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I see a lot of best practice related questions in different areas, but without this very specific tag.

Although I can (?) create this tag on some sites, I think, centralized implementation on all SE-sites [best-practice] or [best-practices] tag will be more usable for everybody from aggregation&separation content POV - for smart users it's (always|can be) useful to find best practices discussions in the area of interests

EDIT: OK, can we discuss this tag

  • without relation to bad history
  • as local meta-tag for some sites
  • without a appeal to the decision of Jeff as end-point

and using words, not just a disagreement downvote.

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You do realize that best-practice is explicitly banned on Stack Overflow? –  Yi Jiang Mar 22 '12 at 10:48
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It is a meta tag that adds nothing to the question - it was banned and removed from SO a while ago. –  Oded Mar 22 '12 at 10:50
    
> without this very specific tag -- I beg to differ. –  slhck Mar 22 '12 at 11:01
    
@YiJiang'sProble_ - no, I miss it. But "best practice" related questions exist as a matter of facts and we can't now not select, nor exclude these questions from results (easy). Maybe reality have to correlate with impressions? And, sorry, Jeff's opinion is only personal opinion of one person (with all due respect to the author, but... "Errare humanum est") –  Lazy Badger Mar 22 '12 at 11:11
    
You are asking to revive a tag that as banned and nuked already - not good idea however you try to look at it. –  Shadow Wizard Mar 22 '12 at 12:13
    
"using words, not just downvote" - are you aware that downvotes on Meta are often used to express disagreement? –  gnat Mar 22 '12 at 12:23
    
@ShaDowWizArd - you never re-think about your old decision?! –  Lazy Badger Mar 22 '12 at 13:14
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@gnat - Yes, i'm aware. And for exactly this reason I asked not only say "no", but also "why not". I found my rationale behind suggestion reasonable, "Jeff blacklist it" answer - not. Jeff isn't God, isn't it? –  Lazy Badger Mar 22 '12 at 13:17
    
@Lazy it wasn't my decision. But I came to realize and to agree with the fact that once the team of developers decides something it's for the best of the community. Personally I don't really care and didn't take sides when it was discussed. –  Shadow Wizard Mar 22 '12 at 14:09
    
I see. I asked not only say "no", but also "why not - fair enough –  gnat Mar 22 '12 at 14:31
    
@ShaDowWizArd - "once the team of developers decides something it's for the best of the community" does not mean and does not guarantee "once the team of developers decides something it's the best for the community". Times and people change, good idea may to get a bad implementation –  Lazy Badger Mar 22 '12 at 15:01
    
"centralized implementation on all SE-sites...will be more usable for everybody" And what, exactly, would a [best-practices] tag mean on Philosophy or History or Academia or a whole host of other SE sites? –  Cody Gray Mar 23 '12 at 2:36
    
@CodyGray - mea culpa, I can be wrong and don't imagine full range of 80+ sites. [Best Practice] applicable to any science and only science, so Philosophy is out as not science, Academia - the same reason –  Lazy Badger Mar 23 '12 at 2:41
    
Does it work for Biology then? That's a science. :-) –  Cody Gray Mar 23 '12 at 2:50
    
@CodyGray - I wrote in clean English, I hope - to any science. I'm not a biologist in any form, thus - examples will be hard task for me, sorry –  Lazy Badger Mar 23 '12 at 2:55

2 Answers 2

is generally seen as a meta tag, as it doesn't give any information about the question, but it says what the OP wants to get as answer. It's true that some meta tags are tolerated, such as , but those tags are handled differently on different sites: There are sites that allow homework questions, and they are answered in a way to give the OP a hint about the solution, or the answer; there are other sites where such questions are not allowed at all.

The idea of a central tag is not something that makes sense to implement, nor is it something I see the need to implement.
Each Stack Exchange site has its own tags, with a specific meaning; even if the tags have the same name, that doesn't mean the tags are the same. Take as example; Drupal Answers uses views too as tag, but that it is a different tag, which is the equivalent of . (The tag on Drupal Answers doesn't use "drupal-" as prefix because generally it is not necessary to use that prefix on a Stack Exchange site about Drupal; it is used with drupal-commerce because the full name of the module is Drupal Commerce, and commerce is already used with a different meaning.)

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best-practice have no meaning per se, but may have in relation to specific tag of knowledge area (and some such questions are in the "RTFM" field, some in "experience exchange"... and latter have own value). Why I wrote about global task? Just because some "area tags" are distributed to different sites and have sense in "pair mode" –  Lazy Badger Mar 22 '12 at 11:22
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If it has no meaning, then it should not be used; if it has a meaning, that meaning depends from the Stack Exchange site. There could be a Drupal module called Best practice; in that case Drupal Answers could probably use "best-practice" as tag, but in other sites the tag doesn't have any meaning. If a tag doesn't have a meaning, then it is probable it is a meta tag, and those are used in very few cases. (I don't think there are much meta tags currently supported on Stack Exchange.) –  kiamlaluno Mar 22 '12 at 11:27
    
"it doesn't give any information about the question, but it says what the OP wants to get as answer" - who justified such an idiotic perception?! It may be request for opinions, not strict indication of "want an answer", and "want an answer" I deem likely perverted interpretation of written than expected. "best-practice" also clearly separates questions about error and troubles from question from smart human for smart humans –  Lazy Badger Mar 22 '12 at 11:31
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It was Jeff Atwood to black list the tag on Stack Overflow, not me. Using adjectives such as idiotic doesn't make your proposal become true. I would suggest you to read The Death of Meta Tags, written by Jeff Atwood; in that article, best-practices is used as example of meta tag. –  kiamlaluno Mar 22 '12 at 11:36
    
> It may be request for opinions -- this is a clear indication for a subjective question, which is not encouraged anyway. @laz –  slhck Mar 22 '12 at 11:43
    
I quoted your text, not Jeff's. You can defend your words and opinion by attacking my vocabulary only? You wrote bla-bla-bla and not able to substantiate talk differently than referring to the foreign authorities and opinions? At least you are more more honest than the cowardly silent opponents, who hide behind other people's opinions and do not bother to justify –  Lazy Badger Mar 22 '12 at 11:51
    
@slhck - objective answer ended on 2*2=4 level, every complex task have (usually) more than one solution –  Lazy Badger Mar 22 '12 at 11:52
    
Misusage isn't a block for proper way of usage –  Lazy Badger Mar 22 '12 at 12:04
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@LazyBadger It was you to say idiotic; I didn't use that word for what you suggested, nor am I attacking your vocabulary. As a matter of fact, meta tags are not welcome on Stack Exchange; it is not something I decided. –  kiamlaluno Mar 22 '12 at 12:30
    
but "meta-questions" AND "best-practice" questions specially still exist. Facts for rules or rules for facts; your choice? –  Lazy Badger Mar 22 '12 at 13:20
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@LazyBadger Meta tags are still not welcomed on Stack Exchange; there could be questions asking for the best practices, but best-practice is not a welcome tag. As meta tags are not welcome, a request for introducing global meta tags will not implemented. Don't kill the ambassador. –  kiamlaluno Mar 22 '12 at 13:31
    
I.e you support old policy, even when policy doesn't correlate to reality. OK, I see your point and can understand (not agree and accept, but it's another story) –  Lazy Badger Mar 22 '12 at 13:35
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@LazyBadger It's not old policy; it's the policy that is actually being used. There is still a difference about what a question is asking, and which tags should be used for that question: Not all the words used in a question are necessary tags for that question. Even if Stack Exchange did not introduce the concept of meta tags, there would still be some tags that would be not preferable; best-practice is one of those tags, even if it would be a meaningful tag for, e.g., questions about a Drupal module called Best practice. –  kiamlaluno Mar 22 '12 at 13:42

TL;DR

From The Death of Meta Tags:

The reason meta-tags are a problem is that they do not describe the content of the question. They describe some other aspect of the question, like the author’s skill level, or the author’s motivation for asking it, or generally what “kind” of question it is (poll, how-to, etc.).

Meta-tags are actually a subset of a larger problem that I usually call dependent tags. These are tags that don’t say anything by themselves – you can’t tell what the question is about unless they’re paired with some other tag (or several of them). These tags are a problem because people don’t realize this and will often use that as the question’s only tag.

long version

To me, prohibiting best-practices tag appears to be based on, well, on best practices of tag usage at Stack Exchange which, not coincidentally, also appear to be in conformance with more general best practices of Folksonomy.

Think of it.

Wikipedia describes purpose of best practices as follows:

Best practices are used to maintain quality.

As for tagging, point worth paying attention to is made in Wikipedia article on Folksonomy:

Tagging, which is one of the defining characteristics of Web 2.0 services, allows users to collectively classify and find information.

Given above, one can conclude that best practices in tagging Web 2.0 (user-generated) content like at Stack Exchange are those helping to maintain quality of user-generated tags serving the purpose of information classification and retrieval.

wow do I sound high-brow "best practices... are those helping to maintain quality of user-generated tags serving the purpose of information classification and retrieval"

Now, let's look how general considerations above are distilled at respective Stack Exchange FAQ entry:

Section Effective Tags - Bring more attention to your question suggests that

Each tag should stand on its own: if a tag only makes sense when used in a group with other tags, something is wrong. For example, tagging a question as [visual] [studio] (two tags) is wrong.

To start with, best-practices tag can't stand on its own indeed.

For example, if I am interested in best practices on code readability, I would be very disappointed to find content related to best practices of performance optimization.

As you can see, best-practices tag offers no positive value in information classification and retrieval. As such, it becomes a usual suspect for being detrimental to maintaining quality blah blah....

But more than that, this tag is also capable of actively harming the quality of classification.

Imagine a user assigning best-practices tag to the question, expecting it to help in classifying content. Now that the question is tagged, this gives user a false confidence that question is already classified while in fact, it is not.

My ex-colleague who specialized in UX used to call these kind of issues attractive nuisances.


...if (f.e FAQ) clearly states "Meta-tags must not be used alone"... it can be added

Well above leads right to the kind of attractive nuisance issues I mentioned, making it easy for users to do harmful things based on (unrealistic) expectation that they will study instructions.

- Hey you put 380 Volt wire where it is easy to touch.
- So what, we also put a warning sign that it is prohibited to do.
- ???

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prima facie - thanks you for smart answer. My single note for "Now that the question is tagged, this gives user a false confidence that question is already classified while in fact, it is not" - a) Why it may give confience, if (f.e FAQ) will clearly states "Meta-tags must not be used alone" b) tag (and meta-) may give additional information then used inside tag-collection for reduction of "wide" tag and tag-pair have sense. You can search by two-or-more tags (filter will have some edges, yes) and read only "best practice in..." –  Lazy Badger Mar 22 '12 at 15:32
    
@LazyBadger sorry but the FAQ I see doesn't state anything like "Meta-tags must not be used alone" - could you please point to where did you found this statement? –  gnat Mar 22 '12 at 15:38
    
It can be added for dumb morons, which can't see obvious things and understand it with own mind –  Lazy Badger Mar 22 '12 at 16:50
    
@LazyBadger I see. This does not look like a good idea - I updated the answer with more details on that –  gnat Mar 22 '12 at 18:12
    
kids and users (here) are different categories BY DEFINITION. "If you create system, understandable even by idiot, only idiot will use it" –  Lazy Badger Mar 22 '12 at 18:21
    
@LazyBadger good catch - I removed "kids" out of example to avoid unintended associations. As for system being easy to understand for beginners, my impression is this is intended by design of SO (search Meta for something like gaming aspects of Stack Overflow for more details) –  gnat Mar 22 '12 at 18:28

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