Let's say someone asks how to perform a task but does not specify what techniques/vi features they want to use to achieve the task. Then someone writes a fantastic answer using a particular feature.

How would we feel about adding the tag for that feature to the question, even though the question itself is not about the feature?

The documentation implies that the tags only refer to the question:

A tag is a keyword or label that categorizes your question with other, similar questions.

However, I feel like also including tags appropriate to the answers might be useful.

  • 1
    I makes sense to me. In the same way, I tend to remove tags unrelated to the solution/problem, like for example: "%s/a:pattern/a:repl/g doesn't work" with gvim or macosx as tags because the OP was using them without knowing if they had any impact on the problem at hand. In that case the issue is 100% about vimscripting. Feb 15, 2017 at 14:18
  • 3
    I would recommend only posting answers you agree with, rather than posting several opinions as a poll of sorts. That way users who strongly agree with one side or the other can post their arguments/opinions as an answer rather than just voting on one of the preselected opinions. That will create more of a discussion
    – DJMcMayhem
    Feb 15, 2017 at 17:31
  • @DJMcMayhem I've never managed to get much discussion on any of my meta questions, so I thought I'd try this way instead in case people are more willing to vote than they are to type out answers. :) I made them community wiki in an attempt to encourage people with strong opinions to edit them.
    – Rich
    Feb 15, 2017 at 23:21
  • 2
    I used to think tags should refer strictly to the question, not to the tangents implied by the various possible approaches. Then somebody pointed out in a Stack Overflow comment that the purpose of tags is mainly to attract the attention of the "right" crowd, rather than simply to classify questions. To me that was an eye opener. FWIW.
    – lcd047
    Feb 21, 2017 at 11:25

3 Answers 3


Tags only refer to the question

As stated in the documentation, tags are intended to describe the question only.

  • 1
    I feel like this is the better way; tagging a question to reflect answer content can make other good answers look like they don't address the question, discrediting them. Doing so may also narrow the scope of the question unnecessarily, leading to arguments over whether a similar question with different tags is a duplicate. I believe a general question with various answers incorporating different techniques is better than N similar questions with slight tag differences fracturing the knowledge base.
    – user72
    Feb 15, 2017 at 17:38

"It depends".

For the question "How can I run something after I enter a buffer?" the tag would make sense, even if the question never mentions autocommands. While there are perhaps some other ways/hacks of doing this, using autocommands is the straightforward way, and grouping the question under that tag is logical.

For other, more broader, questions it may make less sense.

As a rule of thumb, if the tag is the obvious and only obvious technique to accomplish the stated goal, then it's usually fine to add it. It there are more techniques or the technique used is non-obvious, then adding tags is usually not good idea.

Exceptions may apply; use your judgement.

  • FWIW: I only really intended to ask about the latter case, where there are multiple techniques or the technique is not obvious: the case where the technique in question is the only applicable one seems straightforward to me.
    – Rich
    Feb 20, 2017 at 13:49

Tags refer to the page as a whole

It makes sense to add tags in for features/techniques only mentioned in answers.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .