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I wrote some tag-wiki entries today and a thought came up that I'm unsure on how to handle. Some tags have a clear meaning and its usage is mostly clear ( goes to linux related questions). Other tags should have a notation on when to use them, and when not. The Tag Wiki help says:

The full tag wiki is a detailed introduction to the topic,
suitable as a destination for those curious about it:

► what questions should have this tag?

So the part of "Don't use when you are looking for a OS because being bootable is an intrinsic element of it." would go to the full tag wiki.

A good example for this situation is the tag (as has been described well in @Izzys answer).

But I think that only few people will read them because they rush here, ask a question and only read the pop up that tells them what the tag is about (if anything at all).

That would mean that we should stuff such info into the excerpt.

Example (bootable, currently not yet reviewed)

current Excerpt:

  • Indicates software that can boot a computer on its own.

current Full:

  • Use this if you are looking for programs that come on or can be put on a bootable medium (cd, dvd, usb-stick...) and then brings up the machine.
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I think this must be decided on a per-tag basis. If possible, at least short hints should be placed in the excerpt (I fully agree with Angelo that most people only read the pop up that tells them what the tag is about (if anything at all). The tag wiki should then have a more detailed explanation, optionally including examples.

is a bad example here, as I cannot even see where it should make sense (an OS is bootable by definition, and "normal software" is not – again by definition; don't confuse e.g. Live-CDs with auto-starting AntiVirus this way, as in those cases the OS is just auto-executing the AV software after boot).

A better example is IMHO . This could e.g. look like:

Excerpt:

If you look for a database or an application (editor, client, management) related to any or multiple databases. For specific databases, please use the specific tag (see wiki).

Note the "generic hint" here.

Wiki:

A Database is an organized collection of data, where the latter are usually stored in tables. Those tables can hold relations to each other, to avoid redundancies. For a detailed description, see the linked Wikipedia article.

When to use this tag

If you are looking for database-related software (such as editors, query-builders, or even modules/addons for other applications) which are either cross-database (must support multiple/any database), or you are not yet decided which database it should be, this tag is yours.

When not to use this tag

If the software you are using should be designed for a specific database, you should rather use the specific tag instead (see below). Avoid using both.

Related tags

So the excerpt at least holds the basic info (there are more specific tags which to use otherwise), and the questioner is "warned". Again, I doubt many will follow up to the wiki (or even read the excerpt) – but that's IMHO the best we can do.

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I say we should put this in the excerpt as long as it can be said within a sentence.

  • I don't think it is necessary at this point. If tags become often misused, only then you can add it in the excerpt. Do you have specific examples at the moment? – Bernhard Feb 15 '14 at 18:41
  • @Bernard bootable (I added the text to the question as it is not yet peer-reviewed) – Angelo Fuchs Feb 15 '14 at 18:51
  • Well, I mean in the context of my question. How many questions originally had this tag? – Bernhard Feb 15 '14 at 19:19
  • @Bernhard One. But there are more such ambiguous tags (see the 'too narrow' Q of Izzy for more examples). – Angelo Fuchs Feb 15 '14 at 19:28
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I say that if the tag is ambiguous enough so people might misuse it just remove or replace the tag.

  • The "Its unpure - Cleanse it with fire" approach? I can't currently image a tag where that would be a great loss - but still. Seems drastic. – Angelo Fuchs Feb 15 '14 at 18:39
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    @AngeloNeuschitzer anything not doing any good is potentially bad. We shouldn't want stuff lying around so we could trip with them when we walk in the dark, right? – Braiam Feb 15 '14 at 20:12
  • There are terms which can be ambiguous, but still make a lot of sense. I remember we had a few of them on Android.SE, and I saw some here as well. So this cannot be a general rule, but needs to be decided per-tag. – Izzy Feb 16 '14 at 14:06

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