There are questions requesting and suggesting a mark-down to create database tables / table formatter featues in the post editor panel. It seems these features are still under consideration. My suggestion is different yet supports the above requests.

So can we perhaps add a mechanism in SO to encourage users to include a sample table schema (CREATE, INSERT commands) within code snippet or a link such as SQLFiddle?

By doing so, user is providing claffication and required background info for his/her question. Which is crucial, specially in SQL perspective.

E.g. New tag is mainly focus on user's specific sql database/table queries and not general to all sorts of sql questions. So when questions are tagged using this particular tag, user is required to include their table schema in the question.

This is just a suggestion only. If can achieve, that's helpful as we encounter poor table descriptions, no table descriptions at all in the related questions.


There is no need for such a tag. Not any more than a tag for questions that include the relevant code/html/whatever.

If a question doesn't contain enough information to be answered, post a comment requesting additional information, and if the asker doesn't provide it, vote or flag to close.

There's nothing special about SQL here. Adding tags that somehow forced the asker to include the relevant pieces of the puzzle is simply impossible (how could the system detect that the relevant information is there?), and wouldn't help anyway – people who don't feel like providing that information wouldn't add the tag, and people who do care would already have provided the information (either directly or upon request for clarification).
In both cases we're back to where we are now: some people know how to post good questions and are responsive to constructive comments, some don't and aren't. A new tag won't change that.

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  • If there won't be a new tag, can we have a trigger similar to 'editting a question'. (When we edit a question, the textbox prompts us to include what changes we have made to the question. Which is mandatory. ) So when the existing SQL tag is added, user must enter the relevant table schema info for the question. I understand it's not system's duty to force/make people post better questions... Agree with you in that case as an asker is reponsible for asking a good question if he needs a good answer.. – bonCodigo Nov 17 '12 at 9:39
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    Again, how could the system enforce that? How could it be automatically determined that a post contains the appropriate schema information? – Mat Nov 17 '12 at 9:42
  • For an e.g. does the system determine a post has been appropriately editted? I didn't mean for an automatic detection of the contents. So it's a matter of at least directing/forcing the users to the routine of posting appropriate data. :) – bonCodigo Nov 17 '12 at 10:28
  • The editing heuristics are relatively simple - 6 chars minimum change, plus some heuristics for detecting non-formatted code. The validation is done by humans in the suggested edit review. For people with more that 2k rep, there is nothing at all that determines if an edit is appropriate or not. Reviews are already in place for first posts and low-quality posts. – Mat Nov 17 '12 at 10:30
  • Mat I am not opposing to what you say. When a question is tagged as SQL is it too costly to prompt the user to enter/update question with table schema data? Well in terms of site's maintenance/ resource allocation point of view, may be it's useless. But it will still add some perspective into the way users will ask SQL based questions. So they know the need to prepare their table schema before posting that question. Then commentators or other users who want to answer that question can comment/flag if the post prolong to remain poor with relevant info. – bonCodigo Nov 17 '12 at 10:41
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    It's not costly to prompt. It's useless though. Some people post horrid questions, completely ignoring all the advice that is given when you post a question. Other people do read, but those will usually already have most of the appropriate data in their questions, and if not will post when asked for - an extra dialog or tip won't help for the "bad guys", and won't often help for the good ones - they'll already be posting what they think is useful. – Mat Nov 17 '12 at 11:07

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