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By time-sensitive I don't mean, "I need an answer in the next 24 hours or I'm fired." Instead, I mean the opposite of timeless. I think this could be addressed with the existing tag trends, plus the addition of timeless and dated tags.

  • Question that is sensitive to the passing of time, tag with trends (includes questions that are kept current via updates)
  • Old question that succumbed to the passing of time: dated
  • Old question that withstands the test of time on its own, tag with timeless

The timeless tag may be superfluous; an older question that hasn't been tagged with dated is probably timeless.

Other ideas? Overkill?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Jan 18 '10 at 21:39

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to meta.stackoverflow.com we go! –  ChristopheD Jan 18 '10 at 21:37
    
Just to understand, you mean questions like "How do I do X in Office 14 Beta" or "How do I make sure the software we write for the chips in ATM cards works properly in the year 2010?" –  Michael Stum Jan 18 '10 at 21:41
    
@ChristopheD, oops. Learned something new :) @Michael, yes. What it brought it to mind was [this question][1]. I was partway through editing my question with some examples when it got closed and moved here. [1]: stackoverflow.com/questions/796258/… –  toolbear74 Jan 18 '10 at 21:45
    
All things are time-sensitive given a big enough window: sun orbits the earth comes to mind. This would only apply to particularly time-senstive questions in the context of our field (and its relative newness). –  toolbear74 Jan 20 '10 at 15:43
    
-5 rating means any more discussion at this point is a waste, yes? I agree with the responses that trends is impractical. If I feel strongly about timeless in a few months perhaps I'll propose just that tag. Thanks for the feedback, everyone. This can be closed. –  toolbear74 Jan 20 '10 at 15:46
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4 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I don't know that a tag is necessary in cases like this. For one thing, practically everything development-related is temporal in nature -- what we do today is not what we will do tomorrow. (One of my highest-voted SO answers is a classic example of this.)

So by definition the majority of SO questions would have this tag, or be appropriate candidates for this tag.

You bring up the idea of a [timeless] tag; these questions are more rare. They do exist -- many questions on best practices, design patterns, etc., will be timeless (or near enough) in nature. However, is it worth using one of five tag slots for this?

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I think people can tell for themselves whether something is dated, and there'll rarely be an official consensus as it's more of a matter of opinion. As long as the content is stated clearly, we should be fine. :D

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Most questions are time-sensitive in the sense that answers have the possibility of changing. While some books remain relevant for long time ("The Mythical Man-Month" comes to mind), new books are constantly being written, and some of them are better than the old ones. Languages change over time. So does software: questions about Visual Studio.NET 2005 are still of some interest, but that's going to fade over time. Even design principles change, although slowly.

I also don't think any tagging scheme like this is going to be applied consistently. Some questions will remain untagged forever, even when they're hardly timeless. Some people will be dated-happy. In any case, I'll have to search for questions and discard what looks dated myself.

In short, I don't think it's worth bothering with.

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The proposal requires the tagger to either see into the future, or to undertake the labor of auditing the past. One is impossible, the other drudgery.

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