We have the triview1 (these), which have a specific format.

This question is about the effectiveness of defining a structure for questions with specific tags (like the tags). I have a proposition, and I wanted to see what others think of it. Firstly, as it's super relevant, what do people think about the defined structure of review questions (as outlined in the linked meta post)?

Now (secondly), my proposal:

Give more tags a specific format. By this I mean -

  1. questions should state explicitly what the resource is supposed to give. i.e. "What should one be able to learn from the resource" or "How does the resource help with teaching\learning <subject>?".

  2. questions should state explicitly the background said layperson has, if any. i.e. "My friend comes from the field of Particle Physics, and I was wondering how to explain what the cmd tracert works ." (this is funny because trace means something in Particle Physics)

  3. questions (I almost forgot we had this tag) should state explicitly what the languages suggested will be used with.

These are mere suggestions (except for the first one, which was the original reason I wrote the question) and the reason I didn't post one question for each suggestion is because this post is just to ask what others thought of this.

So, what do you think about giving some tags a preferred structure?

It's a good way to make it clearer if a question with one of those tags is too broad or unclear. A structure should make it clear beyond doubt what's being asked, precisely.

1portmanteau: of trio and review

  • $\begingroup$ I love the idea of standardizing more tags as long as there is one tag standardization discussed per meta post. None of those three tags (in my view) lend themselves to hyper-specific formats, but I can see requiring certain information. $\endgroup$
    – Ben I. Mod
    Jul 23, 2017 at 17:20
  • $\begingroup$ @BenI. agreed. this is just the post saying that I think we should do it. In no way will there be more than one suggestion per post, when we get to the actual structure-forming. $\endgroup$
    – ItamarG3
    Jul 23, 2017 at 17:21
  • $\begingroup$ I believe that the requirements for what is a good question should have a linear corelation to the level of subjectivity of the question type. $\endgroup$ Jul 23, 2017 at 18:25

1 Answer 1


Just wanted to pipe in on the discussion of "format" needed for some tags, and the idea of having a custom close reason to go along with that format requirement.

I think a better idea is to have the needed format spelled out clearly in the beginning of the wiki (not the excerpt). After the requirements, then other things about the tag that belong in the wiki can be added as well, but the format requirements should be at the top, and unmistakeable.

Then the tag excerpt can point to the full wiki - although I don't think you can have links in the excerpt, so it has to be a "please read" style notice in the excerpt.

We need a single meta CW question about required formats for certain tags. Once we hammer out what is required for any given tag, that can be written as one answer to the question, and be the only one for that tag. Each such tag having exactly one answer.

The whole point of having the required format, to make the answer clear enough to be answerable within the SE Q&A format. Hence, when a question fails to meet the format, the close reason is "unclear what you are asking." When such a question is asked without the format needed, a comment can be added to the question which links to the single answer for that tag. I do believe that there should only be one such comment, rather than having the whole of the community leaving the same comment and scaring off some would-be user.

After the comment is posted, there may, or may not, be a grace period before the CVs start pouring in. If there is a grace period, probably should be sure that the OP has been online after the comment, so that there is a valid chance to edit. One disadvantage to the grace period is that it allows answers to be posted which could force the OP into trying to edit without invalidating any of the existing answers. Once the question is put on hold that problem is avoided.


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