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I am referring to this question. The OP's problem has absolutely nothing to do with C or C++ whatsoever, and is purely down to the operating system he is using.

However, after I explained this, the OP retagged the languages. I'm concerned about entering a retagging war here and would like some advice as to how to approach the question.

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1 Answer 1

Sounds like this user doesn't understand how the tag system works. Tags aren't to be applied for every language/concept that might possibly be relevant to a question. If they were, you wouldn't be limited to 5, we'd have allow infinite numbers of tags.

A similar problem exists in the world of .NET, where people will often ask questions about the .NET Framework and Base Class Library but apply both the and tags in addition to the tag (which is really the only one that needs to be there). This is how people like Jon Skeet who don't typically answer VB.NET questions have earned gold badges in that tag. It would be nice if we could educate everyone about the uses and abuses of the tag system, but it isn't going to happen overnight.

Another central problem, common to inexperienced people asking questions about C-based languages, is the one revealed by this edit:

Tagged as C and C++ since I'd assume this is the same in both cases

No, in fact C and C++ are very different languages, and it's quite rare that those tags should ever be applied simultaneously to the same question. I've tried to come up with various ways of solving this problem, but I haven't really been successful yet.

But you never want to get into an editing war with someone. When that happens, no one wins.
<insert highly offensive and off-color macro image about arguing on the Internet here>

Instead, you have two choices:

  1. Leave a comment, calmly explaining your rationale for adding/removing the tags, and hope the original poster reads your comment, agrees with your argument, and decides to leave your edit in place. If not, or if (s)he wants to get into an argument, just give up and move on. Find another question to answer and someone else more appreciative to help out.

  2. Flag the question for moderator attention, explaining why those tags should/should not be there and that the original poster keeps rolling back your edits. Mention that you don't want to get into an edit war, and that the question should be locked. Moderators can lock questions from being edited, and they will do this in extreme circumstances where the asker absolutely refuses to leave a valid edit in place and refuses to listen to reason.

If it's a very clear-cut case where those tags obviously should/should not be there or their presence/absence is actively hurting something, I'd opt for the second course of action.

Otherwise, I'd go for number one. In this case, if he rolls back your edit again, I'd do nothing. I don't really think that either of those tags are hurting anything by being there. It's highly probable that someone experienced with C or C++ programming is someone that will know the answer to the question, so the presence of those tags might attract their attention or make it easier to find the question.

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+1 for just saying "image about arguing on the Internet" instead of actually posting one. (And, of course, for a good answer.) –  Pops Mar 2 '12 at 20:54

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