On StackOverflow, there are currently 43 questions tagged "wtf." I found them by noticing this question on the main Questions page. I retagged that question, removing "wtf," because it seems like that's not really a useful tag.

Or is it? Is there a rationale need for the tag, "wtf?" If not, should it be stricken in edits?

  • 3
    WTF = Why the face? – LukLed Apr 7 '10 at 20:58
  • 12
    Related: There are also [weird], [weird-behaviour], [strange], [strange-behaviour], [strange-errors], [odd-behavior], [odd-behaviour], [oddness], [odd-requirments], [odd-syntax] annnnnd [wild-goose-chase]. lol – Jon Seigel Apr 7 '10 at 20:59
  • 7
    I've often wanted to tag something [wild-goose-chase] ... – John Rudy Apr 7 '10 at 21:02
  • nope, not a good tag – Lance Roberts Apr 7 '10 at 21:04
  • 4
    I've often wanted to retag a question [head-in-yer-arse] – squillman Apr 7 '10 at 21:05
  • 3
    If head-in-yer-arse gets through, I want arrrrrrrgh (Only with 7 r's. No other variation will be tolerated.) – Pekka Apr 7 '10 at 21:26
  • 9
    ... and didnt-you-ask-that-an-hour-ago – Pekka Apr 7 '10 at 21:26
  • 1
    @Pekka: Gaaahh I hate those! I responded to one a week ago saying "please don't duplicate your own questions" and he replied, "I had to because the old question got closed before I got a good answer." headdesk – Aarobot Apr 7 '10 at 21:40
  • 1
    @aargh, fist -> his_head works better. – perbert Apr 7 '10 at 21:48

I was going to say no, but now I have to say


Be careful when retagging people.

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  • I almost left [wtf] on this question, but considering had that been the only use of the tag that it would've been deleted by the new 6-months-1-use-means-delete-tag script, I didn't really see the value in keeping it. (Retagged [web-template-framework] though, but that'll probably get deleted by the script in 6 months or so.) – Gnome May 31 '10 at 5:46
  • What about this question stackoverflow.com/posts/2029862/revisions is it related to the web template framework? They seem to be similar components but I can't quite tell. also this one stackoverflow.com/posts/2591820/revisions – Earlz May 31 '10 at 6:09
  • @The Cat ah ok. [web-template-framework] is a suitable tag. Do you know anything about it to consider if the two questions I linked above pertain to the web template framework? – Earlz May 31 '10 at 6:13
  • WTF is a C++ library, not Obj-C, but I don't use Obj-C. As always, fix it if you think it's wrong. @ear – Gnome May 31 '10 at 6:13
  • @The Cat I'll leave it alone. I don't know anything about WTF. Do you know if webkit is a good (popular) tag for WTF though? KennyTM retagged stackoverflow.com/questions/834179/… as [webkit] – Earlz May 31 '10 at 6:17
  • [webkit] appears perfectly fine for this question, as for other Web Template Framework questions... well, I've just never seen any. Deal with that when they exist (or someone finds them). @ear – Gnome May 31 '10 at 8:22

In the context of SF where I'm much more in-tune, I would edit it out. We strive for a line of professionalism in the sites that I think this crosses. It should be possible to get that point across in the proper wording of the question.

meta on the other hand...

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It could be (write-to-file, windowed-time-facility(apple), etc.), depending on the context. Sure, the tag is ambiguous but then again that doesn't mean it hasn't been used - AOL added a "WTF" button ("What's this for?") in one of their aim-clients once. If it's just somebody venting some frustration, I'd say it's best to remove it.

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  • Kinda like the "Boss" button that NBC put on the media player on their 2010 Olympics site. Hit it and it turned the player into an image of Excel 2007 :) – squillman Apr 7 '10 at 21:01
  • "Wow Text File", "Warcraft Text File".. – Thomas Bonini Sep 16 '10 at 12:11

While it's a legitimate term to describe a situation when you really, really don't know how the hell this piece of code/application/script... can behave the way it does, it's totally useless to classify questions on SO IMO. It doesn't add any value for people searching for similar questions later.

On the other hand, there are other bad and crazy tags on SO. I can't see much harm in having them, either.

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  • Yeah, it's not the term I'm opposed to -- I'm sure I'm guilty of dropping the term itself into question text on more than one occasion. It's the use of it as a tag. I would never think that it's a useful organizational term -- who would search for [wtf]? – John Rudy Apr 7 '10 at 21:04
  • @user0x36E0: I'll bet Alex Papadimoulis searches for that tag. – Aarobot Apr 7 '10 at 21:49

Microsoft has already created the following TLAs:

  • WAF (Web Application Framework)
  • WCF (Windows Communication Foundation)
  • WGF (Windows Graphics Foundation - DirectX)
  • WIF (Windows Identity Foundation)
  • WMF (Windows Metafile)
  • WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation)
  • WSF (Windows Script File)
  • WWF (World Wrestling Federation)
  • ???

I'm sure it's only a matter of time before they create the Windows Testing Foundation (WTF), at which point we'll all be really glad that the tag still exists.

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  • It does: Web Template Framework on Chromium's codebase (we can blame Google). – perbert Apr 7 '10 at 21:49
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    I knew Microsoft had to be behind WWF. It's all a metaphor for the computing industry, isn't it? – mmyers Apr 7 '10 at 21:50
  • @mmyers: it's not a metaphor, it's a re-enactment. – quack quixote Apr 7 '10 at 21:53
  • @json: God help us all. – Aarobot Apr 7 '10 at 22:03
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    (FYI, for the .NET challenged, there really is a WWF, it's Windows Workflow Foundation. It's since been changed to just WF because the original acronym was dumb.) – Aarobot Apr 7 '10 at 22:06
  • @Aaron: what was dumb? The original acronym, or wrestling in general? – John Saunders Apr 8 '10 at 2:12
  • @John Saunders: Yes. – Aarobot Apr 8 '10 at 13:53
  • @Aaron: I see... – John Saunders Apr 9 '10 at 1:48
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    @John: OK, it wasn't "dumb", but it always gave me the giggles to hear someone talking about "W.W.F.", or even better when they tried to "say" it and it came out as "woof." Maybe I'm just immature. I'm comfortable with that. – Aarobot Apr 9 '10 at 2:10
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    Or they changed it for the same reason the World Wrestling Federation changed their name - the World Wildlife Fund decided they own any and all uses of WWF, regardless of industry, and in the past has successfully used the courts to enforce that. – David May 31 '10 at 12:57

There were 37 questions tagged [wtf] just a few hours ago. I retagged all but four, and Jon Seigel retagged two of those.

The remaining two are locked due to migration.

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