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Should we be able to tag answers?

+10
−0

On some of our communities, it would be helpful to be able to label answers systematically:

  • On Code Golf, by language.

  • On Software Development, Power Users, or Linux Systems, by specific version/platform/library -- for example, if the answer to a C++ question is different for C++11 than C++14, or a browser answer is different for Firefox and Chrome, or a front-end question is different for pure Javascript or jQuery.

In some cases perhaps the question should be more specific, but it seems like in some cases it'd be better to have the answers all together. And, of course, on Code Golf, varied answer languages are expected.

It's sometimes useful to be able to just tell at a glance what an answer applies to. There are probably people still using (or maintaining code in) Java 7, so you don't want to nuke those answers, but you want the person who's looking for a current solution to a Java problem to be able to tell at a glance that this answer is for an older version.

Would it make sense to be able to add tags to answers, in addition to the tags on the question?

In addition to making answer scoping more visible, answer tags could support sorting. I'm imagining another sort option at the top of the answers alongside "Score" and Activity", and maybe also showing answer tags in the table of contents. I'm also imagining that this would be something communities would opt into, since it doesn't make sense on every community.

I think tag hierarchies are orthogonal; while (if they exist, which I haven't checked) C++11 and C++14 should be children of C++, a challenge on Code Golf doesn't have any question-level language tags at all.

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4 answers

+4
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This seems like a good idea from a programming or computer hardware and software perspective.

Choosing the version of the proglang you're using helps to somewhat distinguish what version of the language is being used so you can get the answer you want from the version you have, and you can apply which version of the OS you're using so you can get answers you want from what you're using.

This works for a good portion of sites, like what's already specified in the question and maybe even Photography & Video CD by which device you're using for edits or capturing media. I agree with the idea!

An example for Software Development CD would be the use of Python, since its a pretty common language. The most used versions are either 2 or 3, so choosing whichever version you used in your answer by a tag helps.

As for Power Users CD, we can take the most common operating system, which is Megahard Doors Microsoft Windows. There are a good bunch of changes in every version or build in Windows, so tagging answers, once again, helps.

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+3
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This isn't bad idea. I want some more features on the tag system.

Why tag is in answer useful?

Actually, there's lot of versions of systems/programming languages. Read the question (Should we use more specific version tags for software?). In that question an user said that he had posted the question. And, he was saying that should he add specific version of tags? But, answer on that question strictly said not to use specific version. But, suppose I am using older version of Windows. And, I can solve the problem by few steps in that. And, that questioner said that he was using Windows 10 21H1. So, my answer may not solve his problem cause, Windows updates system settings in most of version. Same thing might happen for programming also. Like I had asked a question in Unix SE, I asked that why I can't install tensorflow in python? But, some people were saying to run the following command.

pip3 install tensorflow

Unfortunately, my python version was 3.9. And, tensorflow directly doesn't "exist" in Python3.9. And, if the answerer added a tag which python version he is using than, I could understand why the answer isn't helpful for me. And, I had downvoted on that answer. When I researched little bit I found accurate answer for me. I had executed following command then, my problem was solved (only for Python 3.9 maybe for higher version also).

pip3 install tf-nightly

That's why tag is in answer very useful.

Why tag is in answer useless?

If you think of meta sites than, you will notice tag on answer is nearly meaningless. Let's take an example, suppose I want to add tag to this answer. So, I will have to add answers and, tags but, those tags are available in Question, So tags isn't necessary. Even, example of Meta sites won't be a good idea. So, I am giving example of another community. Let's look at [Languages & Linguistic](https://languages.codidact.com/posts/282252) (Unfortunately, markdown isn't working here. I am adding HTML tag without removing it for marking as bug) Languages & Linguistic community, (I had linked a question) In that question you can see where author asked for meaning of "po" (Lanuage :Filipino). The answer also needs same tag as given in question that's why tags aren't useful. Same things happen to following communities either.
  • Judaism
  • Language & Linguistic
  • Christianity
  • Mathematics (for few questions only)
  • Physics (for few questions only)

I want two more features on tag system for answer.

  1. You can't ask a question without any tag. But, I want that user can answer in questions without tag either (only for answer not for question).
  2. If you visit your profile than, you will see that Q&A and Answers are mixing up. For that reason, if you want to find any specific answer to re-edit (Or, for something else) again than, it will be very hard to find (I am just giving it as sample, The feature is available on TODO list). As Q&A and Answers are mixing up in profile than, if you add tag to answer than, the answer with feature-request will show in this list also. That's why I want to separate question's tag and answer's tag.

This question's(Taking our design to the next level: feedback wanted) answer should "need" tag. So, it means tag is useful for Meta post also. Earlier I said,"let user answer question without any tag also". But, I think it would be better if questioner can remove tag system in answer or, add tag system in answer (Actually, if questioner thinks that answer of that question needs tag than, questioner will allow user to add tag or, disallow) {But, I want the feature(Let user answer question without any tag) also}.
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General comments (3 comments)
+1
−1

It sounds like a feature of very limited use. I agree that it would be neat for Code Golf, where different answers are per definition of "different kinds". I don't really see any use for it on any other of the existing sites though.


Regarding the specific example of C++ on Software Development, the tag policy is this:

Unless the question explicitly mentions which version of the C++ standard that is uses, the current active version of ISO 14882 is assumed (C++17).

And very same "latest version unless you said anything else" policy can likely be assumed to apply for other languages too. This policy comes from SO where there was a very broad consensus in favour for it.

This means that:

  • If a question is tagged C++ you are assumed to give an answer which will at least work in C++17 (even though it might not be optimal). In particular, it shouldn't use obsolete/withdrawn language features.
  • If the question is tagged C++ and C++11, you are required to give an answer that works in C++11. Giving one that only works in C++98 or C++17 etc would be off-topic.

One might need to prompt the OP for details in case it matters. Generally, a good question is specific and unambiguous enough that there can't be multiple types of answers.


I am particularly concerned for such an answer tag encouraging off-topic posts. Suppose you have a Q&A tagged C++. Then someone pops up out of the blue and posts "this is how you would do it in Java" and puts on a Java tag on their blatantly off-topic answer. We know from experience that this occasionally happens even without such a tag feature.

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General comments (7 comments)
+1
−1

This should probably be per-community configurable. Since even on Code Golf, not all tags are meaningful on answers, one might say that only tags derived from question tags are allowed, but a site can define “category implied tags” that cannot actually be used, but are treated as if they were used on all questions of the category they were defined for.

For example, on the Code Golf category Challenges, there would be an implied “language” tag which has all languages as subcategories, enabling all answers to a challenge to use language tags, but not tags like code-golf or alternative-scoring which don't make sense for answers.

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