1. Why is forbidden as a tag? Why can't the tag exist alongside ? Is the former too minor a tag to have a separate identity (even in Linux!)?

  2. Do we want our tags to be general or specific?

Tag proposed with:

Filesystem Hierarchy Standard (FHS) is a standard followed by the filesystem layout design in Unix and Unix-like operating system. In this standard there is a root directory denoted by/ (forward slash) and all the other directories (like /bin, /boot, /dev, /etc, /home, /proc, /lib, /usr, /tmp, /root, /var, etc.) and files are taken under its consideration.

The tag should be used in questions that query about the directories and files in Ubuntu/Linux filesystem hierarchy.

Wikipedia link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filesystem_Hierarchy_Standard

2 Answers 2


From recent tag-cleaning efforts we experienced a lot of tags being removed, replaced, or disabled. The reasoning behind this - as I understand it - was that any tag should be both, specific enough, and general enough to be useful for tag-subscriptions. This will make answering questions on any favourited tag easier. It was a good thing to get rid of many rather useless tags.

However to my opinion two additional purposes of a tag are being somwhat neglected by this approach:

  • Tags may help finding specific questions on any specific issue.
  • Tags are added to the Google search index.

Of course both of these points are also acchieved with searching for keywords in the title or body of a question or answer. So having any sepcific tag may not really be of much additional value. You will find your questions or answers by searching for "filesystem hierarchy" (which are approximately 11% of questions tagged ).

We always will have tags which do not meet the still to be defined criteria on how we overcome the conflict of tags meeting both, being general and specific. It has become hard if impossible to create new "valid" tags that make everybody happy.

  • Whenever a tag is too specific a question or answer may not be found on performing a search or on subscriptions. We then should add a more general tag in addition. Every question tagged should then also have the tag which inevitably leads to some redundancy. I believe this is not a bad thing. I am happy that we still have the tag in addition to to help me sort out all questions I could probably not answer. We can not draw a sharp line between too-specific or too-general tag as this would end in an always unfruitful debate. Let's stay fuzzy there.

  • Whenever a tag is too general it may be added to so many questions that the tag will not be helpful for both subscribing, and finding questions (think of such tags as , , ). Let's remove those tags.

My personal opinion on this is that we need good general tags which should always be added to questions on that topic but we may also benefit from more specific tags to further narrow down searches or subscriptions.

Having superfluous tags may not do so much harm at the end.

  • yes, a minimum 11% of questions tagged filesystem query about "filesystem hierarchy"; I believe the actual percentage should be higher as the includes only those which contain the keyword "hierarchy", but there are other questions, for example How is the /tmp directory cleaned up? among (many, I suppose) others which does not appear in the search.
    – rusty
    Mar 31, 2014 at 12:41
  • ..check this sample: askubuntu.com/questions/tagged/filesystem?sort=votes ..currently out of top 50 around 30% posts would be covered by filesystem-hierarchy. Searching and filtering is a good thing you've mentioned about the tags, very important one for a Q&A site..
    – rusty
    Mar 31, 2014 at 12:42
  • Subscriptions and favourite tags concerned, I say we're not hard-wired we can update them, and for good like you've mentioned in your answer.
    – rusty
    Mar 31, 2014 at 12:51

Why filesystem-hierarchy is forbidden as a tag?

Is not forbidden. Forbidden tags are blacklisted.

Why can't the tag exist alongside filesystem?

Let me turn around your question: Why do we need another tag if there's something that already covers the same topic?

SE don't like to create a tag if there's another that covers exactly the same topic unless this topic has enough questions to do a topic on it's own (think javascript and jquery). This also decreases the possibility to get your question answered. So, it could be counter intuitive to create a single tag over selecting the one that has 20 followers, no?

Is the former too minor a tag to have a separate identity (even in Linux!)?

We barely get 1 question/day in the filesystem tag and not all of them are answered. There isn't enough traffic that could explain the need of a second tag and separating it reduces the opportunity that those questions get answers.

Do we want our tags to be general or specific?

They should be useful. We don't need tags that summarize the content of the questions, nor that could be too general that almost any question would fit.

  • Why do we need another tag if there's something that already covers the same topic? being specific to my Q, I think filesystem-hierarchy will prove a useful tag, it is in the criteria "neither too specific nor too general" and forking it from current filesystem tag shouldn't be a bad idea.. It shouldn't decrease the chances of answered, the followers could update their subscriptions..
    – rusty
    Mar 31, 2014 at 13:00

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