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It seems a lot of questions on Meta Stack Overflow are being prefaced by "Feature Request:" or "Bug:". Should this title labeling be done, or is a duplication of the tagging system?

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I'm glad you brought this up. It doesn't really matter to me which way it's done, but I think that whatever the community decides it should be uniformly enforced. (Personally, I think that including it in the title is a duplication, but I can see why people would want to) –  Kyle Cronin Jul 9 '09 at 15:53
    
Find it kind of interesting that even though this question has not been answered and agreed upon by the community, all of the questions are getting modified... –  RSolberg Jul 13 '09 at 18:59
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@RSolberg: I always follow the conventions of SO.com in the absence of a reasonable argument from the community here. –  GEOCHET Jul 13 '09 at 19:08
    
Here, let me get you through past the 10k line ;) –  perbert Apr 15 '10 at 23:18
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6 Answers 6

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Titles are not tags. Keep the tags in tag boxes, and stop duplicating them in the title. This is the same convention we have been using on SO.com since adoption.

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@Rich: I think it's likely a case by case point. It's down to context and I don't believe that tags and titles carry the same context to those who visit the site in most cases. And you have a point, why not just do it automatically in code? If it is that people respond differently, then that's not necessarily a bad idea. –  Jeff Yates Jul 13 '09 at 20:14
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I think there is a distinct categorization that exists on meta that does not exist on SO. On SO it is either Programming Related, or it will be demolished. On meta, it can be "Feature Request" "Bug Report" or "Community Question". For the Admins, I think it would be easy if it said "Feature Request" or "Bug Report" right in the title, so that the differentiation is immediately clear. But yeah, I see your tags point, I just think that on meta it is MORE applicable than on SO. –  devinb Jul 13 '09 at 22:39
    
@Devinb: I can agree with that assessment, but the SO team should really modify the interface. Inserting tags as a prefix to titles is not the answer. –  GEOCHET Jul 13 '09 at 23:06
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we are in the process of ADDING REQUIRED TAGS, but we are not there yet, as there's a lot of work to do in a lot of different areas and this is a meta-specific thing so somewhat lower priority. Can you guys and gals please avoid killing each other in the meantime? kthxbye –  Jeff Atwood Jul 14 '09 at 10:22
    
@Rich That's correct. I'd call it an 'interim fix' or a 'hack' rather than an answer. –  devinb Jul 14 '09 at 13:04
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Do not duplicate tags in the title.

If the tag is naturally part of the title, that's fine, but don't force fit the tags in there.

You're supposed to look at the tags to tell what a question is, anyway -- they provide additional information on top of the title and summary itself.

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This is the only answer that is appropriate. It is common sense. –  GEOCHET Jul 14 '09 at 11:55
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Jeff, when I am doing a google search, I do a query for something like: "Octave, find N max items", and items show up in the search results. And if I see a search result title: "Find N max items". I click it, only later to find out they were referring to Matlab, or Python. I am not pleased. If instead I saw "GNU Octave: find N max items", I am delighted. I strongly disagree with you and having a strong bias for the main language or main theme of the question into the title. I'm trying to delight the user. Do you agree/disagree? I want to know if this SO question can help by title only. –  Eric Leschinski Jan 18 '13 at 12:38
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I think it's unnecessary at best. IMHO, if you need to prefix your title with "Feature Request:", your title needs more work - i should be able to tell. Same with bugs.

At worst, it encourages other title tags. SO is rife with terrible, undescriptive titles prefixed with "C#" or "JavaScript:".

Rule of thumb: if it can be worked into a single sentence description of the post itself, then it should be. And if not, then it doesn't belong in the title at all.

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I tend to preface a title like that because I think people use the title to work out how to vote and respond on a question, rather than the tags. The tags are a search convenience and I don't think most users review them before voting or providing comments and answers. The question content and its title are the most important when trying to garner responses, not the tags.

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Hmm.... But, how is a prefix preferable to a more descriptive title? Ex: "Titles: Should prefixes be used in addition to tags?" vs. "Should meta use Tags and Title Labels?" –  Shog9 Jul 13 '09 at 20:05
    
Well, I think it's a case by case situation and I'm not thinking that all tags are worthy of title inclusion. But for me, I have noticed different responses based on whether the title includes "Feature request" or not, even if the Feature-request tag is added. This suggest to me that at least in that case, the title and tags are serving different purposes to users and the existence of one does not infer the same behavior as the existence of the other. –  Jeff Yates Jul 13 '09 at 20:09
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Well, that's probably true; the prefix makes them "stick out". I'm not sure that's a path we want to go down though; we should be reading posts because we're interested in the topic and have something to contribute, not because they don't match. I mean, you could accomplish that by sticking profanity, or a bunch of punctuation in the title as well... If the prefixes are useful in and of themselves, for a purpose not well served by tags, then that's another matter. –  Shog9 Jul 13 '09 at 21:17
    
@Shog9: I agree. Your final sentence sums it up for me, " If the prefixes are useful in and of themselves, for a purpose not well served by tags, then that's another matter." –  Jeff Yates Jul 13 '09 at 21:19
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There are tags for bug and feature-request. And they are used by Jeff and the mods. I think the rest is just for convenience or to highlight the issue at hand

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Amusingly, there is a change in progress that makes it highly desirable to categorise things as:

bug or feature-request or discussion

Apologies if we seem to be "owning" the front page while we do this ;-p

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