Feedback needed on Stack Overflow tags idea


#1

One of the issues with Stack Overflow is that a typical Ember search surfaces old (like, REALLY OLD) stuff. So. what if we removed ember.js tags on old content and replaced it with something like ember-1 and ember-2? Then the ember.js tag could point to 3.0 things, or 2.x things that are unchanged, or questions that have an updated answer on them, etc.

What do you think?

Chris Manson and I are starting to synthesize what we learned from our “May I ask a question” Stack Overflow project, and we’d like community input on this idea. You can learn more about our project here.


#2

I was thinking the same thing on the cycle in this morning. Having major version tags is a good idea.
Of course, many questions will be “Ember2” and “Ember3” because things don’t change much, but that’s fine.


#3

I like the idea of having ember-2/3 tags, but when Ember 4 comes out, who will check (and update) all the previous questions that are pre-ember 4, but are valid for ember 4?

I think as a user I would always try to search for things with the newest version (because I know things change rapidly) but if questions are not tagged with ember-4 then valid results would not show up (or maybe none will show).

I know I use google’s filter by time (less than a year) a lot because of outdated content.

It might be just me, of course :slight_smile:


#4

My concern would be that new users who are asking questions aren’t going to use them.


#5

New users are the only people this idea really affects because we all know what to ignore/change if we are looking at older questions. What do you think would help them the most?


#6

So part of my thinking on this is that it seems pretty normal for there to be “maintenance” tasks on stack overflow, so people could go around and add ember-1 to issues that are clearly not applicable to today’s Ember.

@corrspt to your point, I don’t think this should be added to all questions, some things are valid across multiple versions :+1: . In fact @Gaurav0 I don’t expect this to be used on initial writing of a question at all :joy:

Also, another thing that I have noticed is that some people answer these older posts with “this is how you do this in Ember 3.x” style posts, and it might be a good place for people to be able to find the older posts.


#7

Also, it’s worth mentioning that these tags already exist! The question that I would like to know peoples feeling on is:

What if we removed ember.js tags on old content and replaced it with […] ember-1

For questions that are clearly not relevant to today’s ember


#8

I understand the idea, but I am not really in favor of removing the main tag, ember.js (or emberjs or ember). I would rather add a version tag to the existing tags, and edit the message to add a note at the top to indicate the answer is for an older version. We could have some boilerplate to add that provides a link to the EmberJS docs so it is consistent from message to message.

My main concern is that it isn’t just new people that stumble across messages for older versions. Something that indicates the version is nice, but we don’t want to limit the findability in the first place, IMO.


#9

Also, from a marketing Ember perspective, tag counts is one of the things that people look at (for better or (IMO) worse) when determining the popularity of a framework. And I believe there are sites that track tag counts over time, or at least, that is a metric that can be pulled out of the Stack Overflow data. While we might know that the reason the ember.js tag dropped in count in mid-2018 was because of this kind of effort, people outside of the community (and for that matter, most inside of it) would have no idea it was due to a concerted effort.


#10

This is a very important point that I had not considered.


#11

Thanks for looking into this, @jenweber. This is an age-old problem that we tried to deal with all the way back in the 0.9/1.0 days.

You may already have context on this, but I have to warn you that the StackOverflow admins were extremely hostile to this effort back then. I don’t remember the details, but it caused quite a bit of drama, and the SO admins were unsympathetic to our problem.

Perhaps things have changed now, and maybe someone else (@trek?) remembers the details. But I would make sure we get an OK from admins first before doing a large scale change. IIRC this is what set them off the first time.


#12

Thanks for the context. I was not aware this had been attempted in the past.

Regardless, it seems pretty clear that we should not do any wide scale removal of tags, maybe just add them as we go.