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Note: I know this might be taken for a duplicate, but it's really not. I'm not asking how to handle ruby-rails tagging (like has been done many time in here) I'm asking to change the behavior that has began and that have brought to a unique situation in which there are way more rails questions than ruby questions.

ruby on rails questions = 124.889, ruby questions = 78.929 an example of how python and django are way better tagged IMHO (python questions = 209.010, django questions = 56.360

My opinion on this, is that we should almost always use when dealing with .

The tagging system is described by the help page as:

All questions are tagged with their subject areas.

Now I'd like you to focus on the first phrase: tags = subject of areas. When asking a question about a practical problem (basically a coding problem since theoretical problem are for programmers.SE) on Rails you have always to remember that Rails (Ruby on Rails) is just a Ruby framework and not a language per-se:

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Therefore when facing a RoR (Ruby on Rails) problem you inherently fall into the Ruby area. Or to put it better: Ruby is part of the set of subject areas of the question.

The three category point of view

Now the most important objection made to this opinion is that Ruby questions can be divided into three categories:

  1. Can be fully answered by a Ruby programmer; not related to Ruby on Rails.
  2. Directly related to Ruby on Rails, but it can be answered by someone who knows only Ruby.
  3. Can be answered only by a Ruby on Rails professional.

which, accordingly to Nakilon have their own set of tags:

  1. and

which makes perfect sense, except for one thing: the author that is tagging the question doesn't know if the problem can be solved by a Rails expert or just a Ruby expert (notice that a Rails expert isn't necessary a Ruby expert), in fact he doesn't even know where the problem relies, that's why he asked in the first place.

Tags are not determined by the kind of experts they are targeting, they are determined by the subjects the question is dealing with. Experts have proper tools to select questions that are suitable for them (like searching for tags, preferred tags and ignored tags).

The most authoritative answer to the tagging topic

A moderator actually answered on this topic (not specifically Ruby-Rails but still) with:

If both tags apply to the question, then use both.

If one tag applies to the question, and the other tag applies to the first tag (but not directly to the question itself), then omit the latter.

If you're not sure, then use both.

Don't use non-applicable tags to draw in more readers. And don't omit applicable tags to shield readers from subjects they're not interested in: you can easily craft a search to exclude tags you aren't personally interested in.

In my personal opinion this whole answers just comes down to:

Tag what you think applies to the question

which doesn't answer much the question but merely moves the question to "What do you mean by apply?".

The most important part is the second one:

If one tag applies to the question, and the other tag applies to the first tag (but not directly to the question itself), then omit the latter.

which can be applied to our Ruby problem by rephrasing it as:

If applies to the question, and applies to the first tag (but not directly to the question itself), then omit the latter.

We early stated that we are referring to code problems (practical code problems) which means there is some code related to which means that most likely (with the possible exclusion for Javascript, HTML and SQL or derivates) the code will be in Ruby. How doesn't Ruby code apply to the question then? It does.

The last part:

Don't use non-applicable tags to draw in more readers. And don't omit applicable tags to shield readers from subjects they're not interested in: you can easily craft a search to exclude tags you aren't personally interested in.

basically just states what I said earlier: tags shouldn't target people, they should target subjects (of the question itself).

So should Rails questions containing Ruby code be tagged with ?

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This seems like an extended rant, rather than an actual question. If nothing else, you should consider using the question box to ask an actual question (preferably one that is clear, concise, and answerable), and then posting your opinions down below as an answer. –  Cody Gray Aug 4 '13 at 13:48

1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

So should Rails questions containing Ruby code be tagged with ?

Sure. Why not?

I mean, I know the entire rest of your question discusses a whole bunch of potential objections to this, and I'll grant that the tagging situation isn't entirely perfect. But the reality is that it works. And pragmatism always trumps navel-gazing, especially for things like this that I do not see as an actual problem.

Questions about the Rails framework are naturally going to be about Ruby because the Ruby-on-Rails framework is written in Ruby. Questions about jQuery are naturally going to be about JavaScript, since jQuery is written in JavaScript. Et cetera, et cetera.

The tagging system is a very practical thing, designed to get questions in front of people who might be able to answer them. Like you said, we could debate about which arrangement is ideal all day, but that wouldn't do any good for the people who are actually posting these questions. They're the least qualified of all to know whether the issue in their question is related to the specific framework that they're using, or is a more general problem that afflicts all users of the language. And why should they have to?

The standing rule applies here as well: if you see a question that you think is mis-tagged, retag it! That takes care of all the edge cases where an additional tag that was omitted needs to be added, and where an actually unrelated tag was inadvertently added.

I've said most of this before, of course. I haven't found anything to persuade me to change my mind.

If you're a Ruby programmer who absolutely hates Rails, then you can always filter that tag out, since all questions specifically about the Rails framework will also have the tag.

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Thanks for your answer. It can happen that RoR questions could be answered by Ruby programmers (which in my personal opinion has happened way more than viceversa) which leads to the potential problem that people that only have ruby as preferred tag do not see RoR questions highlighted with a loss of potential reputation by the answerer and efficiency by the questioner. –  Jefffrey Aug 4 '13 at 14:02

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