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As an experiment, I have added a how-to tag to six questions to see how well it work in managing questions that come in the general form of "How do I [perform action] in [given application]?".

This would give us a mechanism to accept these types of questions and be able to search, highlight, and ignore them (for those who feel the site would be cluttered by them).

Please let me know what you think.

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Be careful, because this is a bit of a meta-tag:

http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/08/the-death-of-meta-tags/

e.g. if it doesn't work as the only tag on the question, it's not really a proper tag.

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  • I think these questions do have the potential to turn-off the expert users we need to attract to the site, but they are also entirely valid to the sites scope. Maybe meta-tags also need a filtering option, i.e "do not show questions with tag [x]", to function correctly... however i could also see such a filter option might not be healthy for the site communities.
    – Hemi
    Feb 10, 2011 at 22:09
  • I can see the points made on both sides of this (and I don't mourn the death of the subjective tag by any means), but the how-to tag does help manage a problem that I really see as being specific to GD. Design and page layout tools are complex applications (I'd consider Xcode to be easier to use than Photoshop), so pretty much every niggling feature in the whole of the Adobe Creative Suite has the real potential of becoming a specific question here. Maybe I'm not looking in the right areas, but I just don't see this type of question in SO and Programmers (or even Apple.SE for that matter). Feb 11, 2011 at 4:09
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    @jaips such a filter would be exactly the rationale used so many times to defend so many bad meta-tags .. "just don't look at them!" but completely does not address the root problem of meta-tagging. Feb 11, 2011 at 4:10
  • Pardon me if this has already been hashed out, but such a filter already exists in the "Ignored Tags" feature. But if someone doesn't want to read how-to questions, a point of contention amongst some here, the current policies don't allow for those types of questions to be ignored. From my perspective subjective was a blunt instrument that had a negative context, but that's not what we are (I am) trying to do here; the how-to tag is just another tool in the kit to customize the user experience.[...] Feb 11, 2011 at 18:03
  • [...] If the community, and the SE format, is overwhelmingly against it, I'll withdraw it. But with such a mold-able tool, I don't agree that all meta-tags are necessarily a bad thing. Feb 11, 2011 at 18:05
  • @phil you need to make the argument that combined with the site topic, [how-to] can work as the only tag on a question. Feb 11, 2011 at 19:20
  • @Jeff: I don't think I can according the intent of tag use in the SE system. But GD Faces a real problem of alienating users if we don't have a mechanism by which these can be used. Please see meta.graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/questions/3/… Feb 11, 2011 at 19:53
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    @philip why do you need a tag for this? why not have the titles start with "Howto: do stuff?" Feb 11, 2011 at 19:55

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