4

I know we have many questions about this already, but I just wanted to get/discuss version tags again.

With Drupal 8 around the corner, we are looking at having three separate versions of Drupal being referenced on the site. Granted, the Drupal 6 questions and tags are going to start dropping off, I would imagine that the tag will grow faster than the tag shrinks.

tl;dr

What's the current consensus on the , , tags?

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    FWIW, I think when we discussed this last time, we were still getting a handful of questions about Drupal 5, so we have dealt with the three active versions thing before. – mpdonadio Jul 2 '13 at 12:53
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As far as I know opinion/policy hasn't changed since Numeric version tags considered...OK, so barring some sort of new discussion on the subject I'd say they're fine. Even encouraged perhaps, depending on your point of view.

This is just my personal opinion, but I prefer that people do add version number tags rather than including them in the body text. Knowing which version number a question relates to is often vital to knowing how to answer it. This will be even more true when D8 is released as the differences in code between 7 & 8 are pretty much unprecedented.

I think that having the version number in a single, reliable place on the page, makes it easier for us more regular visitors to parse the information quickly. It also provides a natural grouping of questions so users with expertise in perhaps one version and not the other, can easily find questions they'll be able to help with.

Just my two cents though.

  • I'm happy with version tags - but it would be awesome to get more opinions and perhaps change our practice before D8 lands :) – Chapabu Jul 2 '13 at 10:29
  • Anything in particular you think needs to change? Or a particular problem with the current 'system' that might need re-thinking? Or is this more of a "do we need to refresh the policy or is it ok as it is?" type question? – Clive Jul 2 '13 at 10:30
  • As a personal preference, I'd much rather see "Add a version tag for your version of Drupal" on the How to Ask page. As an example, I'd quite like to follow D8 questions to help me both help and learn. If those questions are untagged they are essentially lost. I'll add what I would "suggest" be added to the how to ask block as an answer. – Chapabu Jul 2 '13 at 10:35
  • @Clive seems his problem is that I missed version mentioned in text (again) and in absence of tag provided URLs for wrong version. Here – Mołot Jul 2 '13 at 10:35
  • @Mołot - This is not the case at all - please stop being so aggressive. I am trying to help the community come to a consensus on our policies so that everyone is on the same page. You are beginning to sound like you think I have a vendetta against you, which is TOTALLY not the case. – Chapabu Jul 2 '13 at 10:36
  • @Chapabu sorry if I sounded rude or anything, that was not what I meant. English is not my first language and I have some problems with proper polite/honorific forms. Clive asked why is this topic up again, and I just wanted to provide an answer. That's all. – Mołot Jul 2 '13 at 10:38
  • @Mołot I aplogise also, I do understand you have said previously that English is not your first language - I keep forgetting that. Damn global Internet ;-) – Chapabu Jul 2 '13 at 10:40
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    @Mołot Gents - don't forget that even for people who's first language is English it's really hard to get any language nuance across over comments. I've lost count of the number of people I've been having what I thought was a perfectly pleasant interchange with, who've then turned around and admonished me for being rude etc. That's why I advocate the use of smileys so strongly, though I can't do so in public because veterans and higher-ups in the network don't like them so much :P – Clive Jul 2 '13 at 10:52
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    By the way, it was @Clive who caught me at missing version mentioned in body when there was none in tags last 2 or 3 times. That's why I wrote "again". And that's why I agree with answer above - having number "in a single, reliable place" when it's supposed to matter would stop me from doing these mistakes. – Mołot Jul 2 '13 at 11:07
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As a suggestion, perhaps the How to ask block should be changed from:

Remember to report the Drupal version and relevant modules you are using. [...]

to

Remember to report the Drupal version and relevant modules you are using using the tagging system. [...]

Or something to this effect?

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    "[...] if you expect your question is only valid for specific Drupal version or modules, or answers for other versions would be unusable to you" - universal questions like "how to sort nodes by date but ...", with answers like "use views and set ..." should not have version tag. – Mołot Jul 2 '13 at 12:15
  • @Mołot hmm..that's a tricky one. Assuming the op doesn't know the answer, then they could not tell if the answer would be "use views and set" at the time of answering/tagging. Does that make sense? I see the point you are raising (I think we've discussed it on Meta before if someone has a link?) – Chapabu Jul 2 '13 at 12:37
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    I know it's tricky. I don't claim I know a perfect answer, I just wanted to remind certain problems. See Should not the users be suggested if not required to set the version in tags? – Mołot Jul 2 '13 at 12:42
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    Bigger question - should Drupal 8 questions be tagged with Symfony ;-) – Chapabu Jul 2 '13 at 12:42
  • If and only if it touches parts taken from Symfony? That part seemed obvious to me. – Mołot Jul 2 '13 at 12:44
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    @Mołot Sorry - that one was meant to be taken tongue in cheek :-) – Chapabu Jul 2 '13 at 12:46
  • No offence taken. Simply - we already have symfony tag here. I think your comment should be serious, and should be a meta question about what to write in tag's wiki summary. – Mołot Jul 2 '13 at 12:49
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Version tags should be used when the question is specific for a Drupal version; they should not be used to say "I am using Drupal X." The reasons why they should not be used when the question is version-independent are:

  • The users who look for resolving the problem they have would think the question is specific for a Drupal version

  • Adding the version tag to a question that is independent from the Drupal version could cause the users to ask the same question more than once

Probably there are few questions that are version independent, but for those questions the version tags should not be used. I would rather add the version tags for questions about which modules to use, since often there are modules that are for the current Drupal version that are not ported back to the previous version.

Notice that it is also possible to add a new answer explaining what changed with the newer Drupal version to an old version, or answer a question that doesn't give any information about the Drupal version with answer that is valid for the current official version and the previously supported version. In the latter case, it is better a question with answers for more than a Drupal version, than two question for two different Drupal versions.

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    I would still argue in favour of version tags on everything at the point of asking. If the answer is applicable across versions, then the tag can be either removed, or be edited to show all applicable versions. For example, there are going to be a lot of questions where D6 and D7 have the same answer, but D8 is going to be massively different. – Chapabu Jul 2 '13 at 12:40
  • It is hard to tell if question is specific to Drupal version when asking. Usually it's an answer what's really specific, but we don't get to set tags on answers. – Mołot Jul 2 '13 at 12:46
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    @Chapabu If a question applies to Drupal 8, but not previous versions, that question needs to be tagged 8. If the question doesn't have tags, I would assume the question is valid from Drupal 6 to the current official version. – kiamlaluno Jul 2 '13 at 12:46
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    Yes totally, but that's not what I am saying. I mean that if a question is aplicable across two of three versions, should the question not be retagged to show the two versions it DOES apply to? – Chapabu Jul 2 '13 at 12:48
  • @Chapabu I would say no. What would happens when Drupal 9 will be out, and a question applies to Drupal 6, 7, 8, and 9? You cannot use 4 tags just for the Drupal version, when each question cannot have more than 5 tags. – kiamlaluno Jul 2 '13 at 12:55
  • This is true! \Good point :) – Chapabu Jul 2 '13 at 12:56
  • @Mołot The users who ask question could not be aware of the correct tags to use, but that doesn't mean the wrong tags should not be edited out. – kiamlaluno Jul 2 '13 at 12:56
  • "How to do _____ in Drupal?" is usually a version independent. Problem is, we cannot post and accept many answers with different version tags to one question. And between Drupal versions there often are minor changes, like in paths if nothing else. So the problem is not really "user who asked didn't knew correct tags" but "answer made tags (in)correct" – Mołot Jul 2 '13 at 13:03
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    @Mołot "How do you do […] in Drupal?" questions are not version independent or version dependent; it all depends from the question being asked. There is nothing wrong with giving an answer for Drupal 6 and Drupal 7, for a question that doesn't say for which version the OP is interested. The questions should be useful not only for the user who asks them, but also for future readers. – kiamlaluno Jul 2 '13 at 13:18
  • Agreed. It is not difficult, but in fact instructive, to answer an open question with 'In D6, do it this way. In D7, this way.' etc. – Jimajamma Jul 2 '13 at 13:53
  • @Jimajamma If one who writes answer knows solutions for all versions. Now if he knows solution for one version, and there are no version tags, he will be downvoted if OP wanted another version but just didn't bothered to tag. – Mołot Jul 2 '13 at 14:03
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    in that case, I would hope the OP would comment on an answer, and give more information, not downvote the answer immediately, and allow the answer to be edited so to either add the additional information for the other version, or left in place if someone else on that other version has the same question. regardless, I can handle the stings of a couple -2 votes with my ego firmly in check. – Jimajamma Jul 2 '13 at 14:12
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    @Jimajamma I would hope so too; an answer should not be down-voted because the OP didn't give enough information to answer. Sometimes that happens to answers that seem total guesses, but it should not happen when the answer is about Drupal 7 and the OP didn't say what is the used Drupal version. – kiamlaluno Jul 2 '13 at 14:14
  • I agree - should not happen. But it happens. With my current rep it's not a big deal, one or two -1 ~ -4 answers does not hurt (and I deleted answer that started this discussion only after tag appeared, as it got obsoleted, not due to downvotes), but for someone new, at the edge of 100 rep it might be a bigger deal. – Mołot Jul 2 '13 at 14:21
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Just an idea: Maybe require one or more of the following tags: 5, 6, 7, 8, version-independent? Possibly the last never with any of the numeric ones?

It would make clear, "in a single, reliable place on the page", what author thinks about version dependency of his question and give people willing to answer a clear indication if all answers are welcome, or only for some of available versions.

I have nothing against questions that does not specify version. I just don't like ambiguity, and don't like answers voted down only because somewhere deep in text question author indicated another version, than the answer author used in his solution. So it should be clear that version was omitted on purpose if that's the case.

On the other hand, if question without version tags is supposed to mean version-independent, please provide that information in FAQ or help page, to make it clear for the ones that does not dig thorough old meta (or simply fails to stumble upon such posts).

  • We discussed this a little in meta.drupal.stackexchange.com/questions/445/… – mpdonadio Jul 2 '13 at 14:43
  • @MPD - 2 years ago, a lot of changes to the site since then. It seems now most people does not think "a lack of version tag = all answer are welcome", just "But I named my version in question's body!". Post updated. – Mołot Jul 2 '13 at 14:54

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