For this question I tried to introduce a Tcl8.4 version tag in addition to the pre-existing Tcl tag. Two users already edited/rolledback the question so that the additional tag is not used.

However, the Tcl programming language versions 8.4, 8.5, and 8.6 use different syntax constructs. The nature of Tcl is such that it often is used in a (proprietary) 3rd party application which comes linked against a particular Tcl version which cannot be changed.

Therefore my question is specifically targeted at Tcl8.4. And from a quick glimpse over a few of the other ~250 Tcl questions apparently there are some more questions that are explicitly in the domain of one particular Tcl version.

I can imagine that for non-Tcl users or those not bound to a particular version by 3rd party tools it may seem strange to try and subcategorize a domain of about 250 questions into smaller subdomains, but I believe the special use model of Tcl (probably the most important purposes for its inception) warrants those tags.

Meanwhile I've added a tag description for the Tcl8.4 version tag, and created a Tcl8.5 version tag when adding it to another Tcl question. Now I stopped doing that based on the discouragement received on my initial 8.4 tag.

My questions here are:

  • How should I react to the rollbacks?
  • Are you in favor of version tags for a programming language? If not, why not?
  • Are there any costs involved on the server backend (database, indexing, etc) when a new tag is created?
  • @cfi Yes I did read that and I was debating with myself if that was enough of a requirement for a tag. Or whether or not a statement along those lines would suffice. – Bart Sep 9 '13 at 15:00
  • @amanaP: Good find. It is imho not a duplicate, but an embodiment of Jeff's answer. The point of Tcl is to be linked versus some other code, embedding the interpreter. Then the Tcl version is fixed for users and cannot be changed. Half the Tcl questions will have a fixed version limit unless they are about benchmarks between versions or pure Tcl applications. – cfi Sep 9 '13 at 15:00
  • @amanaP: So if Jeff's answer to your cited Q would be applicable, what should I do with my Q on stackoverflow? Rollback again? – cfi Sep 9 '13 at 15:02
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    tcl is a low volume tag. I believe adding a version specific tag for it is not necessary. An other problem would be tcl8.3 (Hey, why not?). Does answers for Tcl 8.4 not apply to tcl8.3? Also creating a tag for a software that is not longer supported (Tcl 8.4 is end of life) sounds like a bad idea for me. – Johannes Kuhn Sep 9 '13 at 16:30
  • Questions are often closed as duplicates without the reviewers actually taking the time to understand the differences... – cfi Sep 10 '13 at 7:00

I'm against the introduction of different version specific tags.

  • Tcl is highly backward compatible, answers that apply to an older version of Tcl (if not playing with some internal stuff) should also apply for 8.5 or 8.6.
  • The tag has a very low volume. Tags are usually used for the search engine/favorites. A version specific tag can draw attention from the original Tcl tag (Questions tagged but not )
  • We are aware that not everybody has 8.5 or even 8.6. You can mention it in your question, but it is usually not necessary, usually we point such things out our self.

In short: I don't see any benefits from creating such tags.

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    +1; I don't always delete version-specific tags, but when I do, it's because it could fragment a low-volume tag. – Charles Sep 9 '13 at 16:54
  • Well, you totally erased the use of the two newly created Tcl version tags, so I guess you not only see no benefit, but you consider them harmful. May be worthwhile to point that out. From your existing answer & your behavior I can only presume bullet #2 is the point that makes you consider them harmful. Is that correct? – cfi Sep 9 '13 at 16:55
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    A tag for 8.4 may well be actively harmful. There are roughly twenty in two thousand, and people frequently forget that version-specific tags don't include their parents by default. – Charles Sep 9 '13 at 16:59
  • @cfi: Yes. This is one thing I hate about the eggdrop and expect tags. (I only monitor tcl actively, eggdrop and expect have even less volume, but if I had seen some of the expect or eggdrop questions in time, I could have answered them. But it's ok that they exist, they both require some special knowledge from time to time.) – Johannes Kuhn Sep 9 '13 at 17:00
  • Here's where your answer/opinion is inconsistent, if you claim it's ok that version specific tags exist for expect. Essentially I understood that for low volume topics you'd rather have the version mentioned inside the question. Then why would it be ok for expect with even less volume than Tcl? The argument that there are version specific questions for expect also applies to Tcl very much for the same reason: Tcl often being linked against 3rd party tools and thus version restricted (like in my original Q on SO). – cfi Sep 10 '13 at 6:58
  • Wrong. expect and eggdrop are not version specific. But you need some knowledge about eggdrop/expect to answer some of the questions, although I'd prefer if that questions are tagged as tcl as well. – Johannes Kuhn Sep 10 '13 at 17:46

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