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When I'm trying to see all the questions tagged web.config or app.config I'm sent to an URL like:

which shows an XML parsing error:

XML Parsing Error: no element found
Line Number 1, Column 1:

It's normal from an ASP.NET point of view, but I would like to see those questions instead.

Since adding another tag like means an URL like:

which solves the problem, but restrict the results, I propose to create an empty, meaningless tag which would not restrict the result set but would avoid the errors.

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closed as off-topic by CRABOLO, gnat, Martijn Pieters, Al E., Aziz Shaikh Jan 3 '15 at 6:27

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

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If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

@Shog9: searching is not always a solution. – alexandrul Oct 29 '09 at 13:37
also:… – Kip Oct 29 '09 at 13:47
@Kip: see my updated answer – alexandrul Oct 29 '09 at 13:52
alexandrul: thing is, a solution to this would be good to document as a solution to those other problems. Spreading this discussion around among multiple topics just makes the answers harder to find... – Shog9 Oct 29 '09 at 13:55
@Shog9: sorry for not being clear in the first place: searching SO with "web config" in order to find all questions tagged "web.config" doesn't seems to be a nice solution. OTOH, is it possible to move all the answers to a single question in case of duplicates? I've found many nice answers to questions closed as duplicates. – alexandrul Oct 29 '09 at 15:14
These tags have been merged and synonyms have been added, so [app-config] and [web-config] are now the canonical tags. – Bill the Lizard Jul 24 '10 at 13:07

The solution is re-tagging web.config to web-config. That's how it should look like in the first place.

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there are 66 questions tagged with .config :( – alexandrul Oct 29 '09 at 12:36
It's a moderator task ;) – Ladybug Killer Oct 29 '09 at 12:43
the dot is an allowed character in tags, i don't see why the tags should be changed just because the server isn't handling the url properly – Kip Oct 29 '09 at 13:44
@Kip: Jeff's and your opinion differ:… – Ladybug Killer Oct 29 '09 at 13:58
How do you look for a tag to change them if you can't look for them? Example: .mdf – MPelletier Jul 30 '11 at 16:45
@MPel: Let the mods care about it. – Ladybug Killer Jul 30 '11 at 16:49
@MPelletier You can view the questions using a dummy search parameter. – Tim Stone Jul 30 '11 at 16:54
@LadybugKiller All the mods did was mark my question as duplicate. – MPelletier Jul 30 '11 at 19:00

The error is still present to this day, by the way.

turns up empty, works. Go figure.

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As a workaround use .mdf%20 instead, inserting %20 in the generated URLs, like: (…) – alexandrul Jul 31 '11 at 8:36

.Net 4.0 has a solution for this. Please see

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nice and it referenced stack overflow as well :) – waffles Aug 23 '10 at 2:30
@waffles: now that you work for SO any chance you wanna implement this? :D – Andreas Bonini Aug 30 '10 at 3:50
from Phil's article "Please note, that you still can’t request /web.config because that would try to request web.config in the root of your web application and ASP.NET won’t allow that for good reason!" .. we upgraded to .Net 4 and set that flag yet, no dice – waffles Aug 30 '10 at 4:16
I even tried a rewrite rule and could not get it to work – waffles Aug 30 '10 at 4:36

Maybe use a quick rewrite rule for the moment: add " +" at the end of the URL if it ends with web.config or app.config or the like.

At least the following URL returns the same number of questions: +

and it also works for the following: + + + +

(but there are no more globax.asax tagged questions)


Another workaround would be inserting %20 after the tag name in the generated URLs, like this:

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If it's implemented, I would like to receive a special badge: fixer :D – alexandrul Oct 29 '09 at 13:53

My suggestion would be to create a questions\tagged sub-folder and remove ".config" from the script mappings in IIS. Not sure if that is secure or not, tho.

Even though the tags probably should be web-config anyways, I don't think it is a good idea to get an XML parsing error on any reachable URL on the site. This is easily reachable by searching for [web.config].

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