I notice that almost always gets a or added to them.

Is there a major difference in the way SE treats the tag from other questions? And if yes, how are they treated differently?

Note: I'm not asking about when I should use one tag over the other - that's pretty self-explanatory. I am asking if Stack Exchange treats the differently from other tags, and if so how.

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    That evil Naz... oh, wait! – yannis Jun 19 '12 at 13:50
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    Not trying to be a smart ass (I tend more toward the dumb kind!), but do you mean beyond the obvious? That is; they may consider such posts as features to implement or not? – Andrew Barber Jun 19 '12 at 13:55
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    @AndrewBarber Yes, I mean beyond the obvious. Does SE specifically track these tags and do their best to actually complete them? Is there some kind of % completed report SE keeps track of? I'm trying to figure out why a moderator rolled back a tag change twice, and then actually locked the question so I couldn't change the tags to make a question a [feature-request]. It seemed a little extreme over some tags... – Rachel Jun 19 '12 at 13:57
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    They have their special tab - meta.stackoverflow.com/?tab=requests – ChrisF Jun 19 '12 at 14:03
  • @ChrisF Thanks, I didn't know that about MSO. Other SE site metas don't appear to have that tab though. – Rachel Jun 19 '12 at 14:42
  • Ah, they don't. I think it's to do with the volume of posts here opposed to the child metas. – ChrisF Jun 19 '12 at 14:47
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    It's probably because meta.so is the place for feature requests for the SO engine, but the others are metas for specific sites only. – finnw Jun 19 '12 at 14:57

The process is a bit handwavy at the moment, but we (the community team) keep an eye on meta sites across the network.

questions are intended to be for questions that ask for a change to particular functionality. We look for a concise description of a the motivation and the proposed changes. Maybe a link to a related discussion.

Some of these don't even require employee involvement. Not all requests are considered right away, some require extensive discussion, some would be approved/declined outright.

So, basically... yes, we monitor questions and respond when needed. They're not treated special per se, but we do keep an eye on them same as we look at , , etc.

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    I think the question that caused this inquiry is probably something that could use some SE input, as it keeps getting bumped/reasked in what seems to be a (not so) subtle request for you guys to complete/decline. – user149432 Jun 20 '12 at 5:48
  • @MarkTrapp Thanks for the heads up. I'll respond to that ... soon. (I want to say tomorrow, but my days have this crazy tendency to get away from me.) – Adam Lear Jun 21 '12 at 2:26
  • Thanks Anna: I think the answer is probably pretty obvious, but answers from you guys have special magic juju. :) – user149432 Jun 21 '12 at 4:34

SE corporate examines feature requests specifically. They will look at your question, see that 1. it is old, and 2. it is unresolved, and evaluate it based on its merit. Then, like any other software shop, they will either prioritize it (probably putting it at the bottom of their todo list), or issue a [status-declined]. If you get a [status-declined] it's game over.

Changing a tag from [discussion] to [feature-request] months after a question was originally posted seems inadvisable. The question has already gone through its life-cycle, and changing a fundamental tag like this is essentially the same as rewording a question to get a new answer; it invalidates all of the existing answers.

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The difference between the two is the intent:

If the discussion is about a site feature, it's quite common for a to eventually evolve to a .

If that happens, ask a new question. Editing (retagging) an old question is unlikely to receive enough attention from the guys with the power.

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  • Thanks, but my question was about if Stack Exchange treats the tag differently, not about how users use/view the tag – Rachel Jun 19 '12 at 14:05
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    @Rachel Dennis answered the first version of your question, and you invalidated his answer by completely changing the nature of your question. Don't do that, it's extremely rude to waste people's time like this. – yannis Jun 19 '12 at 14:09
  • @YannisRizos The first version of the question included some history and backstory which was really unrelated to the question I was asking, and users were focusing too much on that so I removed it. Dennis, I'm sorry if the change invalidated your answer, but this really doesn't answer the question I was asking in the first place. Perhaps you could update your answer? – Rachel Jun 19 '12 at 14:11
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    @Rachel: I'm not really sure what kind of answer you're looking for. There are "completed" and "declined" discussions, but they form only 3% of all discussions. In contrast, 21% of all feature requests have been completed or declined. – Dennis Jun 19 '12 at 14:42
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    That could be due to the fact that SE looks at them differently, but it's also due to the fact that most discussions can't get completed or declined. For all partical purposes, my answer doesn't change: If you want your "discussion" to get decided, open a proper feature request. – Dennis Jun 19 '12 at 14:42
  • @Dennis I'm looking for an answer from Stack Exchange about if they handle questions tagged [feature-request] differently than other questions, and if so, how. – Rachel Jun 19 '12 at 14:43
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    @Rachel: Then how was I supposed to update my answer? – Dennis Jun 19 '12 at 14:45
  • @Dennis I didn't know if you would have that sort of information or not. SE is usually pretty transparent about how their system works, so I thought this question might have been answered somewhere on meta already (I didn't find it in any searches I did, but I know I might have just been using the wrong keywords) – Rachel Jun 19 '12 at 14:51

[feature-request] almost certainly refers to a request for a change in the software that runs SE, not a discussion about closing policies or changing the name of something.

The change to the [feature-request] tag is probably being perceived as an attempt to do an end-run around the community. Granted, the developers at SE are probably the only ones that have the power to change the name of a site, but wouldn't it be nice to get community consensus first? I don't think you have that yet.

Feature requests are looked at by SE corporate specifically. But it's the wrong way to get an appeal. Write to team@stackexchange.com, or post a more general question here at meta if you want an appeal.

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  • I'm a bit confused by your answer. Are you saying the only time I should be using [feature-request] on any meta site is for when I want a chance to the Stack Exchange platform? And I shouldn't use it for requesting changes to specific SE sites, like faq updates? – Rachel Jun 19 '12 at 14:10
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    I think you're missing the point. You need community consensus first for a name change. – user102937 Jun 19 '12 at 15:00
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    For the record, you're making waaayyy too much of the site name. "Stack Overflow" doesn't say anything about the site's scope, nor does "Super User" or "Server Fault." The Apple site is called "Ask Different." The name has nothing to do with the scope. – user102937 Jun 19 '12 at 15:05
  • I'm looking for an answer about if Stack Exchange treats questions tagged [feature-requests] different from other questions, and if so how. I do not want to get into a discussion about an unrelated question on P.SE meta. If you'd like to make a comment about the P.SE question, please post it there – Rachel Jun 19 '12 at 15:11
  • Can't do that. It's locked. Isn't that kinda why we're all here? >_< – user102937 Jun 19 '12 at 15:19
  • Yeah... Yannis won't remove the lock and said it will expire after a while. I'm here because I was trying to figure out why he was making such a big deal out of the [feature-request] tag, and the only reasonable explanation I can think of is that SE must treat the tag differently. – Rachel Jun 19 '12 at 15:20
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    @Rachel Hm, if I'm not mistaken I gave you an explanation in chat. You can't bypass the community by changing a six month old discussion to a feature request, that's unacceptable, people may have upvoted and interesting discussion, that doesn't mean however that they upvote it as a feature request. And obviously people don't have to check back six month old questions just in case you decided to completely change their nature on a whim. Now, if you have issues with my moderation, bring them up on ProgSE Meta or contact SE directly. – yannis Jun 19 '12 at 15:30
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    I'm not a moderator on the site in question, but I'm inclined to agree with @Yannis. I don't consider the tag change an appropriate maneuver. For someone who talks so much about rules, you seem quite willing to bend them when it suits you. – user102937 Jun 19 '12 at 15:34
  • That's fine, I plan on leaving the P.SE meta question as a [discussion]. This question is not about the P.SE meta question, nor is it about the disagreement between me and Yannis. It is about if SE treats [feature-request] questions differently than regular questions, and if so, how. I am doing my best to keep it on-topic in comments, however some users keep dragging the P.SE meta question into it, which is what I didn't want in the first place. I even left the link out entirely until another user asked for it in a (now deleted) comment and I edited the question to include it. – Rachel Jun 19 '12 at 15:41
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    SE corporate examines feature requests specifically. They will look at your question, see that 1. it is old, and 2. it is unresolved, and evaluate it based on its merit. Then, like any other software shop, they will either prioritize it (probably putting it at the bottom of their todo list), or [status-decline] it. If you get a [status-declined] it's game over. – user102937 Jun 19 '12 at 15:43
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    [status-gameover] would be awesome ;) – yannis Jun 19 '12 at 15:44
  • @RobertHarvey Thank you, that is the sort of answer I was looking for. You should edit your answer to include include a more detailed version of what SE Corporate looks at and how they treat [feature-request] questions, and I'll accept it :) – Rachel Jun 19 '12 at 15:46

The tag wiki explains the tag (emphasis mine):

You have an idea for a new feature to be added, or for a change in existing functionality. Great!

Your question should contain the details of your proposal, including a justification of why the new feature is needed and/or how it can improve the community. Basically, prove to the administration that they should spend time developing your feature.

I think that explains the tag nicely, basically you use it for things that can only be done by Stack Exchange (and not the community). There are four ways your request may go:

Worth noting that whether feature requests will be implemented or not is completely up to Stack Exchange, it's not uncommon for massively upvoted requests to be declined.

I am asking if Stack Exchange treats the feature-request differently from other tags, and if so how.

They gather around a round table, and discuss the feature for a while. Then Rebecca Chernoff decides if the feature will be build or not. Most of the times the rest of the team is under the illusion that they had some say in the final decision, but it's always rchern, the puppet master, that decides. (:

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    [status-planned] has been used a few times lately. – Dennis Jun 19 '12 at 14:29
  • Although I agree with you about the definition of the tag, this does not answer my question about if SE treats the tag differently – Rachel Jun 19 '12 at 14:30
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    @Rachel The tags seem to have different purposes, which suggests they are dealt with differently – simchona Jun 19 '12 at 14:32
  • @simchona Yes, and my question is how are they dealt with differently :) – Rachel Jun 19 '12 at 14:37
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    this does not answer my question about if SE treats the tag differently You just asked "if", not just "how". Your main question was answered. – simchona Jun 19 '12 at 14:38
  • @simchona I added a note to clarify the question which stated I am asking if Stack Exchange treats the [feature-request] differently from other tags, *and if so how*. I updated the question once more to clarify that again in the main question since some users seemed to have missed it. Thanks :) – Rachel Jun 19 '12 at 14:47

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