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What's the point in having the arrays tag on SO?

Are there any experts focusing on these datastructures in a language-agnostic manner?

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SO isn't just for experts, you know. I'm an amateur yet for some strange reason I'm on the leaderboard for the tag o_O –  BoltClock's a Unicorn Mar 19 '11 at 22:03

4 Answers 4

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Simply put, most people like to describe there post(by tags) as much as possible, even if the classifications are mostly useless.

Personally, I think this behavior should be discouraged, but the tag blacklist would have to be extremely huge for very little gain. For instance, it's not like the array tag is actually hurting anything.

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If the programming hurdle they're trying to get their leg over is about how to manipulate an array, they would plonk in the tag because it's a tag that accurately describes the content of the question.

Array data types come with their own set of specific functions, limitations and other such headaches or trip ups.

Example tagged questions might include:

  • "How does an array work?"
  • "Why does an array start at zero?"
  • "What array sort method keeps the associative keys intact?"
  • "Why does this array only keep one value when clearly being added to in a loop?"

If the question merely contains an array in the jungle mix of code, then it's probably a badly tagged question. Go ahead and retag it appropriately when possible.

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It describes it, but in what way is it actually useful? –  Earlz Mar 18 '11 at 23:23
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May as well get rid of all data type tags (string, floating point, doubles, booleans) since nobody likes working with data type specific functions, limitations, problems... @ear –  random Mar 18 '11 at 23:26
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but when a person is skimming their list of questions, do they actually look at the array tag and thing oh, I know things about arrays. I don't know about you, but to me their pointless. strings and floating point convey a bit more information enough to where it could expand to how does a C-string work or how are floating point numbers stored in bits. array is an extremely generic case basically akin to tagging something with variable –  Earlz Mar 18 '11 at 23:35
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"How does an array work?", "How is an array stored in a variable?", "Why does an array start at zero?", "What array sort method keeps the keys intact?", "Why does this array only keep one value?" blah blah blah @ear –  random Mar 18 '11 at 23:41
    
eh, good points. Most questions tagged as such are of the form "why doesn't my function work" where function includes something with an array, but is not actually about the semantics of an array –  Earlz Mar 19 '11 at 0:30

Um... You can search by tag. It's really useful. Probably one of the best uses of tags.

Try it...

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It may be fairly boring by itself, but combine it with your favorite programming language, and it becomes useful. For example, looking at http://stackoverflow.com/questions/tagged/ruby%2barrays?sort=votes&pagesize=15 , you can see that the top voted question about Ruby arrays has 28 votes for it.

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