that situation there is less intense, but basically of similar nature.
    – Mołot
    Commented May 22, 2014 at 14:31
  • 1
    @Mołot, yes, it is big change. To preserve status quo, I guess we should give all of them the excerpt: "Anything that has anything remotely to do with sending messages and showing alerts." - and make two of them synonyms for the third. However, that would not IMHO make them very useful for future searches. If we agree on this change, I am prepared to re-tag old questions (see point 5) to improve findability. Commented May 22, 2014 at 14:39
  • 1
    I wouldn't object to this, but I am not a huge fan of tags being used for an exact purpose. However, I hardly search against tags.
    – mpdonadio Mod
    Commented May 23, 2014 at 19:50
  • @MPD, IMHO the whole point of tagging is to focus the search for an exact purpose. You combine the tag with some no-tag term to find the relevant answers for (in this case) the exact module you're struggling with. If you instead are interested in exploring a broader result set, you search for the same term as free text (i.e. not as a tag). I use tags a lot for searching, that is why I am concerned about their findability properties. Commented May 24, 2014 at 8:14
  • @FreeRadical Oh, I understand how tags are used on SE sites, I just don't like it. With very specific tag uses, you end up with problems like you are describing, and users need to keep on top of tag wikis and make sure tags are being used appropriately. In general, I prefer "looser" tags, where there can be some overlap in usage. In Drupal terms, we allow questions to be tagged, but in reality their usage is a controlled vocabulary, and because of this problems creep in.
    – mpdonadio Mod
    Commented May 30, 2014 at 14:15

3 Answers 3


Proposal one (original proposal):

  1. Give the tag an excerpt that says it is about question about the Notificatons framework.

  2. Give the tag an excerpt that says it is about question about the Subscriptions framework.

  3. Give the tag an excerpt that says it is about question about the Messaging framework.

  4. Introduce a new tag with an excerpt that says it is about questions that has to do with sending messages to users, or notifying users about things.

  5. Retag all mis-tagged questions after we've agreed on a scheme here on meta.

To make it clear: This proposal is what I want implemented. I think tagging is an important part of the site's information architecture. Good tags must be concise, and to have good tags we need to provide guidance above their use and some curation to preserve their concise use.

I use tags a lot for searching this site for solutions, that is why I am concerned about their findability properties.

  • Of the three choices, I would support this one.
    – mpdonadio Mod
    Commented May 30, 2014 at 14:09

Proposal three: The tag: “Notifications” should be given the following tag excerpt as this is the text that best reflects current usage:

Use this tag for anything that has anything remotely to do with sending messages and showing alerts.

The tags “Subscriptions” and “Messaging” should be made synonyms of the tag “Notifications”.


Proposal two: Nothing should be done with the tags: “Notifications”, “Subscriptions” and “Messaging”.

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