Sock your eyeballs on the horde of questions tagged on Stack Overflow. Clearly this is a honeypot for programmers to rifle through their desks, pantries and basements and post whatever tomes tickle their fancy and use for pillows at night. Nobody goes around actively curating them into sanity after they jump into multiple pages.

Let's all move these into their respective tag wikis if they're paired up with a programming language or pattern and kill the ones that are left lying around.

Take for the slaughter, What is the best Python book for experienced programmers?.

Looking at the python tag wiki, we see a very standard, "this is how you tag, this is what's current and here are some starter links".

But we're missing out on all the refined sugar laden in that book list that would greatly make that tag wiki a whole lot more informative for being a right and proper place to kick start reading about said language.

And others still, ill-fit for the question model and crying out to be curated into a sane section on their tag wikis. Book lists such as:

These book lists don't belong as questions. They belong as tag wiki sections.

Shall we go forth and make sense?

  • This has been an issue since 2009 meta.stackexchange.com/questions/14343/… Seems like something should done about it soon. No time like the present, otherwise there will be oodles of duplicate content everywhere. Commented Feb 12, 2012 at 23:11
  • 6
    But a majority of users have no power to really do anything. One user suggests a tag wiki edit to add a few books, then no one else can contribute until that gets approved. And what do we do with the posts once they've been taken care of? Vote to close them? That's not much help. Most of them need deleted. And are we still keeping the tag for those posts marked as "historical significance"?
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Feb 12, 2012 at 23:23
  • Once the posts are put into the tag wikis, delete them, don't frame the lists. If people cared about these lists they would care to curate them @ani
    – random
    Commented Feb 12, 2012 at 23:26
  • How would this be done, exactly? The "Free Programming Books" question is going to be scattered to the Tag Wiki high-winds, unless you put all those books into the [books] tag wiki. In fact, at present, the [books] tag wiki is a meta-list for all those books questions you speak of.
    – user102937
    Commented Feb 13, 2012 at 0:23
  • The best of the meta ones sound like whiteboard guff suitable for concepts on Programmers. Why couldn't the free programming books list be part of the books tag wiki? Sounds suitable for a site on programming @rob
    – random
    Commented Feb 13, 2012 at 0:27
  • You'd have to talk to the P.SE mods about that.
    – user102937
    Commented Feb 13, 2012 at 0:31
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    The Free Programming Books question ought to be doomed. Commented Feb 13, 2012 at 1:18
  • 2
    You've just given me the canonical reference for every callout for an "NC" closing I'll perform for the next ten months. Thank you!
    – casperOne
    Commented Feb 13, 2012 at 3:08

2 Answers 2


It looks like this has started to be done.

IMO, this needs to stop and be reversed immediately.

  • I (many of us) don't want to see a list of "good" books or "hidden" features from some random answerer or tag editor. This is purely subjective and the exact reason the questions were a bad fit for the site!

  • Subjective lists are even worse in a tag wiki, where there's no way to vote on them. The editor either prescribes it or not, and editors may war over entries.

You said:

Nobody goes around actively curating them into sanity after they jump into multiple pages.

How does this address that? We have a real problem with tag wikis not being upkept or even created. Stuffing all this into them doesn't make sense. (Tag wikis may need a size and functionality increase, but certainly as-is I don't see how this can work.)

  • 3
    I'd like to see these questions kept, but putting them in tag wikis is certainly the worst of all worlds. Commented Feb 13, 2012 at 18:13
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    Guess it's because none of these lists belong at all on the site because they only serve to make people smile while being caught off guard by not asking concrete questions
    – random
    Commented Feb 13, 2012 at 18:18
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    Jeff is responsible for all this -- he stood by while the standards were changed, and no effort was made to deal with popular content. Deleting popular questions raises ire, and so does letting it stay. We need a place to put this stuff. Commented Feb 13, 2012 at 18:34
  • 1
    @AdamRackis He ought to delete them right before he leaves ;)
    – user154510
    Commented Feb 13, 2012 at 19:16
  • @Matthew - ha!! That would be a fitting way to go. Commented Feb 13, 2012 at 19:20

As mentioned in the comments by @animuson, a vast majority of users do not have rights to edit tag wikis which means very few are going to end up doing the work. So I propose an alternate workflow for this:

  1. the various answers for these questions are all consolidated into the existing highest voted answer, which will invariably already be CW owned (or will be in short order with enough edits)
  2. once each answer has been consolidated, it can then be flagged for deletion using the Other reason, it will be a simple task for a mod to check the edit history of the main answer to confirm it has been done.
  3. pretty soon there will be a single answer for the question, at this point that single answer can be added to the tag wiki by someone with sufficient rep, and the question itself can be deleted.

TL;DR: It may look like a convoluted process, but consider the following:

  • If the answers are edited directly into a wiki how are we going to tell whether everything has been captured before the question is deleted? If we are going to bother spending the time doing this, then let's do a thorough job, not a "it's close enough" attempt.
  • someone has to actually approve the tag wiki edit for a lot of the SO users, this could end up being a reasonable amount of work. Or do you intend to exclude sub 20K users from assisting with this?
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    nonsense, 1 rep users have the ability to suggest edits to any tag wiki
    – waffles
    Commented Feb 13, 2012 at 0:12
  • 2
    And the workflow you propose is also needlessly complicated. You can copy-paste some links from the (5, 10) most upvoted answers and stick them directly into the tag wiki in a bullet point list without doing progressive merge-and-delete operations.
    – user172164
    Commented Feb 13, 2012 at 0:34
  • @waffles - I realise that, suggested edits are different from normal edits though. I've expanded my answer.
    – slugster
    Commented Feb 13, 2012 at 1:14
  • It's a shame we can't nominate a part of a tag wiki for being editable without review by people with lower rep levels (10k? silver tag badge? don't know). Nomination would have to be on a subpage basis I suppose. Commented Feb 13, 2012 at 1:16

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