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The tag is currently used in 21 Questions about:

  1. The Web Application Developer Framework (ADF) of ArcGIS for Server (and ArcIMS) which is being deprecated; or
  2. The Esri Grid Format which has *.adf files

These are two very different purposes, so to tidy up (and disambiguate) the situation, my modified proposal, based on appreciated input from @blah238, @mkennedy and @GeoKevin, is to:

  • Create a new tag, , and apply it to questions about the ArcGIS Web Application Development Framework that was developed to "bridge" ArcIMS and ArcGIS Server applications. Remove the tag from these questions. Make the tag a synonym of this new tag and write a tag wiki for it.
  • Create a new tag, , and apply it to questions about the Esri Grid format. Remove the tag from these questions. Note that there is already an tag, which is related, but not the same.
  • For questions about coverages, TINs, and any other *.adf files from Esri with that name extension, we already have tags for and , so we can just leave those alone and update the tag wiki to explain what ADF may refer to, and discourage its use over the more specific tags.

    Here is my proposed (based heavily on that of @blah238) edit to the wiki :

    Excerpt:

    "ADF" may refer to the ArcGIS Web Application Development Framework, the Esri Grid format, or several other Esri formats which may have files named *.adf.

    Full tag wiki:

    Use of the tag is discouraged because it can refer to several different topics. Instead use one of the more specific tags below:

    • - For questions about the ArcGIS Web Application Development Framework
    • - For questions about the Esri Grid Format, which may contain *.adf files.
    • - For questions about Esri's Coverages, which may contain *.adf files.
    • - For questions about Esri's Triangulated Irregular Networks, which may contain *.adf files.
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    [esri-data-format] seems too broad and therefore confusing. Wouldn't shapefiles, file-geodatabases and personal-geodatabases be esri data formats? – user3461 Oct 12 '13 at 14:25
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    The adf tag has now been disambiguated in line with the discussion and so this Question can be closed. – PolyGeo Oct 15 '13 at 0:18
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    The webadf tag still needs to be made a synonym of arcgis-web-adf, so I posted here about it: meta.gis.stackexchange.com/a/3393/753 – blah238 Oct 15 '13 at 4:32
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A quick run through of the current -tagged questions reveals about a 50/50 split between questions about .adf files and the ESRI Web ADF. I think we are stuck with questions about both of these for the forseeable future, even if Web ADF is deprecated.

Here is a third option, then, to disambiguate the tag and facilitate searches of questions specifically for the ESRI Web ADF and the ESRI Grid Format:

  • Create a new tag, , and apply it to questions about the ESRI Web Application Development Framework. Remove the tag from these questions. Make the tag a synonym of this new tag and copy over its tag wiki.
  • Create a new tag, , and apply it to questions about the ESRI GRID format. Remove the tag from these questions. Note that there is already an tag, which is related, but not the same.
  • This leaves us with questions about coverages, TINs, and people confused about the .adf file extension. Since we already have tags for and , I would suggest we leave those alone and just update the tag wiki to explain what ADF may refer to, and discourage its use over the more specific tags. Since Stack Exchange does not currently support a real disambiguation feature like Wikipedia's disambiguation pages, this is the best option I see, short of this feature being implemented.

    Here is my proposed edit to the wiki:

    Excerpt:

    "ADF" may refer to the ESRI Web Application Development framework, the ESRI GRID format, or several other types of ESRI formats.

    Full tag wiki:

    Use of the tag is discouraged because it can refer to several different topics. Use one of the more specific tags below:

    • - For questions about the ESRI Web Application Development Framework
    • - For questions about the ESRI Grid Format, which may contain .adf files.
    • - For questions about ESRI coverages, which may contain .adf files.
    • - For questions about ESRI triangulated irregular networks, which may contain .adf files.

Thoughts?

  • I think this very nearly nails it but I will try to squeeze final tweaks in here as a comment - I think arcgis-server-web-adf instead of esri-web-adf and covs/tins only started to have adf extensions half way through their history - forums.esri.com/Thread.asp?c=93&f=993&t=8913 – PolyGeo Oct 12 '13 at 21:28
  • Web ADF and ArcGIS Server are not closely related and it has more commonly been referred to as the "ESRI Web ADF". See the diagram here: edndoc.esri.com/arcobjects/9.2/NET_Server_Doc/developer/ADF/… – blah238 Oct 12 '13 at 21:31
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    I would go for arcgis-web-adf as well though, that is how it is referred to in the above help topic. – blah238 Oct 12 '13 at 21:33
  • I forgot that Web ADF could support ArcIMS too so your tag makes more sense than I was thinking. – PolyGeo Oct 12 '13 at 21:37
  • The description of [TIN] should not be limited to ESRI, as other programs have their own TIN formats. See TNTmips for example. I suggest expanding the [TIN] description to a definition of TINs, then a note at the end that says "Note: Esri TIN formats may contain .adf files" – user3461 Oct 14 '13 at 12:04
  • We may be splitting hairs here, but the TIN tag wiki explains what TINs are, it should not be necessary to do so in a disambiguation. That would be a more appropriate location for alternate TIN format examples. – blah238 Oct 14 '13 at 15:49
  • Sorry, I misread and thought you were proposing a new description for the [TIN] tag. I understand now. I think use of the tag is discouraged should be added to the [ADF] tag excerpt, since the excerpt is the only thing visible (unless you click "Learn More") when adding tags to a question. – user3461 Oct 14 '13 at 16:51
  • @GeoKevin I only just saw these last few comments after I had completed the disambiguation so I hope the tag except I used of "Please do not use this ambiguous tag which may refer to the ArcGIS Web Application Development Framework, the Esri Grid format, or several other Esri formats which may have files named *.adf" is close enough to your wording. – PolyGeo Oct 15 '13 at 0:43
  • That is fine. I was confused at first and thought the description on the TIN tag was going to be changed. Changes to the ADF tag look good. – user3461 Oct 15 '13 at 1:13
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A suggestion to tweak the tag names. Because adf files are also part of coverages and TINs, perhaps

  1. Create a new tag, or and update the tag of those questions about the ArcGIS web ADF.

  2. Make a generic tag for adf files like and make a synonym of it.

  • I like idea of esri-data-format tag so will incorporate that into my proposal - had forgotten about coverages & TINs - but I think it is too late in life cycle of Web ADF to coin a tag for it. – PolyGeo Oct 11 '13 at 20:43
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    Regardless of ESRI's life-cycle for a technology, there are still questions about the web-adf, and possibly will be more in the future. I don't think tags should follow a vendor's timetable; they should reflect the questions at this site instead. – user3461 Oct 12 '13 at 14:17

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