Quite often it turns out that the answer to a question is not in the area where the asker assumed it to be. For obvious reasons the tags used by the asker refer to the question only.

I wonder whether the tags should be adapted when the solution is known. My current example is this:

How can I mount filesystems with > 4KB block sizes?

The solution is FUSE and there war already a tag "fuse". So I retagged the question. From the afterwards perspective this makes sense to me. On the other hand: Probably nobody else with this problem will search for "fuse" because he would have to know the answer already...

So: Should the tags describe the problem only or refer to the solution, too?

2 Answers 2


There are already a bunch of questions on this topic on the main meta:

In summary, the thinking seems to be go for it, as long as there's an already accepted answer that fits the specified tag (in your case the answer was posted by the OP, so it's probably getting accepted at some point). You shouldn't if you think somebody will post an answer that fits the tag but there currently isn't one. As long as the tag is going to help people with the same problem find a solution, it's a good idea


I don't think a tag should be applied to a question when it applies to one possible answer (which I think is the case with the question you link). Just because fuse happens to be a solution (maybe even the only reasonable one) doesn't mean that the question is about fuse.

However, sometimes people ask questions where they're unfamiliar with the basic concepts, and where the tag describes the question even though the asker didn't know it. In that case, a tag related to the answer may be appropriate, because it will help people who do know a little bit more find the question and its answers.

  • Surely the main point of tags is to aid in searching? Without tagging based on answers, less people would find the answer - if I was searching for how to solve a certain task with (say) sed, then my search may not find a more generic 'how do I solve this task?' question, even if there was a sed-based answer that solved my (the searcher's) problem perfectly.
    – evilsoup
    May 8, 2013 at 12:11
  • @evilsoup When a tag is overly-specific, though, that negatively affects searching by filtering out too much. Search will still look at the full text of answers, of course, so your sed-based answer is likely to come up when you are looking for it.
    – mattdm
    May 8, 2013 at 12:18
  • In general, it's better to focus on how to solve problems than on how to use a specific tool. (For the latter, there's documentation.)
    – mattdm
    May 8, 2013 at 12:19
  • @evilsoup actually the main point of tags is connecting experts with the questions they want to answer. Searching is secondary.
    – Braiam
    Jun 23, 2014 at 17:18

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