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A few questions explicitly ask for a solution where the editor performs the task itself without having to resort to external filters/tools. This is either in the main body of the question or in a comment. For example:

Some just have a preference to not using an external tool, for example:

I thought I'd seen more in the past, but the above come up in a quick search for me.


Some comments have pointed out that it is better to not restrict the question to pure Vi[m], since solutions with external tools allow for a better variety of answers that can help a broader scope of people.

On the other hand, some OP's need an answer with the restriction as they can be on a computer that lacks those external tools and also lack the privileges to install additional software.

A secondary question, if we decide this tag is a good idea, is what label to use. Saying something like would seem to exclude other family editors (unless we had a pure-* tag for each editor). doesn't seem very descriptive of this intent. I can't think of other names.

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    cross-platform could be another way to describe the restriction, as it explains why I don't want an external command. – 200_success Feb 23 '15 at 2:17
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I doubt this will really be a problem; it certainly isn't now. Many questions like this get multiple answers; some answers use external commands, but most don't.

I doubt that the existence of an answer with an external command will prevent people from adding additional answers which don't use an external command. However, the answers with external commands may still be useful & informational.

The alternative is creating multiple question; one for Vim-only, and another where external commands are also allowed. I don't think this is desirable, as it leads to a fragmentation of answers. The question which does allow external commands will undoubtedly attract Vim-only answers, some of which may be different or better than the other question has.

This is, by the way, almost the same question as: What's the point of using OS tags?. I think the 2 answers there also apply here.

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You don't need tags to qualify what type of answers you want. That information should be included in the body of the post.

See The Death of Meta Tags

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  • “I don't want to use external tools” is a type of solution, not a type of answer. It's similar to stating what vi version or what operating system can be assumed, which can be a relevant tag (depending of course on the question). That has nothing to do with meta tags. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Feb 24 '15 at 17:15
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    Have to agree with Robert here, on Role-playing Games there was a meta tag (rules-as-written) that caused a lot of community heartbreak and tension. Not worth it. – D. Ben Knoble Jul 26 '19 at 0:27

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