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There is a question here, Can anybody tell me what language is this? My answer got an upvote yesterday, so I happened to look at it again. The question is about what the computer language is, and, due to it already being suggested to the questioner that it is COBOL, it was originally tagged cobol.

It is not COBOL. It is not even close to COBOL.

If it had not been tagged cobol, I wouldn't have seen it. It should have been tagged mainframe, not just ibm.

So, my answer, which I only was able to contribute as it was tagged cobol, now counts towards my cobol "badge" (10% towards it!) even though it is nothing to do with COBOL, and doesn't count towards my mainframe "badge", even though it is to do with an IBM Mainframe (with an operating system called VM, no, nothing to do with that one).

The question is Closed.

My thought is to re-tag it, removing the cobol and adding mainframe, but I don't want the thing "bounced" by a moderator, because the question itself mentions COBOL. The "retag" doesn't have a comments box. If I were to edit the post (which I can't, it's Closed), I'd have to invent some changes anyway, rather than just retag, and only then can I comment.

The questioner does seem to be around, so what I'll actually do is leave a comment, but if the questioner hadn't appeared for a month, what would be an acceptable way to clear this up.

To re-cap. Reasonable tag to start with, but becomes entirely specious after answer. If the questioner is not currently active, what to do?


There's a somewhat misty question here, which relates to "badges". I'd not have seen the question if not tagged Cobol, yet answering the question bore no relation to my Cobol knowledge, and yet the 10 goes towards my Cobol badge. Doesn't seem a fair reflection. OK, maybe to put up with it, because things can't be perfect.

Progressing from that, what'd be stopping me "hyping" my "badges" by adding tags to questions. I wasn't aware of the badges until this morning (only found out about @ in the comments whilst researching the question!) and am now interested in how the whole badges vs content should work.

share|improve this question
What's problem in suggesting edit? – hims056 Apr 15 '13 at 10:06
If I used Edit, where I can comment to explain the Edit, but just change the tag, I get moaned at that I haven't changed six characters. I'd have to invent something spurious to change, just to allow the change of tag with a comment. – Bill Woodger Apr 15 '13 at 10:20
up vote 2 down vote accepted

This is could be a border case, but I can understand why the question has been tagged : to show the question to the users who normally answer Cobol questions, and who possibly can understand better than somebody else if the code is Cobol and (maybe) which variant. This is one of the purposes of tags: reach the experts who could know the answer.

This is similar to the case of a question asking how to convert WordPress code to Drupal code. If the question would be just tagged , chances are that those who answer Drupal questions don't notice the question. Tagging the question , and gives to the question more possibilities of getting an answer.

Now that the question has been closed as too localized, the tag could be removed. Nobody is going to answer it, since it is closed.
This is not an operation that is normally done, though. There are many questions that are closed, but nobody is going to edit the tags, if not in the case the tags are utterly wrong.

share|improve this answer
Yes, I was wondering if there was a "policy" for subsequently amending the tags. I'll expand in my question. Thanks. – Bill Woodger Apr 15 '13 at 10:30
Generally, tags are not edited out from closed questions, if not when they are utterly wrong. cobol is not completely wrong, since the user wanted to know if the code was Cobol. If cobol is used in a question that is about Drupal, but not Cobol, then removing it would be correct. I would not worry about having a higher score in a tag because questions use the wrong tags, in the same way I would not worry about having a lower score in a tag because questions that should use it don't use it. – kiamlaluno Apr 15 '13 at 11:36
OK, thanks. I'll remove my comment to the TS and let sleeping dogs lie. Unless more activity in the next couple of hours, I'll Accept this and get on with it. Thanks again. – Bill Woodger Apr 15 '13 at 11:50
In an ironic twist, a user with sufficient reputation has now removed the cobol tag but not replaced it with mainframe (where the application of considerable experience was necessary to get to the complete answer) so my highest-scoring answer will not contribute to any "badge" I'm ever likely to get :-) Oh.... I've just noticed who it was.... – Bill Woodger Apr 19 '13 at 6:40

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