The plain vmware tag adds no value as we never get any questions about the company. When it is used it is usually used in error and in place of a product specific tag which would be more useful. This usually leads to people being asked to clarify which product they are using so that the correct answer(s) can be given.


Some stats from the Feb 10 odata release

1648 questions have the vmware or a vmware-* tag. 536 of these don't have the plain vmware tag so they are OK. Of the remaining 1112, 375 have the vmware and vmware-* tags - these could be removed easily by a dev.

This leaves 737 that have a plain vmware tag.

There are 461 with a plain vmware tag which mention ESX(i) in the body.


All the questions with have been re-tagged over the past week or so. Can we please get this tag black-listed now?

  • 3
    I'd like to see it not be able to be entered actually, that or suggest the various 'vmware-esx', 'vmware-workstation' semi-synonyms.
    – Chopper3
    Mar 10, 2011 at 13:20
  • 1
    I was going to ask the same of [microsoft], 230+ tagged. But could some questions be tagged [vmware] or [microsoft] correctly for things such as certification? At a cursory glance, many of the [microsoft] questions should also be re-tagged to their respective, specific products.
    – jscott
    Mar 10, 2011 at 13:37
  • 3
    Sounds like we need to go through an retag as many as is reasonably possible then blackhole the tags. OTOH, it's humerus when people say they're using "VMWare" to do XYZ, and when you ask them what software they repeat "VMWare".
    – Chris S
    Mar 10, 2011 at 14:18
  • 1
    @jscott, I don't even think 'vmware' would be appropriate in relation to certification to be honest, 'VCP', 'VCAP' and 'VCDX' yes, same for the MS equivs but there's never any real reason for the company name is there?
    – Chopper3
    Mar 11, 2011 at 9:52
  • @jscott, even in the case of certification, you get certified for products or services offered by the company, not the company itself. Mar 26, 2011 at 22:53
  • @jscott I deleted the microsoft tag as it was quite small -- much lower than the 230+ you quoted. Safe as well, none of the resulting questions were forced to [untagged] (zero tags) as a result. Mar 27, 2011 at 11:29
  • @Jeff I had manually re-tagged about 180[ish? I didn't count, it was on Mar 11 though] questions before I noticed your answer below saying not to. :)
    – jscott
    Mar 27, 2011 at 11:37
  • These are now all gone, who can kill this tag once and for all now?
    – Chopper3
    Jul 6, 2011 at 15:07
  • 1
    @Chopper3 - YAY ALL GONE! I noticed you'd been working on it fairly regularly as well. Teamwork ftw! Jul 6, 2011 at 21:36
  • @MarkHenderson: @chopper3: - I've sent an email to the team to get it blacklisted. \o/
    – user9517
    Jul 6, 2011 at 22:17

2 Answers 2


If you need tags to be destroyed / removed, PLEASE have a developer do it -- otherwise you will edit-push hundreds of questions to the front page for no good reason, and add revision history that is meaningless.

So, carry on, just be sure to ping us for en-masse changes like this so we can do them without disruption to the site.

edit: per request, I have blacklisted the tag ^vmware$ now that it no longer exists. Well done everyone!

  • 2
    I actually have no idea how to deal with the developers actually - any pointers?
    – Chopper3
    Mar 11, 2011 at 9:51
  • 2
    @chopper simply email the address at the bottom of every page where it says "contact us" :) Mar 11, 2011 at 9:57
  • oh, that's simple...
    – Chopper3
    Mar 17, 2011 at 8:08

This is tricky, because there are a ton of questions with only the tag -- 1,090 as of the time I originally wrote this.

Note the sidebar where it says "related tags", pay close attention to this Related Tags sidebar:

  • vmware-esx × 146
  • virtualization × 144
  • vmware-esxi × 111
  • linux × 74
  • networking × 63
  • windows × 59

As for the idea of "rename the tag if the text contains x", I downloaded a copy of the server fault database and ran some queries:

  • questions with only the tag, and no other related tags: 725
  • of the above, with the string "esx" or "esxi" in the body or title: 157

That leaves ~568 questions (!) needing manual retagging. That's .. a lot. Really a lot.

edit: I have done the following, just now

  • when a question was tagged only, and its body or title contained "esxi", I converted that tag to (70 questions)

  • when a question was tagged only, and its body or title contained "esx", I converted that tag to (92 questions)

  • when a question was tagged only, and its body or title contained "workstation", I converted that tag to (66 questions)

  • when a question was tagged only, and its body or title contained "vmware server", I converted that tag to (71 questions)

  • (ditto for specific-enough body variants of all the vmware-* tags..)

  • when a question contained both and any other vmware-* tag, I removed the vmware tag so the more specific tag can be primary. (~450 questions)

I was skeptical, but we did indeed make a big dent in it with these heuristics. The tag went from almost 1,100 to around 300. If you guys could retag a third or so of those, to get it below I think we might be in the clear.

enter image description here

  • I suspect a lot of those 700 are too vague to be readily identified for retagging, even of someone wanted to do it manually. Mar 26, 2011 at 22:56
  • 1
    @JohnGardeniers: Some will be like that but many do contain sufficient information to be able to retag them correctly. The real problem with the vmware tag is that it is the first in the list when you start to type vm... so it leads to lazy tagging
    – user9517
    Mar 26, 2011 at 23:46
  • 1
    @iain yes, I am cleaning all that up now Mar 27, 2011 at 8:09
  • @JefAtwood: I've noticed - thanks
    – user9517
    Mar 27, 2011 at 8:10
  • Thanks Jeff, as I said I'm much more concerned about people just using the plain 'vmware' tag in the future, oh and I saw your chat post about their product list, personally I find it very easy as that's what I do, it would be much worse if someone just used a plain 'microsoft' tag as they sell hundreds of products.
    – Chopper3
    Mar 27, 2011 at 11:21
  • status-completed
    – user9517
    Mar 27, 2011 at 20:36
  • @Iain - so THAT'S why so many VMWare questions were bumping to the front page! Mar 27, 2011 at 21:12
  • @MarkHenderson: yeah - Jeff put some effort in so I thought I'd finish it. A weekend is a good time to do it too as it's usually quite quite. Would you mind checking your 2 [vmware] related questions and retag ? Cheers ;)
    – user9517
    Mar 27, 2011 at 22:09
  • @Iain - done. I'm not normally so broad with my tags, I guess I was a lazy tagger haha. Anyway it's Monday morning for me and I've already been at work for 2 hours, so enjoy the rest of your weekend. Mar 27, 2011 at 22:34
  • Interesting side-effect of this re-taggging effort: two more badges assigned for vmware-esxi Mar 28, 2011 at 4:59
  • It is a real nuisance that you have done this because although a question may be about a specific vmware product, the answers often apply just as well to the others as a lot of the configuration is the same. Its a bit like someone asking a general sql question about select statements and you tagging it as mssql2000 just because they mentioned that was the product they happened to be using.
    – JamesRyan
    Apr 8, 2011 at 10:24
  • @james use tag wildcards like vmware* that is what they are designed for. Apr 8, 2011 at 10:29
  • But then you have to look through all the questions that ARE product specific because you have lost the ability to differentiate when tagging.
    – JamesRyan
    Apr 8, 2011 at 10:48

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