When I do a manual retag, I'll often find other tags that look "off" and investigate further. These tangent tags usually lead to handfuls of questions that need retagging as well. If after a thorough search, the desired tag doesn't exist, then I'll create it.

During my retagging session this past Saturday, I ended up creating quite a few new tags in that process. Having created this many is abnormal, but so it goes.

John Saunders approached me directly by e-mail shortly thereafter. He noticed I had created these tags, and suggested that (a) some of them may not be appropriate, and (b) I get some feedback on Meta to improve the process for the future. I agreed completely.

So, here are the tags I created, with an explanation of either their current status, my thought process (or lack thereof), etc. Note: all the new tags are linkified for convenience, even though they don't show up with an underline. Also, between the time I got the list of tags from John and going back to analyze, some of the tags' statuses had changed.

  1. [dual-boot] - This was a retag of a handful of questions marked with [dualboot]. Not much to say here, as I think it was straight-forward.

  2. [event-notification] - I don't see any questions with this tag now, though I remember creating it. I had run into several questions that mentioned event notification, so at that point I figured there should be a tag for it as people were using that terminology.

  3. [monitor-refresh-rate] - There was a single question about programmatically changing the refresh rate of the display, however that question seems to have disappeared and I can't find it under any tag now.

  4. [display-properties] - I put this on question 245102. There was no existing [display-settings] either, and I thought using the word 'properties' was more appropriate to find that particular question. I'm really not sure how else to describe that question with a tag.

  5. [device-disconnection] - This was used by 544875, where the question-asker needed to respond to an event when an external hard drive was disconnected from the system. I did my best on that question, as it was somewhat vague.

  6. [virtual-driver] - No questions are currently tagged with this. 540267 was asked by the same user as 544875, and I took the language used verbatim without thinking, transposing [virtual] [driver] into [virtual-driver]. I made a 2nd edit within the 5 minute window and changed [virtual-driver] to [virtual-drive], but the new tag remained.

  7. [virtual-desktop] - 509733 deals with errors in a class that creates a virtual desktop in C#. Now that I go back and read the question more thoroughly, it really doesn't have too much to do with virtual desktops, and is more of a newbie/fix-my-compiler-errors question. I'm on the fence as to whether [virtual-desktop] should be kept or discarded at this point.

  8. [libsvn] - A single question (1564797) deals with this SVN library. There is also [libsvm], but that is something completely different (I thought it might have been a typo, but it's not).

  9. [getexitcodeprocess] - 1763686. Brainfart. I've already removed this one and put [exit-code] on it (and merged [exitcode] (3) and [exit-status] (1) into [exit-code] (29) while I was at it).

  10. [disk-space] - This was created as the anticipated target for a merge with [diskspace] (50) which I discovered in my retagging. I haven't gone through those questions at all to see if it's a valid merge, but with 50 questions on it, it most likely is, or is pretty darn close.

  11. [virtual-file] - 2157682 was interested in finding a way of executing a program that didn't physically exist in a file on the disk. Honestly I was at a bit of a loss as to how to tag this question, even though I knew what it was asking.

  12. [file-indexing] - I put this on 2238606, and I thought it was pretty straight-forward at the time. Now that I look back there is also [indexingservice], which may be more appropriate, or at least supplementary.

That's it. I really appreciate John contacting me about this (and also the way he did it, too). I truly want what's best for the site, and the feedback I get here should help me become a more productive member of the community.

EDIT: Thank you all for the feedback. I was expecting a lot more constructive criticism, but if everyone is content with what I'm doing, then I will happily continue. As I said, I welcome any/all feedback (not limited just to retagging) so send me an e-mail if you think it's appropriate. There's a direct e-mail link on my website. Thanks!

closed as too localized by Jeff Atwood Mar 26 '10 at 7:06

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    It looks like your putting some thought into these, and I think you're on the right track. Keep up the good work. – Lance Roberts Mar 23 '10 at 16:15

Thanks, Jon, for bringing this to meta. I appreciate your hard work, and your willingness to discuss this with the community.

I noticed these tags while using the "Questions with newly-created tags" link that 10k users have access to. I'll occasionally use this tool to correct misspelled tags, or tags entered by users who don't understand what tags are. That's why I was so surprised to see Jon's name there! I've frequently seen his name on the posts he edits, and knew he was a good community-member who works hard to make the sites better. He's exactly the opposite if the kind of user I expect to see there!

I don't have particular problems with most of his particular tags. I have some question as to how many other users will follow the same thought process Jon followed and will reach the same tags he did, but that remains to be seen. I notice that one of his tags already has about six uses, so I guess I'm answered on that particular tag.

Jon, thanks again for all your hard work.


Looks good to me, thanks for doing this work, and for putting so much consideration into it!


I'd say that last one (12) could be validly tagged indexing-service because it is about checking to see if the Windows Indexing Service is running.

Other than that, can't see any problems with the other.

  • Done, and then I merged [indexingservice] (11) into [indexing-service]. – Jon Seigel Mar 23 '10 at 17:22

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