Today was a very sad day... I found that one of the questions that I (tm) like to answer (apt/dpkg tags) was tagged with ... To my surprise, the OP hadn't even mentioned "toshiba" in the question which leads me to another question: are we missing questions that interest us because tagging sucks? Let's be serious, I don't expect newbies to tag correctly, so we rely on the system to suggest "good tags", and we all know where that goes.

The problem is that there are several tags with serious problems and people are not willing to burminate them at all, say that the more tags the better... I could not be more against such thinking. I prefer a bunch of well defined tags than a ton of overly general/specific tags. Seriously! Who in their sane judgement would follow the amd/intel/paste/12.04/sound/dell/laptop tags. It's inefficient! Tags should help answerers find questions they are interested in and able to answer. I bet a question about "intel" cpus and only about "intel" cpus (no relation whatsoever with Ubuntu) is off-topic.

So, how can we identify these tags? Simple:

  • Is a question about this tag on-topic?
    • Yes: Make a excerpt about how the tag can be on-topic.
    • No: tag meets the burminator (Post a meta question about it.)
  • Is there someone that specializes in "tag + Ubuntu" question?
    • Yes: Make a excerpt clear about how the tag can be on-topic/useful.
    • No: tag meets the burminator (Post a meta question about it.)
  • Can the tag apply to many kinds of problems/questions/circumstances?
    • Yes: tag meets the burminator (Post a meta question about it.)
    • No: Verify that all the existing questions has a common topic and create a good tag excerpt
  • If the tag didn't exist tomorrow, would something bad happen?
    • Yes: leave it alone.
    • Maybe/No: Post a meta question about it.


  • Related thread now in Askubuntu here: Tag Synonym Request: Asus-Related Stuff – They think the answer is yes and refuse to add joint tags like asus-pc and asus-laptop because they think Asus makes so few products and/or that they are so similar. - - How can you justify your arguments better for them? Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 23:26

1 Answer 1


No - when thinking about creating additional tags, ask yourself the following;

Who would filter using it? Who would think this is an expertise area?

If the answer to either question is unknown, the tag is probably not going to be an example of a good tag.

There are essentially two possible purposes for manufacturer tags:

  1. "My laptop/desktop/cake is made by HP/Toshiba/Dell/chocolate" - adding this information as a tag generally isn't going to have an effect on the answer (with a small handful of exceptions). Nobody is going to filter using these tags and therefore they're pointless tags.

  2. "My network adaptor/graphics card/sound card/banana is made by Broadcom/NVidia/Creative Labs/pasta" - this information may have an effect on the answer, but due to the limited number of manufacturers adding them as a tag would be like tagging everything with "ubuntu" - the information can be self contained within the question title (ie: "Installing drivers for NVIDIA superdeluxefastcard")

In most instances of (1) the information is circumstantial and not going to have much of a bearing on the answer.

In most instances of (2) the information is important enough to include in the title but generic enough to not require its own tag.


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