Recently I watched the tag disappear in one fell swoop (over a period of 3-4 hours). While there were only around 120 questions so tagged, it was a fairly valid tag when referring to the .NET Framework Base Class Library. There's even a team at MS specifically dedicated to just the BCL:

BCL Team Blog - Basetypes, Collections, Diagnostics, IO, RegEx...

Should major re-tagging exercises be voted for first by the community before a single user makes an arbitrary decision to remove a niche tag such as this one?


In the case of anything major, Yes

In particular, we (♦ moderators) can now do batch retags:

  • saving lots of your time
  • with community agreement (probably the biggest point you were trying to make)
  • avoiding lots of updates that block the front page

See the above post for my proposed process... with example

  • +1; looking at the example, I think this process you suggest will work fine – Jonik Jul 6 '09 at 14:55

If bcl referred to the .NET Base Class Library then it should really have the tag .net-bcl.

If I came upon something tagged bcl, I would have no idea what it was referring to. If instead it was tagged .net-bcl, at least I would be able to determine that it is related to .net.

  • 1
    @Brad: And yet, it would always need to be accompanied by the .NET tag. So what would the true benefit to this be? – GEOCHET Jul 6 '09 at 16:32
  • +1 and I agree with your sentiments. But if your world involves living in the BCL then you know what it means. If you live in Verilog world then there are specific phrases and tags that light up your verilog parts of the brain that others would just ignore. But .net-bcl is a good tag all the same. – Kev Jul 6 '09 at 16:32
  • @kev: Give us an example question where this would make it easier to find said question if it had that tag. – GEOCHET Jul 6 '09 at 16:34

The BCL tag was used to describe the .NET framework. It was used incorrectly as a duplicate of .NET. There is no value added by referring to .NET as the BCL interchangeably.

It should also be pointed out that the process is already throttled thanks to the horrible captcha system we have in place.

At least with individual editors reviewing each question and manually reviewing tags there is the 'human element'. Automating this will be cold and unforgiving and will be a lot more likely to exhibit problems.

  • The BCL is a subset of .NET; I wonder how many questions were verified before mass retagging; I expect many genuinely were BCL questions. – Marc Gravell Jul 6 '09 at 14:36
  • 1
    @Marc: Feel free to look through them, but I didn't find any that had any value in having the BCL tag. Here is an example: stackoverflow.com/questions/1082442 – GEOCHET Jul 6 '09 at 14:38
  • 1
    Also, I know at least one user who tags every .NET question he asks as 'BCL' instead of '.NET'. It is likely an attempt for a badge considering the questions and the rate of them. – GEOCHET Jul 6 '09 at 14:39
  • The tagline of the BCL team blog says it all and many questions were about BCL classes. If you're referring to anything in Systems.Collections, for example, then that's validly BCL. – Kev Jul 6 '09 at 14:42
  • 1
    I don't have any real stake in this argument one way or another...but when I think of a problem with Systems.Collections, I personally am not going to think BCL. I am going to think .NET and that is how I (and I would imagine your average .NET user) would tag it. – TheTXI Jul 6 '09 at 14:44
  • 1
    I don't think I ever got a really logical explanation as to why BCL would be a preferred tag. How many people would ever know to tag their questions as such and how many people would actually search for BCL? If this is a case of a BCL tag AND a .NET tag, I could understand based on my preference for broad tagging and then specific tagging. But if you are just using a BCL tag and no .NET tag it wouldn't make any sense at all to me and I would have no idea what BCL stood for off the top of my head. – TheTXI Jul 6 '09 at 15:35
  • @TheTXI - I don't understand the context or the correctness of tags that relate to say Verilog related questions, I'm vaguely familiar with the tech but wouldn't start editing tags: stackoverflow.com/questions/177532/…. So if you don't know the subtleys of the relationship between BCL and .NET then you should leave alone to people who do. If the question was tagged with BCL and was about say a BCL specific type then the valid re-tagging option was to widen the tagging by ADDING .NET. not removing BCL. – Kev Jul 6 '09 at 15:41
  • 1
    @TheTXI: Some people just like to whine and complain. BCL is useless in the situations I looked at. Feel free to look through them. I know I looked at each one, and they met the criteria of "Person does not understand that BCL is .NET". Mentioning strings and then tagging 'BCL' is just stupid. – GEOCHET Jul 6 '09 at 15:44
  • @TheTXI - again using my example above regarding Verilog tools, if you're deeply familiar with the technology then you know the tags to search on. I've been up to my eyes in the BCL since 2000, to me certain parts of the framework are still 'BCL' and the very presence of a team dedicated to BCL kinda backs up my argument. Why not get them to change their name to .NET Framework Team as well? – Kev Jul 6 '09 at 15:47
  • 1
    I wonder if Kev started the bcl tag and is trying to get a badge for it. – Brad Gilbert Jul 6 '09 at 17:21
  • @brad: Sure seems that way huh? How else can you justify this sort of attack with no reasoning? – GEOCHET Jul 6 '09 at 17:22
  • 1
    None of the tags for the Verilog question Kev pointed out, were in any way, specific to Verilog, except the verilog tag itself. – Brad Gilbert Jul 6 '09 at 17:26
  • 1
    Kev, just listen for a moment, we are talking about the whole community, not just your small part of it. So please keep that in mind when discussing things on this forum. – Brad Gilbert Jul 6 '09 at 17:29
  • 1
    @Brad: By that reasoning, why not just re-tag everything 'programming-related' and be done with it? Everything's a subset of something. – Andy Mikula Jul 6 '09 at 22:34

I would definitely like to see a community vote for mass tag merging. I would also like it if regular users (with more rep than ~1000) could suggest tags to be merged for normal users. There are many tags that should be merged that I think the moderators just don't have time to look for (for example datastructures and data-structures).

  • 1
    For now, MSO is your forum for this; see my post on this thread. – Marc Gravell Jul 6 '09 at 14:37

I would have to wonder what good it would do putting it up for a community vote. If it is a niche tag, are you sure there are going to be enough people who would advocate for it remaining up against a larger number of people potentially ignorant of the possible implications?

  • 1
    Or how about the mechanism behind it? Now you are voting it, and then destroying it all. One of the editors going through the entire mess and reviewing each one is much less error prone in my opinion. – GEOCHET Jul 6 '09 at 16:49

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .