By time-sensitive I don't mean, "I need an answer in the next 24 hours or I'm fired." Instead, I mean the opposite of timeless. I think this could be addressed with the existing tag trends, plus the addition of timeless and dated tags.

  • Question that is sensitive to the passing of time, tag with trends (includes questions that are kept current via updates)
  • Old question that succumbed to the passing of time: dated
  • Old question that withstands the test of time on its own, tag with timeless

The timeless tag may be superfluous; an older question that hasn't been tagged with dated is probably timeless.

Other ideas? Overkill?

  • to meta.stackoverflow.com we go! Jan 18, 2010 at 21:37
  • Just to understand, you mean questions like "How do I do X in Office 14 Beta" or "How do I make sure the software we write for the chips in ATM cards works properly in the year 2010?" Jan 18, 2010 at 21:41
  • @ChristopheD, oops. Learned something new :) @Michael, yes. What it brought it to mind was [this question][1]. I was partway through editing my question with some examples when it got closed and moved here. [1]: stackoverflow.com/questions/796258/…
    – user142052
    Jan 18, 2010 at 21:45
  • All things are time-sensitive given a big enough window: sun orbits the earth comes to mind. This would only apply to particularly time-senstive questions in the context of our field (and its relative newness).
    – user142052
    Jan 20, 2010 at 15:43
  • -5 rating means any more discussion at this point is a waste, yes? I agree with the responses that trends is impractical. If I feel strongly about timeless in a few months perhaps I'll propose just that tag. Thanks for the feedback, everyone. This can be closed.
    – user142052
    Jan 20, 2010 at 15:46

4 Answers 4


I don't know that a tag is necessary in cases like this. For one thing, practically everything development-related is temporal in nature -- what we do today is not what we will do tomorrow. (One of my highest-voted SO answers is a classic example of this.)

So by definition the majority of SO questions would have this tag, or be appropriate candidates for this tag.

You bring up the idea of a [timeless] tag; these questions are more rare. They do exist -- many questions on best practices, design patterns, etc., will be timeless (or near enough) in nature. However, is it worth using one of five tag slots for this?


I think people can tell for themselves whether something is dated, and there'll rarely be an official consensus as it's more of a matter of opinion. As long as the content is stated clearly, we should be fine. :D


Most questions are time-sensitive in the sense that answers have the possibility of changing. While some books remain relevant for long time ("The Mythical Man-Month" comes to mind), new books are constantly being written, and some of them are better than the old ones. Languages change over time. So does software: questions about Visual Studio.NET 2005 are still of some interest, but that's going to fade over time. Even design principles change, although slowly.

I also don't think any tagging scheme like this is going to be applied consistently. Some questions will remain untagged forever, even when they're hardly timeless. Some people will be dated-happy. In any case, I'll have to search for questions and discard what looks dated myself.

In short, I don't think it's worth bothering with.


The proposal requires the tagger to either see into the future, or to undertake the labor of auditing the past. One is impossible, the other drudgery.

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