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I feel like we need something like a software-recommendation tag. Sometimes you don't want to do program something yourself, or you want to do something so mundane, that you believe that someone else has done it a lot better before you.

Questions that would fit this tag would be, e.g.

  • Automatically add C language statements with command
  • Interact with github from vim

I know that the the "Ask Different" Stack Exchange site has the same tag.

4

Your question is "How do I solve problem foo".

If you ask your question as "How do I solve problem foo with a plugin" then you're assuming the answer in the question itself. In general, I find it to be a bad idea to assume the answer in a question (not just on Stack Exchange sites, but everywhere). You never know what you don't know, and perhaps there is something you never even knew existed.

Your goal is to solve a problem. Not to use a plugin. Using a plugin may certainly be a answer − and it may even be the best answer − but it doesn't have to be the only answer. Perhaps there is a feature built in to Vim (or NeoVim) that you weren't aware of, or perhaps there is a fairly straightforward command you can add to your vimrc, or perhaps there is some other solution.

As an example, look at Applying settings to a directory tree only. Some answers use plugins, some don't. The goal is to solve a problem, and a plugin is one of many possible solutions.

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I don't really see how either of your two example questions would fit such a tag. software-recommendation to me implies "I do not want to know how to do this with vim, I want to know what plugin (or ancillary software) to install to do it."

And that's fine, but I think it's sufficient to call that out in the question itself, I don't think a tag is merited.

  • First, it creates an awkward split where you can take any valid question and now it becomes two questions. Take your "add-C-language-statements" example. This is now "how can I add C snippets without using a plugin?" (no software-recommendation tag on this one) and "how can I add C snippets using some plugin?" (this one is tagged). I feel like this is bad; I feel like we better achieve SE's goal of having canonical questions by having only one of those two questions, written in such a way as to allow both answers to be valid.

  • Second, tags classify questions for search; they should be about what the problem is. When they're, when they're more about meta-topics like what kind of question is being asked, they become less useful; how is one an "expert" in software recommendation for vim? Who are the users who would put software-recommendation on their favorite tags list?

(Personally, I'm not even a huge fan of plugin-recommendation questions, but I really think it starts to cross a line when you get down to asking about external software to do some task that you just ! out to from vim; at that point I think you've mostly left the domain of Vim SE and should be asking on a different site, like U&L or Software Recommendations maybe... but that's neither here nor there.)

  • Just to make sure, I'm talking about vim-plugins (written in vimscript) (because you mention !) – hgiesel Jun 11 '16 at 16:28
  • I think it's much less egregious when one is only talking about vim plugins, but I still don't really think the tag is needed. I think it's totally reasonable for a question to have great answers that are both recommending plugins and showing how to do it manually. – user72 Jun 11 '16 at 16:36

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