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I've noticed the tag, which has this description:

These should all be generic answers to common SQL questions. They can be referenced, or used as a point to merge questions that were not researched well enough in the first place.

This should not be used as a tag for questions that you do not have answers to, or specific functionality of your application or need. Instead, please ask a new, generic question, and post a clear answer to it yourself, so everyone can clarify further, or help with better responses.

It seems to have been created and is being edited into questions by this user: David Manheim

It seems pretty 'meta' to me; it's about the type of question, rather than the topic of the question, for which a tag already exists. Another mild concern of mine is that David seems to be taking it upon himself to "generalize" SQL questions so they can be tagged with this tag. While I don't think that has damaged any existing questions he has edited, it certainly could, if something related to a particular brand of SQL gets removed.

The edit descriptions David uses are also instructive; he seems to be on a very well-intentioned quest to build up a generalized SQL reference with this tag.

I think he's got some good thoughts, but I think the tag needs to be kiboshed. (it's too small to get burninated yet, imo!)

EDIT: There's nothing here I could not do myself, such as by editing out the tag and leaving him a comment. but I wanted to make sure I was thinking along the right lines, first.

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I agree, this tag should definitely not exist. Why was that wiki even approved? –  animuson Jun 15 '12 at 6:39
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Just to bring light to the issue, there is also c++-faq, r-faq, perl-faq, c-faq, c++-faq-lite (wtf?), and racket-faq. –  animuson Jun 15 '12 at 6:41
    
As @animuson noted, similar tags already existing is why the New Tag Deletionist Cabal didn't nuke it from orbit already. –  Charles Jun 15 '12 at 6:41
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Could stuff like this coming up be a symptom that a real need across tags and particular users isn't being addressed by SE/SO? –  Pëkka Jun 15 '12 at 6:47
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Related discussion: Setting up a FAQ for the C++ tag (I'd like to note I agree with the top answer there.) –  animuson Jun 15 '12 at 6:48
    
I agree with the overall idea to have these FAQs...but it smells fishy and bad that a 500rep user does it. I mean, the C++ FAQ was compiled by the users who have really spend time in that tag and knew what they were doing and how... –  Time Traveling Bobby Jun 15 '12 at 8:57
    
@garden Well, I think his heart is in the right place, but he probar came across other -faq tags with no idea of the consensus about "meta" tags. He does seem proficient enough in sql to contribute content there, but just needs a nudge in the right direction. –  Andrew Barber Jun 15 '12 at 9:05
    
I'd rather see you throw yourself on the [c++-faq] tag first. If you survive that (lol, no chance in hell) then you can take on this one. –  Won't Jun 15 '12 at 15:03
    
@AndrewBarber Now that these tags have been removed from all questions, can I ask you to delete the tag? –  David Manheim Jun 25 '12 at 15:08
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@David it gets deleted automatically after a bit of being unused. :) –  Andrew Barber Jun 27 '12 at 21:32

1 Answer 1

Sorry - and thanks for the mostly positive feedback. I did see the faq tags for other topics, and was surprised one didn't exist for SQL, especially since so many of the more "basic" questions get asked frequently.

I have seen, since starting on this "Quest," the discussion about canonical, and the possible solutions proposed for merging. I'm fine with a consensus that these are not ideal, which is why I started the question here: Not just Closing Duplicate, nor Canonical Answers, but Optimizing for Pearls - How do we reward Pearl-Discovery?. The goal I had in setting up the sql-faq tag was to have a set of questions that would form a basis for merging older questions, in the quest to optimize for pearls.

I had not seen Setting up a FAQ for the C++ tag, or the Dr. Strangedupe post. The part of the Strangedupe post that cries out to me, however, is that there are 4-5 variations on a single question that should be here - and for, for instance, "How do I get the output from 2 tables into 1 query," we instead have dozens in the last year - and they are not platform dependent, they are a basic knowledge question.

So if we want to find the 4-5 canonical questions, how can that happen? I'm not sure, but I assumed that cleaning up existing questions to be clearer for those that might search was a good option - even if it isn't perfect. And this has been done while respecting the questioner, and leaving the question intact. I've been careful to only generalize question that are actually general, and not to remove platform specific content. I hope that the work done and the results are seen as a good thing, even if the tag isn't.

PS. Nudged. But I'm still unsure about if there is a consensus for the type of question editing that I have done. Also, I'd love to see some type of clarity on how interaction for this type of discussion should work - I know these posts aren't supposed to be conversations - I've also noticed that the rules is less enforced on meta.

PPS. Garden Gnobobby - My reputation could be higher, but I started actively using the site, under my real name, recently. I focused on an area I'm sure I have great answers to, and I've also focused on editing, which is a low-rep task, rather than answering the most popular questions. Regardless of these factors, I'd like to be judged by the worth of my contributions, not the reified numerical score that is purported to represent it. I didn't take any shortcuts to reputation, though I could have, as the system is game-able, so I hope I don't metaphorically smell bad, or like fish.

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+1 and no need for an apology. You are both clearly trying to help and open to wanting to do it in a "supported" way. It's not always 100% obvious what is or is not supported sometimes, and with so much content, it's actually physically difficult for the community to keep it "clean" so as not to have 'bad' examples laying around all the time. As for canonical things; many of us are asking the same question, actually. The way the tags are used, though, is more for those seeking questions to answer. I think the example of the question you created about sorting is great... –  Andrew Barber Jun 15 '12 at 21:34
    
...for seekers of answers, though; you have worded the question and answer clearly, and it should show up when people come and either search for or type in a similar question. I was impressed with your choice of that particular simple question, as I really was surprised it had not been asked so succinctly, ever. (still as far as I can see) –  Andrew Barber Jun 15 '12 at 21:35

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