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I've been answering questions in the PowerShell tag recently, and I began to notice that specific cmdlets have been tagged over time. At first I thought this was oddly specific, but after some thought I think PowerShell cmdlets would make good candidates for tags, if the context of a particular question calls for it.

After reviewing some questions on Meta (1, 2, 3 ) I believe this would be a good class of tags because:

  • It is very unambiguous. A question asking about some specific behavior of select-string would be well served by the "select-string" tag, grouping it with similar questions and allowing for easy navigation by future users.
  • It would unnecessarily broaden the focus of some questions if they did not have cmdlet tags. Take this question for example, wherein the user experiences some difficulty with the output of Select-String when it returns a collection instead of a single object. The other two tags "PowerShell" and "Regex" begin to describe the problem, but the real issue is with the output returned from the cmdlet.
  • It says a lot with a little. "This question specifically concerns this powershell cmdlet." When coupled with even a stub of a tag wiki, new users could learn about this particular cmdlet. Seasoned PowerShell users may recognize the cmdlet immediately, or even subscribe to it if they feel particularly comfortable with the topic.

With this in mind I've selected several existing cmdlet tags and have edited them to include a very basic description and link to Microsoft documentation:

If the community feels that these tags are worthwhile to pursue, I would like to continue fleshing out these existing cmdlet tag wikis by including suggestions on what sort of questions to tag these with, links to useful documentation, and links to related cmdlets. I would also like to create new cmdlet tags for either

  • existing questions that are strong candidates to include a specific cmdlet tag, or
  • new questions that would demonstrate some problem where this tag is appropriate.

This is my first time really undergoing any sort of tag review, and I would like some feedback as to if I'm going about this the right way. When justifiable, should these specific cmdlets have their own tags? Is there some sort of general procedure that I can follow to perform these edits without spamming up the active listings?

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Your example question is pretty close to off-topic, and I think your tags could encourage off-topic questions. See Where should I ask command-line related questions? – JDB Sep 5 '13 at 16:56
@Cyborgx37 Very strongly disagree. The cmdlet used wouldn't make much sense to be a one-and-done command line action, and per the top answer in your linked question: "Are you asking how to mix and match commandlets in a script? Stack Overflow." Not only that, but the problem gets into some specific behaviors of the cmdlet that is much more topic on SO than other sites. You would be surprised at how often questions like this appear on the powershell tag. The context of these questions is scripting, but they often appear in small examples on SO as an SSCCE. – Anthony Neace Sep 5 '13 at 17:00
While I'm sure the user is ultimately mixing and matching cmdlets, the question itself would appear to fall under "2.Do you want to know how commandlets work, or which to use? Super User." It is a very gray area, though - I haven't found any strong consensus on this yet. – JDB Sep 5 '13 at 17:04
Well that isn't necessarily what the user was asking, that's just how I framed the answer. The user's output was not as expected, which jumps from discussing Select-String to .NET and how PS returns collections of multiple objects to explain. There are other meta posts that debate this 1 2 3 4, but even more generally "gray-area questions" are directed to the site that OP wants the expertise of. – Anthony Neace Sep 5 '13 at 17:49
up vote 3 down vote accepted

While I agree with your proposal about having separate tags for each of the cmdlets in powershell and appreciate the amount of work you've put in editing their individual tag-wikis, not all the cmdlets can be created as a separate tag.

For example, can be abused as it is still an ambiguous tag (and new users tend to disregard the excerpt shown when tagging their questions). It can be placed with a number of languages where users want to match regex patterns in their strings.

Thus, to ensure proper usage in such scenarios, I'd suggest appending (or prepending) them with either ps1 or cmdlet, so that the tags would be: or . I'd go for the first choice of appending a harmless cmdlet to them. :)

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