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Some times an answer is very detailed and expands on the question, it would be good at this point to have separate tags for that answer.

Maybe just 2 (giving a total of 7 when combined with the question tags).

This would allow for some funky searching and help link answers to different questions.

Too complex? Maybe a 10k rep to tag answers?

Edit (example):

Question: What the best way of encrypting data on the iPhone? [tagged: iphone, encryption]

Answer 1: Use sqlcipher [tagged: sqlite, sqlcipher]

Answer 2: Simple XOR [tagged: xor]

Answer 3: Don't encrypted on the iPhone it's too complicated to get it in the app store [tagged: appstore, itunesconnect]

All valid answers but with very different solutions, someone searching for answers to ecryption and itunes connect could be instantly taken to the 3rd answer.

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3  
I answered language-agnostic questions with language specific examples. I wanted to tag the answer accordingly. All for it. –  malach Jun 30 '09 at 13:10
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just can't see the necessity for this -- a lot of add'l complexity for not a lot of benefit. –  Jeff Atwood Jul 1 '09 at 11:37
    
I always thought the tags were for the problem / thread / topic / QA (whatever you want to call it). When I'm searching the Internet for solutions on how to solve a programming problem the tags can help make it findable, but whether the tags are on the Question or on the Answer wouldn't make a whit of difference. –  hippietrail Dec 20 '12 at 5:08

7 Answers 7

I see putting tags on answers as a way of indicating that a question, although wildly different in detail, is a duplicate of many other questions because it is solved by the same basic principle. I'm most familiar with the situation in bash-tagged questions, but the idea applies to other categories. Some bash-inspired examples of answer tags:

* `[quote-parameter-expansion]` - the problem was caused by failure to quote a parameter expansion, due to the resulting string undergoing pathname expansion or word-splitting.
*  `[parse-ls]` - related to `[quote-parameter-expansion]`, but not often a direct cause of the problem. Something like `for x in $(ls foo*)` may break if one of the matched files is `foo bar` (contains spaces), where the problem would not exist if `for x in foo*` had been uses. Many answers will contain this fix as a suggested correction while answer an unrelated problem.
* `[subshell-scope]` - a variable does not have the expected value because it was set in a subshell, most frequently caused by a while loop in a pipeline: `... | while read; do foo=something; done  echo $foo
* `[bashism]` - an attempt to use a `bash`-specific feature like arrays or brace expansion in a shell (usually `dash`) that does not support it.

Having answer tags could cut down on duplicates by making it far easier to refer the asker to the myriad answers that address their question indirectly. It's often difficult to choose a good question to use as the duplicate, because explaining why it is a duplicate takes almost as much effort as simply re-answering the question.

Perhaps a better solution is to have tag-specific FAQs to use as canonical answers to link to as duplicates.

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I know this feature has been declined, but I just wanted to throw in my two cents: I think it would be neat for Tagger to be able to tag the answer based on what kind of answer it is. Sometimes a question is asked and several types of answers emerge. Answer tags could allow voters of appropriate reputation to give a reason for their +1 without having to add a comment. You could also focus on certain types of answers (e.g. I found a question with answers that is close to the answer I'm looking for, but what I really want from my query is a practical example. If there was a practical-example tag, I might filter the answers listed to those that more succinctly fit my need rather than creating a new question that could possibly get buried.)

The down side to this is that it might discourage the creation of new content. However, this is tempered by the fact that, at times, new content isn't worth keeping.

Also, you could put bounties on specific answer tags. A featured question could reward multiple bounties based on what tags it garners. So the person offering a bounty could split the reward so to speak.

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up vote -2 down vote accepted

http://careers.stackoverflow.com/ solves this problem.

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4  
I'm not sure how. Can you explain? –  Richard J. Ross III Jun 19 '13 at 13:36

This would just makes answering more work..

As long as the answers contain the appropriate words, like sqlite or XOR, it'll show up in searches anyway..

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I think the thing is that people would not be searching for answers to questions that they have, but for the question that they have. So as long as the question contains the right wording and tags, they should be able to find what they are looking for.

In your example, if I was looking for information on iPhone encryption, I wouldn't be searching on things like appstore, xor, or the other answer tags, but I would be searching on things like iPhone and encryption.

However, that said, I think being able to have more than 5 tags on a question would help, as long as the tags didn't reflect the answers (because then you'd have people getting sent to questions that aren't about their question because of the tags).

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Less rare than you might think. Quite often answers hit material around the strict space of the question and might merit tags of their own. However, one might argue that retagging the question would be appropriate in many such cases.

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Yes, retag the question. –  Ólafur Waage Jun 30 '09 at 12:51
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Retagging the question doesn't allow for multiple answers and would be more confusing. –  rjstelling Jun 30 '09 at 12:54
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I +ed this response, but I also could see it being an issue-- what if the question has already received 5 tags and all important? –  RLH Oct 4 '12 at 18:48

I think this is not necessarily too complex, but too much of a rare situation where it would be useful to warrant implementing an entire tagging system on the answers.

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