Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 158 Stack Exchange communities.

What is meta?
Here's how it works:
  1. Any Stack Exchange user can ask a question
  2. The community provides support, votes on ideas, and reports bugs
  3. Your voice helps shape the way Stack Exchange operates

Apologies if this is not the place to ask, but I have a question about a tag on Stack Overflow.

I noticed today the tag on a bunch of questions. Some are using long to mean a long period of time and some are using long to mean a data type. Can I ask, what is it supposed to mean as there is no tag wiki for it?

share|improve this question
This seems to be a candidate for removal in many (most?) uses, and disambiguation in the rest. – dmckee Mar 28 '12 at 15:01
[long-int] seems less ambiguous. Hell some of those questions are about long as a time frame... – Ben Brocka Mar 28 '12 at 15:08

Probably, the tag should be removed altogether.
It could make sense when referring to a data type, but I am not sure in which cases it should be required to use a tag to mean the question is about a long integer. Additionally, if there is already a tag that specify the question is about an integer datatype, does  add anything?

It is wrong to use to mean a long period of time: The answer doesn't change because that tag, nor are there any experts in long periods of time, on Stack Overflow.

The least that should be done is to remove the tag from questions that are not about a datatype, and edit the tag wiki to explain the tag is for a datatype found in many programming languages.
If there is a tag for which can be a synonym, the synonym could be created. Alternatively, can be renamed, as Robert Harvey suggest.

share|improve this answer
Immediately goes off to master the fine art of long period of time – Manishearth Mar 28 '12 at 15:19
Is that archaeology? ;) – kiamlaluno Mar 28 '12 at 15:21
Man, you guys are so severe about these things. You do realize it's expensive to burn a tag, don't you? You have to involve the SE staff to do it. – Robert Harvey Mar 28 '12 at 15:22
@kiamlaluno: Uhh, no, archaeology refers to humans only. :P – Manishearth Mar 28 '12 at 15:22
@RobertHarvey: I guess it's better to merge it with long-int, and somebody PLEASE edit the tagwiki. – Manishearth Mar 28 '12 at 15:23
I already edited the tag wiki. Caching? – Robert Harvey Mar 28 '12 at 15:24
If we remove that tag why wouldn't we then remove short, int, decimal, byte, string, or arrays. – Some Helpful Commenter Mar 28 '12 at 15:24
@ConradFrix: [sees the light] – Robert Harvey Mar 28 '12 at 15:25
@RobertHarvey: Probably; works now. Yep, your suggestion of create-new-tag+synonym seems fine. – Manishearth Mar 28 '12 at 15:26
@RobertHarvey If the tag can be merged with another one, that is preferable. Burning the tag is probably excessive, in this case. – kiamlaluno Mar 28 '12 at 15:27
@ConradFrix: That's why we rename it to the less ambiguous long-int/long-integer. – Manishearth Mar 28 '12 at 15:27
@Manishearth ..and short-int/short-integer too? Why because short integral datatypes got no reason to live – Some Helpful Commenter Mar 28 '12 at 15:28
@Manishearth Well, maybe between a thousand years there will be "Computer Science Archeology." I imagine how long they could laugh reading the code we write nowadays. ;) – kiamlaluno Mar 28 '12 at 15:29
@kiamlaluno: I see what you did there ;) – Manishearth Mar 28 '12 at 15:31

How about we just change the name to long-integer and synonymize long to it?

share|improve this answer
Why keep it at all? It's not something people will be experts about, it's not something people will search questions on, and won't long-integer mean different things based on what language you're in? – Adam Rackis Mar 28 '12 at 15:28
All good points. But changing the name is easier, and I don't see any harm in keeping it. – Robert Harvey Mar 28 '12 at 15:37
probably right—might not be worth it to burninate the tag. Is there a way to "close" a tag, where it stays, but can't be used in the future? – Adam Rackis Mar 28 '12 at 15:43
Why would you want to do that? – Robert Harvey Mar 28 '12 at 15:44
I thought we agreed that the long tag wasn't useful, and that deleting it would be more work than it's worth. Preventing future use of it would make sense to me. – Adam Rackis Mar 28 '12 at 15:47
The long tag is ambiguous. That's the problem at hand. Synonymizing it to long-integer solves the problem of its misuse. – Robert Harvey Mar 28 '12 at 15:49

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .