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[tag:tag], or , redirects to here, no longer to Stack Overflow.

This is a bit of a problem with some Stack Overflow-specific tag questions, like this one, which now all have essentially broken links.

How should we deal with this problem?

Should we perhaps make [tag:tag] refer to Stack Overflow again (and find new instances of this to manually look at, or change - should be easy enough to automate)?

Is the long terms plans to migrate and/or delete this stuff, so we don't really care right now?

Should we make [tag:tag] refer to Stack Overflow on questions tagged with (and do some work to make sure all the applicable questions have this tag)?

Any other suggestions?

  • The answer to the dupe has it right. We just need to expand the tag magic-link syntax. – Lance Roberts May 7 '14 at 22:05
  • @LanceRoberts I definitely wouldn't call it a duplicate - if the solution presented there is implemented, this still isn't solved - we'll still need to convert the appropriate tags here to [tag:stackoverflow:tag]. And that solution is only really a specific solution to this problem - there are plenty of solutions to this which doesn't apply to that. – Bernhard Barker May 7 '14 at 22:10
  • I was hanging on your last paragraph and its suggestion, but you're right in that there would still be some work to do to fix things right once we have the solution. – Lance Roberts May 7 '14 at 22:11
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We don't need any special features for this. If you encounter something that links to (or at least used to) a tag on Stack Overflow, you have two options:

  1. Close the question as pertaining to a specific site, if it is not relevant to the network as a whole and does not need migrated. Then don't worry about it.

  2. Edit the tag to just be a solid link to the tag on Stack Overflow. This could possibly be an automated process, like the MSO-to-MSE link migration.


We should not let tags that go to Stack Overflow use the normal tag styling. This is one of the reasons why we don't need separate features. The normal tag styling has never been used for inter-site links, and we shouldn't start now. Styling it as a tag has come to imply that it links to the current site and its Meta - nowhere else. So no, links to Stack Overflow should never be styled as tags as that would become unexpected behavior and confuse a lot of users.

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  • I'd assume most (or at least plenty) of these 2k+ questions (among others?) would need fixing. Doesn't seem like a manual process is the way to go. I'm pretty sure we shouldn't be closing all those. – Bernhard Barker May 7 '14 at 22:18
  • Why wouldn't we? They don't belong on MSE, and if nobody wants them back on MSO, then they should be closed. But that's not really the focus of the question. The focus is the links, which should not be formatted as tags. So if you have to edit them to actual links anyways, might as well just close all the questions that don't belong here. – animuson May 7 '14 at 22:54
  • Shog doesn't want us to flag them - I'm not sure whether he's just talking about custom moderator flags or even flagging to close (and thus implicitly voting to close as well). – Bernhard Barker May 7 '14 at 23:02
  • He doesn't want you to flag them for migration. The bar for what should be migrated back to MSO is pretty high. If you see a gem that should be sent, by all means flag it. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't close things that are blatantly off-topic here. And FWIW, it seems pretty pointless to mass fix tag links on questions that are going to be primarily off-topic. – animuson May 7 '14 at 23:05
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    I'm in this camp. This isn't really worth doing (IMHO) overall. Who's going to be browsing [stackoverflow] questions and getting confused by them en masse? Meh. Let's fix the links where it matters and close/delete obsolete questions as needed instead. – Adam Lear May 8 '14 at 0:45
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Hmm. Since this isn't the meta for Stack Overflow anymore, making [tag:tag] direct to SO doesn't make any sense for the future. But for all the posts that were made before the MSO/MSE split, it does make sense.

If it isn't too difficult technically, perhaps there could be a new [SOtag:tag] command or something similar. Or perhaps, just like the redirect on old MSO links to the new MSE, all questions with a number less than X could redirect [tag:tag] back to SO. If we go with the first option (or something similar) I think you're right that the automation should be easy; they fixed all the MSO->MSE links in posts across the network automatically.

Then again, [SOtag:tag] gives SO preferential treatment, and we don't need to open a can of worms for site-specific tags for all sites on MSE. (But if we can prove that this is only a problem with SO-related tags, maybe it wouldn't start us on the slope?)

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  • We might need to account for edits adding [tag:tag] to old posts (assuming it will refer to Meta SE), but I guess those aren't particularly likely. – Bernhard Barker May 7 '14 at 21:44
  • See the second part of my answer. A second syntax is simply not a viable solution. – animuson May 7 '14 at 22:55
  • Rewriting existing tags to point somewhere that's unintuitively (to those unfamiliar with ~*The History*~) different doesn't make much sense either. We could disambiguate as you suggest, but I think animuson has it right in his answer - it's going to be mostly a wasted effort since the majority of the posts this would affect are obsolete now. – Adam Lear May 8 '14 at 0:44

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