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Our top three tags:

Each of those three arguably has some kind of more meaningful version breakdown, and are in effect meta-tags defining which world the question resides in and depends on other tags being present to actually define the question's domain.

Windows has a whole constellation of tags. Apache has three major versions. Linux is the tricky one, and it may be justified in keeping it as a stand-alone even if we do break up Windows and Apache.

Do we want to mass-untag and then go through the posts to clean up the remainders? That's 4500+ questions that'll get touched, and a certain unknown percentage will end up as as is the only tag on it. This will be a major undertaking, and anyone with 500-rep or more can participate.

Is a meta-tag, or is it meaningful? A lot of is still valid for , but not all. Do we wish to retag that as well?

The Developers will have to do the mass untag, which will remove windows from all 4500 questions. Everyone else comes in afterwards to retag the questions that will result.

  • what'd we decide on this? – Jeff Atwood Apr 26 '11 at 19:28
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A problem with the Windows tag is that some questions, admittedly not many, apply to all versions of Windows, so it would be rather difficult and possibly quite incorrect to try and retag them with a version specific tag. I don't know if the same applies to the other two.

  • I would bet that the majority of the questions tagged Windows apply to multiple versions of Windows. I think Windows questions being pretty generic is the rule and not the exception. I think the same is true for the other two as well. – Zoredache Apr 19 '11 at 17:06
  • @Zoredache, I really don't think it's a majority of those questions; admittedly I didn't look long but I'd guess ~90% shouldn't have windows. – Chris S Apr 22 '11 at 3:27
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Just looked over and the first 10+ questions I looked at, is superfluous and shouldn't have been there in the first place or imprecise and a more specific tag should have been used. Unfortunately I found two where it's appropriate too; so mass untagging would catch them as well. A quick glance at shows the same basic trend; most of them should have a more specific tag, or no at all; but for a few it's appropriate.

I'd say this is a call that should be made higher up: Is this a priority for our high rep users, to eliminate the meta uses of these tags? Or is the problem so pervasive that we simply accept it.

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    Perhaps a better approach for us would be to pay closer attention to these tags and make a point of retagging as they come up. – sysadmin1138 Apr 22 '11 at 4:38
  • this is what I'm doing with [vmware]. Regarding the above [linux], [windows] and [apache] tags we need to decide what to do going forward and then make it happen. – Iain Apr 22 '11 at 12:41
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There's the obvious question that Chris S brings up, but there's also the issue of future preventative maintenance. Generic tags aren't always bad, but won't apply to every case, and as Chris S pointed out, tend to be abused as meta tags. Maybe there could be an extra challenge when asking a question that is tagged with what is deemed to be a generic tag. Something like, "We noticed you used as a tag. This is a generic tag that may be too general to be helpful. Please review your tag selection before proceeding." Or something similar.

  • @Chris S You're right. I was confusing meta and generic. Sorry about that, I'll edit my answer. I still think my suggestion of an extra challenge holds though, in terms of an attempt at passive maintenance. – Holocryptic Apr 24 '11 at 5:01

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