I'm not that much crack on askubuntu - more of an asker than an answerer. Compared to other experiences with S.E. sites, I find it pretty difficult to find useful information. I think that you could use a few new tags for basic functions - "save", "edit", "application" and the like while by themselves not terribly illuminating would be useful in combination with others to help users like me who are peripheral ubuntu users find information. It would certainly cut down the number of duplicated questions I end up asking. (Though thanks for each one you mark - this site has been very useful.)

I can see that this could lead to some very vague tagging so perhaps you might require that these tags don't count towards the minimum number of tags? Just a thought.

1 Answer 1


What you are describing are called "meta tags" and they are one of the banes of SE. All sites on the network try to avoid them. While you are quite right that tagging on SE in general and in AU in particular is problematic, having tags that only make sense when combined with other tags will only make things worse.

The tags you produce are all very uninformative and, as you point out, need to be accompanied by another tag to make any sense at all. That's precisely the type of tag we want to avoid. Each tag should be able to stand on its own and should describe the content of a question. Tags like "save" could never do that.

If you feel a particular tag is lacking, you can create it (assuming you have the necessary reputation), but if you do, make sure the tag can stand on its own. So, for example, spreadsheet-applications might (I said might) be useful but applications is not.

  • Fair enough. I'll never get the reputation on here up to 300 so don't worry your tags won't be ruined and I'll keep asking duplicated questions and people can point me to the existing answer that I can't find. Oct 16, 2014 at 13:06
  • @Reluctant_Linux_User that's looser talk! Remember, you can get reputation from questions as well. Just ask clear, well formatted questions and you will get upvotes.
    – terdon
    Oct 16, 2014 at 13:08
  • My questions are nearly all duplicates or turn to tumbleweed or I figure it out for myself eventually. That is simply because I'm not trying to do anything that sophisticated in Ubuntu and it isn't my primary OS: it doesn't run IGOR which is a pretty devastating draw back for me. Oct 16, 2014 at 13:17
  • @Reluctant_Linux_User no, but it runs R which is ridiculously powerful, free and what I use for my publications. You might want to have a look at it.
    – terdon
    Oct 16, 2014 at 13:19
  • I need to run Igor, my research group has thousands of hours of coding in Igor to say nothing of the rewrites of instrument manufacturers code we'd have to do. It's Igor or bust and because of other requirements for me it is Windows or bust. That's life I guess. Oct 16, 2014 at 13:29

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