Shouldn't the question Output file contents while they change be tagged ?

I think it would be easier find and much more search engine friendly. I know until the answer was provide the tag would have made any sense. But now that it has can it be tagged such. I'm assuming answers do have an affect on the question.

  • 2
    I've added the tag. You can feel free to edit Q's as well. It'll go into a review Q where higher rep'd users can review it for validity. unix.stackexchange.com/review
    – slm Mod
    Commented May 30, 2014 at 13:01
  • I consider tag edits as minor, not worth the +2 rep, I wasn't willing to check if it could use some improvement and was unsure if it was appropriate because I think answers to a question should not dictate it's off-topicness and tag. Hence I asked the community. Commented May 30, 2014 at 16:35
  • 1
    The rep is not the reason to edit questions. Your explanation in the question here IS!
    – Bernhard
    Commented May 30, 2014 at 20:48
  • There are some grammatical problems with that question... So, yeah, there is a good chance it'd be rejected as too minor if you didn't also fix those.
    – derobert
    Commented May 30, 2014 at 21:16
  • Only if you also tag it less +F...
    – mikeserv
    Commented Jun 4, 2014 at 0:15

3 Answers 3


isn't just about the tail(1) utility, but generally about keeping a file open and watching data that is appended to it — an activity which is often described in reference to tail -f (as witness the names of utilities which extend tail -f, such as multitail, colortail, inotail, …).

Even if the author of the question didn't know about this terminology, the question is about tailing a file. So applies.

I've written a tag wiki for . I emphasize the tailing (follow mode) aspect — I'm not convinced we need and tags for the head and tail utilities, as they're fairly specialized and only invite a small number of questions.


If should exist, then it should be.

----BEGIN RANT----

But that's not really to make it more searchable, it's to bring it to the attention of the tail experts. (That sounds silly, which argues is silly, but let's ignore that.) It's really not useful for searching, because if you already know to use tail, you already know the answer. May be useful for finding duplicates, but again that's really for the expert(s) to decide.

----END RANT----

The rant now done, there is the issue of the edit queue. When something goes through the edit queue, it requires the time of two high-rep users, three if they disagree. That's the valuable thing that the "too minor" rule is to protect, not really the 2 rep.

What we'd like most is if, in addition to retagging, you'd fix the other problems with the post. You'll get two rep and progress towards several badges, and most importantly make the Internet a (slightly) better place.

Another good option is of course to write enough good questions and answers to be able to edit without going through the review queue. Then you can make all the minor edits you'd like.

Finally, you could just ignore it.

  • If you change the first line to "no it should not" as the rant made me think, I would upvote your answer.
    – Braiam
    Commented Jun 3, 2014 at 15:54
  • @Braiam I changed it to 'if tail should exist...', how's that?
    – derobert
    Commented Jun 3, 2014 at 15:56
  • Now I do not understand your position at all. You say that a question which one of the solutions is using tail should be tagged tail even trough there are other answers do not mention tail?
    – Braiam
    Commented Jun 3, 2014 at 16:01
  • @Braiam I think the tag is weird because its bordering on silly to have it. But its sort of the "canonical" answer to following a file. Yes, there are other ways (there almost always are). Compare to if someone was trying to get a scanner to work—would we tag it sane? SANE experts would be the people to help. (We might tag it scanner instead, but I'm not sure what the generic of tail is.)
    – derobert
    Commented Jun 3, 2014 at 16:27

When I ask a question on a StackExchange site where I don't have a lot of experience, I always find it complicated to use appropriate tags. With this kind of questions on this site, you can expect that there is some tool that can help you. Only, how are you going to tag it properly if you don't know which tool to use? I would say that it makes perfectly sense to update the question-tags accordingly.

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