I was looking at the tag, which said:

DO NOT USE - Removed as part of https://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/128315/the-great-stack-overflow-tag-question-cleanup-of-2012.

I've updated the page so it now reads:

DO NOT USE - Removed as part of https://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/128315/the-great-stack-overflow-tag-question-cleanup-of-2012. That page has now (2012-08-21) been removed, leaving you without much information about what to do now. Do not use the tag; consider removing it from existing questions.

But that isn't very helpful to anyone who was not involved. And there are more than one thousand questions, so the tag isn't going away any time soon.

(Incidentally, the tag is still being actively used: 3 in the last 24 hours (though I've now untagged those 3, leaving 'context' out of the tagging altogether), 1 yesterday, and 3 on 17th August, ...)

Two questions arise:

  1. Do we need the 'Great Stack Overflow Tag Wiki Cleanup' to remove the references to the defunct 'Great Stack Overflow Tag Cleanup' URL? How many other Tag Wiki entries have 404 URLs because of this?
  2. What is an appropriate replacement Wiki text for tags that have been ... deprecated.

(I'm aware of What happened with the "Great Stack Overflow tag cleanup of 2012"? question. When I last looked, it just said that the URL went 404 because it was no longer needed. But that doesn't address the remaining references to the non-existent.)

  • 1
    Well, ideally the tags get removed (if useless) and then the tag wiki disappears like magic – Ben Brocka Aug 21 '12 at 21:14
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    We could start “The Great Stack Overflow Tag Wiki Cleanup” ... – Bart Aug 21 '12 at 21:16

I went through these tags quickly, with the following rules:

  • If there's a clear, consistent meaning apparent from its use, I removed the "DO NOT USE" - there may be some misuse, but that's not worth throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

  • If there's no clear, consistent meaning apparent from its use on the site, I burninate the tag.

  • If it's a meta tag, I burninate the tag.

As a result, the following tags were removed:

  • Sadly, this was used far more by folks trying to update something - anything - than in questions about the SQL Update statement.

  • Essentially a meta tag in most cases.

  • A pure meta tag. Many of these should probably be removed, but some interview questions are perfectly valid questions on their own; either way, the classification of these did little for them.

  • Wildly varying uses.

  • Very inconsistent usage.

  • Very inconsistent usage.

  • Most consistent usage was for the CSS attribute, but this also included the minority of the questions.

  • Extremely ambiguous.

  • At least three completely different meanings with no clear winner.

  • Primary use was to denote bugs in code being posted.

  • A favorite of folks who copy their titles into the tag box.

  • For the people (...who copy their titles into the tag box).

  • Several disparate uses, none consistent.

  • ...is the tag box, until you copy your title into it.

  • Yes, I burninated child. Infanticide has never been easier!

  • A tag list has multiple values, after you copy your title into it.

  • rarely used for anything useful or consistent.

  • meta tag

  • is a problem you might have to contend with if you routinely copy your title into the tag field. Solution: shorter titles!

  • Largest cohesive usage was for SharePoint. Majority involved a transformation of titles into tags.

  • rectangle, online, box, horizontal, large, pause, start, vertical, team, power, disabled, community, accuracy, attack, technology, force... tags, titles, something something

  • meta tag.

  • meta tag.

  • meta tag.

  • ambiguous

Troggy is fat and happy


Please care for the widows and orphans!

(for a lot of these, you'll want to just flag for deletion)

  • 3
    Oh, hello 449 untagged questions. :) Going through them, I'm voting to close/delete a lot of them rather than retagging... – animuson Aug 22 '12 at 0:10
  • Excellent. Does this include a blacklist, or just removal? – Robert Harvey Aug 22 '12 at 0:15
  • Just removal. It's possible a few of these are worth blacklisting, but I'm not gonna guess at which ones. – Shog9 Aug 22 '12 at 0:17
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    Down to less than 300 untagged now. Curse you and your delightfully burninating ways! – Charles Aug 22 '12 at 3:50
  • A lot of the higher scoring ones had interview-questions as the only tag. Given that they're either off topic or non-constructive now, I'm having a really, really hard time tagging them with anything that makes sense. Time to break out those close votes after all. – Charles Aug 22 '12 at 3:57
  • I'm especially glad to see that you seem to have restored time to normal status. I never understood why that one was subject to cleanup. – Josh Caswell Aug 22 '12 at 6:14

Edit the tag wiki to state which tags should be used as replacement for , if any. (For example: if used in combination with , retag to . etc.)

If there is a specific meta question about this tag, link to it.

If the tag is indicative of questions that should be closed, say that.

If the tag is absolutely useless, remove it if it's only used on a handful of questions, or make a meta post requesting removal by a developer otherwise.

(This is what should have been done in the first place. Now we're doing the Great Stack Overflow Tag Cleanup Cleanup...)

As an example, here's what I just wrote in the tag wiki. The idea is to give pointers to the tag that people should use instead. There are probably more than I don't know about, please edit the tag wiki if you see other cases that should be mentioned (browse [context] -[android] and look for common meanings of ).

DO NOT USE - Deprecated as part of "The great Stack Overflow tag/question cleanup of 2012". Please use a more specific tag instead, such as:

  • for Android contexts
  • for context menus
  • or just if your question is about HttpContext objects in C#, Java or PHP
  • if your question is e.g. which function (for example) a variable can be used in
  • etc.

If you mean to refer to the concept of contexts, rather than to some technical phrase that contains the word context, you should probably use other, more informative tags.

Consider removing the tag from existing questions. Replace it by a more appropriate tag if appropriate. If you edit a question, please don't just remove the tag; while you're at it, see if there's any other issue to fix: missing tags, spelling and grammar mistakes, bad formatting, vague title, …

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    Whatever you do, don't reference this question in your edits. Then we'll have to go the Great Stack Overflow Tag Cleanup Cleanup Cleanup. – Charles Aug 21 '12 at 22:29
  • I have almost never clicked through to the tag wiki when tagging a post. We have to make sure all the pertinent information (like alternative tags) are in the excerpt. – Mystery Aug 21 '12 at 22:58
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    @Purmou I put a couple of them in the excerpt, but I'm not sure if that's right. The excerpt is a single paragraph in small type, you quickly reach information overload. I wonder if it would be better to write only “DO NOT USE — see tag wiki for information” in the excerpt. – Gilles Aug 21 '12 at 23:00
  • That would work better, I think, but even then, I honestly doubt new users would pay much attention (given how poorly they tag their first few questions)... – Mystery Aug 21 '12 at 23:01
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    @Purmou Yeah, the tag wikis target the minority who pay attention. Developers can blacklist a tag, which prevents asking a question with the tag and forces removing it if you ever edit the question, but they tend to be very reluctant to use it. If you think a tag should be blacklisted, make a request on meta (and make it VERY clear that you only want a blacklist and not a mass-removal (burnination)), but don't hold your breath. – Gilles Aug 21 '12 at 23:07
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    Thank you, @Gilles, for the work on the context tag wiki. I've gone and added 'context-free-grammar' to the context tag wiki (which was the relevant tag for the question where I uncovered the problem). – Jonathan Leffler Aug 22 '12 at 0:21

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