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What do people think about having a tag called something like 'basic'? This tag would encompass questions that can be answered quickly/simply by someone familiar with the language/technology. Perhaps the nature of the tag itself means it would be a big fail as it's so subjective....but it might allow responders to quickly identify those questions that can be answered quickly and clearly. It could also encourage more people to contribute, even if they're not experts. I saw the question on 'Beginner' tags, but the wording of 'basic' suggests something a little bit different, and might be attractive to people not enamored of the loaded word 'beginner'. Just a thought....

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Woops! Fair call. – Pete855217 Nov 24 '11 at 13:25
To be fair...I didn't read it either until months after I came here. ;) – Time Traveling Bobby Nov 24 '11 at 13:35
We already have a basic tag. Some of them refer to the language, others need to be cleaned up. – Bill the Lizard Nov 24 '11 at 14:13
up vote 9 down vote accepted

I don't think this is beneficial.

  • From my experience, the easy questions get answers fairly quickly anyway, so it won't help the one asking.

  • For people looking to answer, I think that only they can know what they know, and expecting someone else, specifically a user who doesn't know the answer to his own question, to decide if it is "basic" is also unhelpful.

  • I think that reading questions (and answers) that are beyond your current knowledge level is a fine way to learn.

  • You can still edit and refine the harder questions, therefore limiting the eyes those questions/answers get is, again, not beneficial.

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Fair enough. Good points, especially 1: the answering speed can be staggering for the simple ones. – Pete855217 Nov 24 '11 at 13:03

We already have a tag for a language called BASIC, if this means anything.

But seriously, for the purposes you propose it'd be too much of a meta tag to be useful enough to the question. A beginner question is as deserving of answers as a more advanced question is. And who's to say whether a question is easy enough or not?

Read this blog post about meta tags.

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Define: Basic

No seriously, define what a basic question is. And now take into account that the user base ranges from "absolute beginner" to a "Full-blown book writer and language designer".

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Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code. Invented at Dartmouth in 1964, much transformed over the years. – Donal Fellows Nov 24 '11 at 13:53
@DonalFellows: I'm sure we're looking for the adjective, not the acronym. – Time Traveling Bobby Nov 24 '11 at 14:01

There is a programming language called Basic, this would lead to confusion

As @Mr.Wizard says it is not beneficial to say it is a basic question, if it is a basic question it will be answered quickly anyway.

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The entire concept is deeply flawed. Presumably, the person asking the question isn't familiar enough with the subject matter to answer it, so how are they familiar enough with the subject matter to know whether it's a basic question?

If the person asking a question knows enough to consider it "basic", they should probably be able to find the answer out for themselves.

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An example that I don't think is uncommon: say you're a competent programmer in C# and PHP, but use C++ only occasionally. You 'know' there's a basic answer to a question about inheritance in C++, but are not in regular contact with the language, so you ask a question you know is basic for a C++ expert. Tagging as such could attract those experts to answer a lot of questions quickly. I agree with the concensus that the idea of a 'basic' tag is not worth doing, but don't agree the concept is 'deeply flawed'. – Pete855217 Nov 25 '11 at 3:54
I still disagree. If you are competent in any language, you are able to solve "basic" problems in another language via Google. – meagar Nov 25 '11 at 14:18

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