So this has come up a couple of times, should we have a "do not do this" tag? For questions like copying the .sty files to PWD or renewing \thesection to remove section number

4 Answers 4


Although I suggested this in chat, I was being a little facetious. I think that this comes under the same rules as "best practices" and similar "meta" tags. If there is a situation where one thinks, "Yes, that is technically possible, but your life is going to be much easier if you don't do that.", then I think that an "answer" explaining why the whatever-it-is shouldn't be done would be much better. The questioner may not have known that there was a better way and just putting on it would be a bit rude. Better to say, "If you're trying to achieve X then a better way would be Y because Z.". That also means that you don't look an idiot when they reply, "Actually, I know all about Y and Z, but I want to do X because of W." (where W is actually some bizarre but perfectly valid reason for doing X).

  • 3
    Maybe the tag should be called worst-practices (also being facetious) Mar 25, 2011 at 19:23
  • correct, this is a meta-tag. It cannot stand alone, you could not have (and would not want) a question tagged only [worst-practices] Mar 25, 2011 at 22:55
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    And while we are at in, we also need {missing-mwe}, {incomprehensible-english} and {op-is-a-noob} ;-) Seriously, the answer to a question should not be given in a tag, but in the answer form.
    – Caramdir
    Mar 26, 2011 at 3:04
  • @Caramdir: +1, however the idea of a {missing-mwe} tag popped into my mind already a couple of times. Mar 30, 2011 at 11:22

I'm against such a tag.

  • It's not a meaningful category.

  • It doesn't build a relationship between subjects besides telling there's something wrong

  • I doubt anybody would use this for filtering or look-up.

  • Who should be interessted in following the tag, who would use the tag to find questions he could answer?

  • Answers are more about doing sth. than questions, it's more likely that an answer might deserve such a sign.

If somebody posts a question or an answer and thinks it deserves such a sign, he could choose a symbol for that, usable both in questions and answers. Other people could suggest such a sign by writing a comment.

An example, found on wikimedia.org: enter image description here


I would definitely be ready to apply it to some of my own questions. Although I can understand that tagging someone else's question like that would not be welcome.


diy.stackexchange has a [dangerous] tag, useful for things like: electrical work on live wiring, DIY asbestos removal, use of non-rated connectors with gas appliances, operation of chainsaws while naked, etc.

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    The thing is, a {dangerous} tag here should probably apply to things like malicious use of write18...
    – Seamus
    Mar 25, 2011 at 23:20
  • @Seamus: Good point. There is already a (non very often used) {security} tag which could also be used. However, {dangerous} would signal it better to the user! Mar 30, 2011 at 11:19

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