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There used to be a tag on Stack Overflow, which covered the poll family of I/O functions on unix-like systems.

This tag has disappeared, and cannot be re-created because the tag already exists.

Please re-create the tag (here is an example of a question that should have been tagged and not ).

Since the tag is rather unnatural on this question, I suspect that this was the result of a bad merge. This is unfortunate: we have a bunch of legitimate questions that were unwittingly thrown together with a tag that signals questions that should be deleted. Developers: is it possible to undo this merge?

Arguably, is prone to confusion. Would be a reasonable tag name? Any other suggestion?

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closed as off-topic by Monica Cellio, random, Al E., Shadow Wizard, Martijn Pieters Aug 27 '14 at 0:03

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I wonder that the polls tag exists at all. Most (if not all) of the questions tagged as such should be closed as not constructive. – Felix Apr 30 '12 at 21:35
@Felix - the tag is probably a very early one, from when polls were tolerated. – ChrisF Apr 30 '12 at 21:40
@ChrisF: I thought so too. Still, I wonder why it was not cleaned up yet :) – Felix Apr 30 '12 at 21:41
@Felix - sheer volume of questions. It takes time to go through 400+ questions to check whether it needs closing or not, retagging if appropriate etc. All the while new questions could be being added. – ChrisF Apr 30 '12 at 21:43
There's been some recent work on this tag as part of The great Stack Overflow tag/question cleanup of 2012. – Kevin Vermeer Apr 30 '12 at 21:45
@animuson I'm told developers can unmerge a tag, but with difficulty; there may not be so many questions that it's worth the trouble for them. Do not remove the feature-request since I am requesting at least the creation of the poll tag. – Gilles Apr 30 '12 at 21:46
@KevinVermeer I know; it looks like something was botched as part of that process, which is why I'm starting a separate thread for this issue. – Gilles Apr 30 '12 at 21:47
@Gilles: If that's the case, then it can simply fall under the existing retag-request tag, which also explained that when requesting moderator (or dev) assistance with tags, you should use support. – animuson Apr 30 '12 at 21:49
@animuson That's not what I was told when I became a mod, and I applied on the metas where I mod. Support is asking a question, feature request is asking for intervention. – Gilles Apr 30 '12 at 21:59
Why can't these questions fall under the category of [polling]? – Cody Gray Apr 30 '12 at 22:43
@Gilles: I'm not familiar with other site's metas because I don't really participate much on other metas, but that's how it's long been done here. – animuson Apr 30 '12 at 22:50
@TheEstablishment - IMO [polling] ought to be for solutions involving general, polling-strategy questions (e.g. polling with javascript, or something). I had that as an option here, but I'm not sure my question got a lot of visibility, and therefore not much feedback on whether or not other people agree/disagreee. – Rob Hruska May 1 '12 at 13:27

1 Answer 1

There are many valid functions named 'poll' to which this tag could be applied. I suggest that the most common and best application of the tag would be the Posix function poll(3) (link), but I don't think it's sufficient to call it because no one reads the tag wikis.

Therefore, I suggest that the new tag name be . This would be difficult to confuse with anything else, and other languages or APIs with a function by this name can have their own tag.

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100% agreed. Repurposing a vague and abused tag isn't a good idea when we have clearer alternatives. – Matthew Read Apr 30 '12 at 21:55
I disagree with posix-poll. Most users of this tag are programming for Linux and may not even know what POSIX is. Maybe with synonyms for linux-poll and unix-poll, but it looks weird even then. – Gilles Apr 30 '12 at 22:01
@Gilles polling, as suggested in the comments on the question, seems like the right choice to me, as long as it has a very clear "NOT FOR POLLS" notice in the tag wiki excerpt. – agf Apr 30 '12 at 22:50
@Gilles if there would be two synonym tags, poll-function and posix-poll, would that be an acceptable solution? – gnat Apr 30 '12 at 23:58
@gnatakaspecialagentMulder As I understand it, the objection to poll-function is that there are other platforms with an unrelated function called poll. If so, this is a valid objection against having a poll-function tag altogether. Kevin: what common OS/framework has an unrelated function called poll? – Gilles May 1 '12 at 0:01
We would then have to re-tag everything tagged epoll (currently 31 questions) to be posix-epoll as well. – Tim Post May 1 '12 at 7:47
Ugh, we also need to take a close look at where select is being used (currently 1,069 questions, many don't discuss select()). – Tim Post May 1 '12 at 7:49
@Gilles - For starters, here's a poll function in Java, and here's a Drupal module. It's a short verb and noun which is related to a task common in programming; I don't think my claim needs an exhaustive reference. I think it's as ambiguous as, say, print-function, push-function or open-function. Or select, for that matter. – Kevin Vermeer May 1 '12 at 12:37
@KevinVermeer That poll method in Java isn't tag material, people would use the class name. The Drupal module is a better argument. There's nothing wrong with print, push or open to indicate functions by these names, to go alongside a language tag and possibly other tags. – Gilles May 1 '12 at 17:00

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