I had a short back and forth in the (now deleted) comments to this question, where I state this "must have":

  • Gratis (or failing that, at least cheap): I wouldn't mind spending a few bucks on this but not much more / preferably not as it's just a convenience thing. (To clarify, "Gratis" is a "Should-Have", and "Cheap" is a "Must-Have".)

In other words, "cheap" is a "must-have", and "gratis" a "should-have" (or even "nice-to-have"). Another user pointed out that because of this isn't appropriate for the question, because people searching for questions in that tag might come accross my question where answers contain non-gratis solutions. (My rephrasing, I can't see the deleted comments anymore.)

That seems reasonable, and I come here probably for a minor thing only: confirmation, and a request whether a regular will put an appropriate/corresponding note in the tag wiki?

2 Answers 2


We use the tag for recommendations for software that is free of any financial cost.

All of our tags represent requirements ("must-haves").

The tag wiki for correctly states: "Gratis software is free of any financial cost. As such, it is often called freeware."

  • "All of our tags represent requirements ("must-haves")." Point taken. Didn't know.
    – Jeroen
    Commented Apr 29, 2016 at 8:57

It seems in some cases, the gratis tag needs to be ignored to be of any assistance to the asker. Or is it better for a question to have no answers, than require the asker to accept reality and relax requirements on the cost.

free is nice, but if I say I want something, and it must be free, and there are no free options, it seems wrong to down-vote answers that match on requirements other than the impossible one.

Or should those just be comments, rather than answers?

  • 2
    The other answer suggests that if you are open to non-gratis suggestions, then you should not tag the question with "gratis". Conversely, it suggests that answers offering non-gratis suggestions when the asker tagged "gratis" (i.e. must have) could be reasonably downvoted. - Although the interaction is appreciated, I'm not entirely sure what the point of your answer here on meta is, given that my question merely asks if the tag wiki could/should be updated?
    – Jeroen
    Commented Jun 22, 2016 at 11:23
  • I think that's fair enough, except that I think a lot of questions have the gratis tag where there may not be a gratis answer, so I guess you would have to ask the OP to edit the question, or whether they would be open to it. Non-gratis answers could still provide the solution, and be the most valuable answer to the asker. Do people even really know about the significance of tagging a question like that (making it must-have with resultant down-voting for non-gratis answers)? I didn't either. Seems a bit draconian.
    – Adrien
    Commented Jun 22, 2016 at 11:28
  • 1) I don't think this is an answer to the question, right? 2) I disagree with the first sentence. If a question is tagged gratis, adding a non-gratis answer is only noise. If the asker receives no answer in a month, they may create a separate question without the gratis requirement.
    – Nicolas Raoul Mod
    Commented Jul 12, 2016 at 3:41
  • I don't think it's black and white. I've been upvoted for posting a non-gratis answer to a gratis question. People primarily want an answer, and don't want to wait for no answers to re-phrase their question either. I think if we're going to be down-voted for that sort of breach, there should be warnings (a) when someone tags the question gratis, and (b) when someone answers it.
    – Adrien
    Commented Jul 18, 2016 at 2:06

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