• If the question is about ASP.NET, then it should say
  • If the question is about Classic ASP, then it should say

I can think of no valid reason to tag a question with . Let's get rid of it entirely.

  • 3
    Dupe of meta.stackexchange.com/questions/26870/… ?
    – Jon Seigel
    Mar 22, 2011 at 16:47
  • 16
    Asps. Very dangerous. You go first...
    – Pollyanna
    Mar 22, 2011 at 17:14
  • 1
    @Jon: no, it's not a dupe of that one. I'm saying that "asp" should simply not be used at all, as its use is almost always a mistake. Mar 22, 2011 at 22:00
  • 1
    oh and at the same time, most of the questions tagged as ASP.NET should be re-tagged as ASP.NET-webforms or similar (because only few questions are really about the ASP.NET framework).
    – M4N
    Mar 22, 2011 at 23:37
  • 5
    @M4N: At the moment, I'd say most [ASP.NET] questions which don't have another tag like [ASP.NET-MVC] really are ASP.NET Web Forms questions. This might change in a couple of years. Mar 22, 2011 at 23:41
  • 2
    shouldn't actually be classic-asp? the wrong way round seems wierd to me Nov 15, 2011 at 22:21

5 Answers 5


It's a trap!

The problem is that asp is a trap tag for ASP.Net. We'll never be able to stop clueless users from tagging asp.net questions asp. It sucks for those still using the original asp, but the only way we can have a clear, unambiguous tag devoted to that technology is to give it an unambiguous name. Thus, asp-classic exists.

However, we now have a mess on our hands in the asp tag: over 3000 questions, about half of which are for asp.net and half for classic asp. That's way too many, too closely spread, to deal with automatically.

I agree, then, that the best possible result here is to restrict using the asp tag in new questions. This will force users to make an unambiguous tag choice. This will at least prevent the problem from getting worse.

At this point we need to work the existing questions, and there is a choice about how to do that: we could work to remove the tag entirely, or we could work to merely clean up the ASP.Net questions, and when that is done restore the asp tag as a synonym of asp-classic. Of those, I think the latter is ideal option, but it will be hard to implement as it will get increasingly hard to know which questions have been worked. Thus I propose we do both: clean up all the questions in the asp tag, but when done set it up as a synonym for asp-classic.

This has now happened. I spent a good bit of time on this over the holidays and cleaned up every single question with the old asp tag by hand — all 3000+. It went much faster than you might think. At this time, the tag no longer exists, and a mod was kind enough to create an synonym to asp-classic. Hopefully users intending it to mean asp.net will now spot the (much more obvious) error and correct their questions.


I disagree.

Before ASP.NET was here, the framework was called 'ASP', not 'ASP classic'. Will we have to rename each language/technology to "classic" "classicer" "classicest" each time a new version appears?

  • 15
    The problem here is that too many people use [ASP] when they really mean [ASP.NET], making the tag much less useful. By removing the [ASP] option, they would be forced to choose one.
    – Gabe
    Mar 22, 2011 at 7:12
  • @Gabe: indeed. This A represented what I thought, I then took a look at Qs tagged ASP: Most are ASP.NET (quite a lot are tagged both). There's a few less now :-).
    – Richard
    Mar 22, 2011 at 7:48
  • 3
    @Gabe - you are right, but the solution is for attentive users with the required rep level to edit the tags, not eliminate a legitimate tag.
    – slugster
    Mar 22, 2011 at 9:12
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    There's a difference between a new version and a total incompatible rewrite. Besides that, classic asp is so old at this point that it needs to be specifically called out when that is what's being referred to.
    – Sam
    Mar 23, 2011 at 1:49

This makes sense, but how would a person looking for ASP classic know to use the tag?

  • What about my suggestion with a new ask prompting for version clarification that automatically cleans up / adds tags.
    – stefan
    Mar 22, 2011 at 6:44
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    wouldn't the auto complete take care of that? type 'asp' and both 'asp.net' and 'asp-classic' show up. Mar 22, 2011 at 16:51
  • @ktrauberman: I don't get auto complete for tags in the search box. Do you?
    – Gabe
    Mar 22, 2011 at 16:53
  • I was referring to the tag box when asking/editing a question. I see your point about the search box. Does it allow partial terms in the search? Mar 22, 2011 at 16:55
  • 1
    er.... because ASP Classic is a common term used in IT to differentiate it from ASP.NET? I know we call it ASP Classic where I work...
    – Powerlord
    Mar 28, 2011 at 18:53

I agree that something should be done as the [ASP] tag is almost always used in the wrong way, and as it says DONT use this tag and people still do so remove it is my view.


I agree. The same thing should be done for Visual Basic and all other language-version dependent tags.

Edit: OK, to clarify, I mention VB and C in my comment to John below.

I think a solution would be: if you add a question with tags VB, ASP, C, etc., you should be prompted by a new page; "Please if possible select proper version for your tags" encouraging people to fill in C89 or C99 if they know they want it (everyone should if it's not marked homework).

This will also be good for, say, SQL. You would be prompted about what SQL standard you want or what database you are using. Almost all SQL questions I see starts with comments asking for what database (and version) is being used.

  • Can you say exactly which tags you're referring to? Mar 22, 2011 at 5:43
  • @John vb as mentioned and C springs to mind. It should either be C99 or C89. C-classic could be autocorrected to C89.
    – stefan
    Mar 22, 2011 at 5:45
  • 1
    I would agree to [vb], since it probably means either vb.net or vb6 (though maybe VBSCRIPT or VBA), but I'm not so sure about C, which in general could be taken to mean K&R C. Mar 22, 2011 at 5:46
  • 1
    This is what i love with Meta. Down votes on questions marked "discussion" without any comment. Awesome site this is.
    – stefan
    Mar 22, 2011 at 6:21
  • ASP (classic) and ASP.NET are entirely different languages (like Java and JavaScript). C99 and C89 are nearly identical.
    – Gabe
    Mar 22, 2011 at 6:23
  • @Gabe C99 and C89 Nearly identical? Did you vote down my suggestion because of this? Because thats really a clueless comment about those languages.
    – stefan
    Mar 22, 2011 at 6:24
  • 1
    C89 and C99 are just different dialects of the same language. The foreword to the C99 standard lists the "major" differences, and it reads like the differences between American English and British English.
    – Gabe
    Mar 22, 2011 at 6:34
  • @Gabe I do not agree and i think this is very off topic on the subject. An answer assuming C99 will be invalid for a C89 asker, the code will not compile. C89 sollution for a C99 question is ugly and pure nasty. Please focus on the original topic or make an answer describing why this is a bad idea (probably better).
    – stefan
    Mar 22, 2011 at 6:39
  • I have no problem with the ASP idea. It's the unrelated idea of banning the C tag that I disagree with.
    – Gabe
    Mar 22, 2011 at 6:44
  • @Gabe basically i want more tags added. For C i want to see [C] [C89] or [C] [C99] on a question.
    – stefan
    Mar 22, 2011 at 6:46
  • More tags aren't a bad idea, but a quick look at the [C] tag didn't show many questions where a [C89] or [C99] tag would be warranted.
    – Gabe
    Mar 22, 2011 at 7:10
  • @Gabe every time i write an answer on a C tag i assume C89. Which is rather stupid 2011.
    – stefan
    Mar 22, 2011 at 7:22
  • How many of your answers in stackoverflow.com/search?q=user:586281+[c] would you have answered differently if the question contained a [C89] or [C99] tag?
    – Gabe
    Mar 22, 2011 at 7:31
  • @Gabe most of them, they are all answered in C89.
    – stefan
    Mar 22, 2011 at 7:34
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    -1: Two different technologies is not the same as two different variants of the same language. VB5 is closer to VB.NET than ASP is to ASP.NET (OK there are some gross similarities in syntax like there are for C and Java).
    – Richard
    Mar 22, 2011 at 7:49

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