Someone started to remove the history tag from all questions, as I see in the 'Suggested Edits' queue.

I agree that this tag is useless and should be removed. However, I don't find a discussion and the user who removes them is not an admin.

I am inclined to reject the edits suggestions because:

  1. The tag is not really misused on the particular questions.
  2. I don't find a topic where this was discussed and an agreement was found

What should I do? Approve, Reject or Skip?

2 Answers 2


I recommend doing whatever you feel is appropriate. You have the required rep, so the SE system trusts you with making that judgement. (I think it also assumes that there are more than ~7 active members in its communities, but that's nothing you have any control over.)

I'm of the firm opinion that the tag is useless - it may be used accurately, but with no description, and being an ambiguous word, it is equally accurate for questions about previous commands entered into a CLI, what would be better described as "logging," a list of websites previously visted, or questions about IT history, such as what webserver was used before Apache came along. (And the tag was or is applied to questions from all those categories).

More importantly, tags are a method of sorting and organization, and in that sense, I can't possibly imagine a single use case for this tag. Like anyone's ever going to see the grouping of questions involving "history" (however you define it), or in the context of IT/ServerFault, want to locate an expert on the topic of "history."

But again, as said near the start, you have enough rep to review edits, so you're permitted and encouraged to use that privilege as you see fit.

  • 1
    That is exactly what I believe. While the tag is is not misused, I believe a tag is only useful if someone would actually filter or sort or search by a particular tag. Who is interested in questions regarding of the history of a command line? There are dozens of command lines, each works different and some are Windows, some are Linux, some may even be DOS :D
    – Daniel
    Feb 22, 2016 at 14:44
  • To comment on the your answer: I am relatively new, so I rather ask than do something unappreciated. But thanks for bolstering me up! I will keep that in mind :)
    – Daniel
    Feb 22, 2016 at 14:45
  • 2
    @Daniel: You would tag a question regarding bash history with bash and history, making it possible to filter for exactly what you want. I think this is better than have more specific tags like bash-history.
    – Sven
    Feb 22, 2016 at 14:57
  • Sven, I didn't think about combined searched, only standalone searches. That actually makes some sense to me. bash-historywas never my intention. That is even worse :)
    – Daniel
    Feb 22, 2016 at 15:29
  • Unix & Linux accepts questions about the history of Unix and related operating systems, so ... Feb 22, 2016 at 22:40
  • 1
    @MichaelHampton However, they have good guidance on tag usage for both their history tag and their command-history tag. To make our history tag into... not a steaming pile of useless, we'd need to make the same distinction, and provide a good description/usage. And for SF, it's more than just "command history" that we might be concerned with, so I don't think it splits cleanly like on U&L, or that it would be easy to explain what a history tag should be used for on SF. Feb 22, 2016 at 23:14
  • Just because you can't imagine a case where someone would want to use the history tag doesn't mean it doesn't exist. I think we should err on the side of more tags vs less tags for the end result of more organized questions. I also agree, however, that we should narrow the usage to something specific.
    – Shelvacu
    Mar 4, 2016 at 23:37

The tag is not completely useless, it is accurate for questions regarding the history facility of certain shells. I have been rejecting edits relating to such usage and rolling them back when I see them too.

  • Yes, it is accurate. But so would be a tag named 'operating system'. It is too broad and does not help narrowing things down. Someone with an interest in helping with questions regarding an 'operating system' would specify what operating system he can help with or has an interest in seeing on the front page. The tag 'history' could be a linux shell, a powershell shell (that sounds odd) or even a DOS box. It's too voluminous to be of real help narrowing things down.
    – Daniel
    Feb 22, 2016 at 14:47
  • 2
    @Daniel Oh, we have an "operating system" tag too. I'm not sure how I feel about it, but it does seem to have some meaningful uses for theoretical questions or questions that relate to operating systems in general, rather than a specific OS. Feb 22, 2016 at 14:57
  • Oh didn't know that. And a perhaps bad example anyway. But on the other answer, Sven made a valid point in my opinion. Maybe some tags are more useful when combined. I guess in the end everything I complained about the history tag was not so bad.
    – Daniel
    Feb 22, 2016 at 15:31
  • @Daniel I don't have any DOS to hand but I'm fairly sure it didn't have a history command and related environment variables etc.
    – user9517
    Feb 22, 2016 at 15:56
  • The name history is very generic and could cover a number of different things depending on who you ask. Since the tag also doesn't have any description of its usage, I don't consider it to be useful as is. If an explanation of what the tag is supposed to be used for is added, then it might be useful.
    – kasperd
    Feb 22, 2016 at 21:03
  • 1
    That's easily fixed @kasperd here's a link serverfault.com/edit-tag-wiki/597 get weaving.
    – user9517
    Feb 22, 2016 at 21:06
  • @Iain I'll leave that for somebody with privileges to rename the tag to something a little more descriptive.
    – kasperd
    Feb 24, 2016 at 10:07
  • @kasperd That would be a ♦-only function. And even then, they can't rename tags, so much as create a new one with the desired name, and merge into it. And doing that has been blamed for at least one outbreak of acute drama in the not-so-distant past... so yeah, leaving it for a mod to do is as good as ensure it won't happen. (Not that I care either way, but, ... FYI. Feb 27, 2016 at 1:49

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