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Should mentioning the Operating System in titles be removed?

We have tags to indicate those information. And on Stack Overflow it is recommended to remove the language tag from the title.

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    Makes sense. I'd say this would be a good policy to implement. – ApproachingDarknessFish Feb 5 '14 at 0:08
  • That's a great suggestion – Rajiv Feb 5 '14 at 0:14
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    See my post below - there's a misconception that language tags should be removed on SO - they just needn't be added when they're NOT needed. Titles should stand on their own. – Jaydles Feb 5 '14 at 17:17
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The operating system should be included in the title if it's an important requirement. It often is.

It is not recommended to remove the name of the language on Stack Overflow! I think you're confusing this with the recommendation not to include language names as “tags” in titles. That is:

  • “How do I frobnicate a widget in C?” is a good title
  • “C Frobnicate a widget” is a bad title

A title of the form “Application type with key characteristic on platform” is perfectly reasonable for SR.SE.

Examples:

Counter-examples:

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  • Shouldn't OS be a tag if it's a relevant limiter rather than be in the title? – wax eagle Feb 5 '14 at 13:42
  • @waxeagle It needs to be a tag, but that doesn't imply that it shouldn't be in the title. Not all titles need to specify the platform, but there's no call for systematically removing them. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Feb 5 '14 at 15:24
  • I put the OS in the title if it is a very short title otherwise, and leave it out if the title is getting long. – MadTux Feb 5 '14 at 22:30
  • To me, the third counter-example would clearly indicate OP is after software for Windows. Well, in that case it doesn't need to be mentioned either. Might be nice to mention in the full text, though, to be found with searches. – Izzy Feb 7 '14 at 19:50
  • I think it is recommended not to have tags in titles. See Should questions include “tags” in their titles?. – Martin Thoma Apr 17 '14 at 11:41
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    @moose “Don't put tags in title” means not to write things like “windows - best text editor”. It doesn't mean not to put things in title if they're implied by the tags, which would be silly. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Apr 17 '14 at 11:48
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Titles should be complete summaries of the question.

Here's the easy rule:

Cover the tags, and ask yourself if the title conveys enough information. It needs to.

That means two things:

  • Information in a tag in no way makes it less necessary in a title.
  • But tags need not be added to a title when they're not needed to convey key information

Tags are for filtering, not for completing otherwise incomplete titles.

See this meta post for more details.

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The answer from Gilles in Why do people insist titles actually be a question (I seem to be unable to find a “share” link on the specific answer…) refers to a meta.SO FAQ with a scientifically-based highest-scored answer on titles.

The part interesting here is: Do not copy parts of the question in the title.

  • I personally think that it should probably be repeated if it’s an important requirement (it is a requirement in most cases, but we got tags anyway…). But I thought I should add this answer here nevertheless, in case someone thinks differently. – mirabilos Feb 5 '14 at 16:58

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