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Despite of the rep-limit of 250 (which is in my opinion too low, but that aside), new users are still able to create new tags.

To nail the bug better down, it might be good to know that the servlet tag was previously a "valid" tag before it was merged into servlets. Maybe the tag is still present somewhere in a DB and the validation was depending on that rather than on the amount of questions actually attached to the tag?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 2 down vote accepted

This is not a bug; the tag normalization happens every night at 00:01 UTC.

So even if you completely "remove" a tag from the whole of Stack Overflow, it won't be fully scrubbed out of the denormalized tables until 00:01 UTC.

(although, if you remove a tag at 23:59 UTC, it sure will feel immediate..)

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I see. Thank you. So this problem has to be solved somewhere else. 1) Raise the rep limit for creating new tags, 2) Have a less-or-more community-managed mapping of similar/singular/plural tags wherein only one automagically get applied when the "wrong" one is chosen (there was a topic about that, but I can't seem to find it right now). –  BalusC May 13 '10 at 23:58
1  
@balus I think you are looking for this, which is planned -- meta.stackexchange.com/questions/2779/… –  Jeff Atwood May 14 '10 at 12:04
    
Yes, thank you. "synonyms" was the missing keyword :) –  BalusC May 14 '10 at 12:45

According to this post, especially the edit in its answer, once a tag is created, if it stuck around long enough, it will always exist, even if it is deleted. Considering the restriction is against creating tags, and not merely using unused tags, it would then follow through that the validation indeed does check against this.

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2  
That can be it. Now yet to fix it :) –  BalusC Apr 30 '10 at 20:43

Interesting. I somewhat understand the rationale behind this behaviour, but I think it should be changed. If a tag previously existed and no longer exists, that makes it even more likely to be a bad/useless tag than if the tag was actually new.

No-longer-in-use tags should be put into the same category as new tags - you need at least the minimum (250) rep to start a question with one or edit one into your question.

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2  
+1 I'm thinking that a tag eliminated like that should need a higher rep than 250 to put it back in (maybe 500 since that's when you get tag edit privileges), but from a system perspective, putting it back to 250 might be easier. –  Jon Seigel Apr 30 '10 at 22:01

maybe the validation rule should be this...

/* 
 * Of course you only hit this if the user has 250 
 * or less rep (or whatever that is)...
 */
if(tag.exists() and tag.count() > 0)
{
   //ok to use
}
else
{
   //display random unicorn
}
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