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Often I don't know how to properly choose tags for a question. I think my question can be more properly asked using examples of subjects:

  1. Why this ruby code doesn't work on Windows? Should it be tagged with ?
  2. Is there a .NET library similar to A and B libraries in Python? Should it be tagged with ?
  3. Is A fixed in all modern browsers? Should it be tagged with ?
  4. How to test this AJAX form in A? Should it be tagged with ? (A is testing framework)

How to determine whether tag is appropriate for a question?

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Do you mean as additional tags besides the obvious tags? –  Bart Aug 11 '12 at 12:02
    
@Bart Where is a border between additional and obvious? –  Andrey Botalov Aug 11 '12 at 12:04
    
Well, for example, for 1 Ruby would be the obvious tag to me (and Windows would indeed be a good tag as well). –  Bart Aug 11 '12 at 12:07

1 Answer 1

up vote 8 down vote accepted

If the subject of the tag is relevant to your problem, add it to your question. Also, think about what kind of people you want answering your question. If you think "I need experts in X to answer this," then tag it with X.

Why this ruby code doesn't work on Windows? Should it be tagged with ?

Yes, if your code works on another platform, but not on Windows, then Windows is part of your problem. That tag is relevant.

Is there a .NET library similar to to A and B libraries in Python? Should it be tagged with ?

No, you're not looking for a Python solution, so it's not that relevant. It should be enough to link to the library and explain what it does in the body of the question. You really want .NET people looking at your question, not really Python folks. (Note that this type of question is likely to get closed as "not constructive" for being a shopping question.)

Is A fixed in all modern browsers? Should it be tagged with ?

That seems like an awfully generic tag. I wasn't aware we had it. However, that does seem like the right use for it. See the similar question: What browsers use their own copy of Flash?

How to test this AJAX form in A? Should it be tagged with ? (A is testing framework)

Yes, in this case your question is specifically about A, but Ajax is still highly relevant. You'd want people who work with Ajax and the testing framework to view your question, so tag it with both. (Specifically, you'd want people who have used that testing framework in the way you're trying to use it to answer your question.)

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Windows guy isn't likely to know Ruby as they usually use C, C++ or C#. Are they likely to see problem in Ruby code? –  Andrey Botalov Aug 11 '12 at 12:35
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@AndreyBotalov No, but statistically Windows experts aren't likely to know any particular language. Windows is too big compared to most programming languages. You do need people in the overlap between Ruby and Windows, so tagging both is appropriate. If I know one but not the other, I'd probably just ignore your question. But if you tag it with one and not the other, you're probably going to miss some people who can answer. –  Bill the Lizard Aug 11 '12 at 12:40
    
It should be tagged with Windows, because your problem is Windows specific. (Or at least it seems so from the title. If it also doesn't work on Linux, or you have no idea if it does, then the tag doesn't really serve a purpose). –  Bart Aug 11 '12 at 12:40
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I'd be careful with If you think "I need experts in X to answer this," then tag it with X. - this often gets extended to "I bet experts in X would know some things about my problem with Y; I'll include the X tag too." Casting a wider net seems to be a common technique that isn't looked well upon. Sure, a SQL Server expert might know about your file system problem, but that doesn't make the sql-server tag relevant. :-) –  Aaron Bertrand Aug 11 '12 at 13:33
    
@AaronBertrand Agreed. A common example of this is VB.NET questions tagging C#, or C# questions tagging VB. –  Servy Aug 11 '12 at 14:06
    
@Servy: I don't see that as a huge problem. Either language can be directly translated to the other, automatically if you don't know the syntax. And any VB.NET question I ask would do fine with a C# answer. –  U2744 SNOWFLAKE Aug 11 '12 at 14:52

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