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If a question refers to an error code or a exception type like ORA-12345 or IllegalArgumentException etc., is it a good practice to add a tag with this information?

Or should a more general or tag be used?

I am tempted to add specific tags to some question so that users can simply click on the tag instead of typing.

Example: exception EInoutError in the Data Module at 000C50BC I/O Error 103 has the tag. If I add another tag with the specific exception class name, , users could click on the tag to see related questions where the same exception was reported. Users could then find possible causes for this specific exception.

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2 Answers 2

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Tags are only useful if they're useful.

Sorry - I couldn't resist the circular reference there, but it's true. When adding a tag to a question I always think "Would there be some commonality between questions that have this tag?". Take for example the .net ArgumentException, would there be value in two questions sharing this tag if they were, for example:

  • I'm calling the MessageBox.Show method and receiving an ArgumentException
  • Creating a database connection throws an ArgumentException

In this example, apart from the obvious "one of the arguments you're passing is wrong", there's no commonality between the questions and the answers are likely to be specific to the circumstances and the values that the OP is passing to the method calls.

users could find possible causes for this specific exception

Many exceptions can have wildly varying causes, as I've suggested above, depending on context. So in short, would the tag add value to the site as a method of categorising questions and allowing users to view questions.

(I'm well aware that tags like are so generic as to contradict my argument above, but in the tag domain that exists for stackoverflow, tags such as are almost "super" tags and thus my argument doesn't apply)

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I can't imagine somone having a favorite tag, ignord tag, subscribed to or searching for the tag Error. Its simply to vaugue since every thing has errors. Its like having a tag code.

So I'm of the opinion that no, it wouldn't help. But I could be wrong

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