Is it not reasonable to assume that if there's a TAG here, a question relating to the subject of that TAG is "on topic"?

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    I don't see any closed Questions on your account. I see two migrated now, but none that were closed. Am I missing something?
    – Chris S
    Commented Oct 5, 2011 at 18:24
  • Thanks for the replies about rogue tags that you must delete all the time (apparently created by rogue users who have abused their tag-creation privileges). But some of the distortions of my question were ridiculous and patronizing. My question about troubleshooting a VM, while novice, what hardly of the "I spilled coke on my machine" variety! I am trying to configure a machine at work for which I am responsible. I must administer it and support it, and I'm paid for doing so, even though it's not my primary responsibility, which is software development.
    – Tim
    Commented Oct 5, 2011 at 18:46
  • Tim: How many machines are you responsible for? Another way to describe it is that ServerFault is for managing software while superuser is for using software, and your VM question sounded more like using the software than managing it.
    – freiheit
    Commented Oct 5, 2011 at 18:57
  • 15
    @Tim: I really don't understand anyone complaining about migrated questions. Migration means we send a question to a place we think can help you better. Why do you care from which Stack Exchange site you get help? Also, you have one real question migrated (and this meta question). If you are already tired of this after one migration, I think you are a little bit impatient and come here with the wrong expectations.
    – Sven
    Commented Oct 5, 2011 at 19:24

5 Answers 5


No, that is an invalid assumption.

If I ask a question about configuring IPv6 on my corporate network and whether my subnetting/address assignment/whatever makes sense, that is on topic.

If I ask a question such as "How do I get IPv6 connectivity at home?" that is off-topic.

Context is required, tags alone do not determine acceptability.



No, it's not reasonable to assume that anything related to a TAG on the site is on-topic.

Have you read the FAQ?

Server Fault is for system administrators and desktop support professionals, people who manage or maintain computers in a professional capacity.

Programmers and end users will use the same technologies, but with different issues and those will generally be off-topic on ServerFault even though the same tags could apply.

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    Thats exactly what I was just typing.
    – user9517
    Commented Oct 5, 2011 at 18:25

There are dozens of Stack Exchange sites. Server Fault is just one of them. Each site has a FAQ explaining the purpose of the site's existence. No site here is without a specific purpose.

Each site has a target audience and content matter; some are more specific than others. Server Fault is squarely aimed at System Administrators (and related support staff) and topics which include problems they may face while conducting their job (not one or the other; both).

If you want to propose a new site, Area 51 is a SE site exclusively for proposing new SE sites.


No. We delete tags that don't belong all the time. Just because there's a tag doesn't mean that any question tagged as such will be on topic here.

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    The perfect example of this is in the keyboard tag. I pick this example because one of @Tim's questions was tagged with heyboard. A question like "I spilled coke on my keyboard! HALP!" is OFF topic. One like "We're rolling out Dvorak keyboards to everyone - How to I change the keyboard mapping on all my Windows machines?" is ON topic.
    – voretaq7
    Commented Oct 5, 2011 at 18:34
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    We have a keyboard tag? Huh... Commented Oct 5, 2011 at 18:35
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    Yup. And a heyboard one too as soon as someone else typos it when assigning a tag :)
    – voretaq7
    Commented Oct 5, 2011 at 19:00

If I asked a question and added a tag that doesn't exist then that tag is automatically created. Whether that tag is appropriate of even relevant to the question is a whole other matter.

e.g. There's nothing to prevent me from asking an on topic question and adding a tag such as lawn-bowls.

Of course I feel quite confident that tag will be edited out of my question rather promptly and eventually deleted but the point is that it will have been created. It does not mean that questions about lawn bowls suddenly become on-topic for SF.

It's worth repeating that tags can be correctly used by both on topic and off topic questions. It's not the tag that determines topicality.

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