In a recent question, a commenter suggested the existence of a "rant" tag so that she may keep track of programmer rants, as she sometimes enjoys reading them.

Should a "rant" tag exist? If so, should any rules regarding its use be instituted?

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please yes! also there is a programmers meta?! is there a meta.meta?? –  Alison Mar 8 '11 at 19:23
    
@Alison Well, I guess Meta would be a good place to suggest a meta.meta, if you were so inclined. –  Zoot Mar 8 '11 at 19:25
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@Alison meta.stackoverflow.com is the meta site for the whole SE network. –  Anna Lear Mar 8 '11 at 20:22
    
@Anna so meta is meta for itself? –  Alison Mar 8 '11 at 20:39
    
@Alison Occasionally, yes. –  Anna Lear Mar 8 '11 at 20:42

4 Answers 4

Rants do not belong on a Q&A site and we generally at least try to edit them out of questions.

DailyWTF forums are a good place to find entertaining programming-related rants.

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In a way, a tag is an endorsement that the tagged item is acceptable behavior. A rants tag would be just as bad as a "homework" tag. It makes no sense to have a tag for something that we don't want in the first place.


Not only should there be no rants, there should be no implicit rants.

There's a form of a kind of question here that basically says: "Please suggest a type of X for me, but definitely not Y!" For example, "What's functional programming languages are used, and you can't say F#!" and "What's a good editor for Lisp, but don't say Emacs!" [paraphrasing].

I think we should be bold in editing these arbitrarily scoped questions that intentionally avoid types of answers.

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I'm with you. A "rant" tag seems like a reinforcement for the behavior. –  Zoot Mar 9 '11 at 16:57
    
There is a homework tag (on SO at least), and it is accepted to ask and answer homework questions there (with some limitations and caveats). –  Péter Török Mar 10 '11 at 11:35
    
@Peter: Interesting... I'm more familiar with Programmers than I am with SO. Perhaps it's OK to ask hw questions so long as you're frank about it? Actually, as a professor, I wouldn't mind at all if there was a single website students went to in order to do homework. Then it'd be easier for me to find cheaters. –  Macneil Mar 10 '11 at 14:06
    
it is worth being frank about it indeed, but even if not, the nature of the problem is usually revealing anyway (resulting in quick downvotes and close votes). See also the Meta.SO FAQ on How to ask and answer homework questions?. –  Péter Török Mar 12 '11 at 23:08

No, I don't think so. Rants are explicitly discouraged in the Don't ask section of the FAQ. They can be interesting to read, but if they are appropriate anywhere it would be in answers, which don't have tags — not questions.

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How about a question that’s phrased as a rant though? The question which prompted the suggestion looks like a good solid question to me, just inspired, and thus coloured, by frustration. –  Paul D. Waite Mar 9 '11 at 0:17
    
@Paul Ideally questions like that should be edited to remove the ranting and leave the good, solid question behind. –  Anna Lear Mar 9 '11 at 3:04
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@Anna: really? You think that particular question would be better without the air of exasperation? I know the purpose of the site is Q&A, but I think you’re going to get a better quality of Q&A if people can relax and enjoy the site, and questions like this are great for that. A bit of emotion for us to empathise with. Creates a sense of community. –  Paul D. Waite Mar 9 '11 at 9:03
    
@Paul It depends on the question. Re-reading the one you mentioned, I agree that it's fine as is. I was thinking more about questions that go off on a lengthy somewhat-related rant before getting to the point of the question. –  Anna Lear Mar 9 '11 at 13:22
    
@Anna: ah sure, that’s often not helpful. I can understand not wanting to encourage too much of that. –  Paul D. Waite Mar 9 '11 at 17:38

I'm not a Moderator, but I think Mods see deleted / closed posts. I would think that rant and homework would be helpful as a secret 6th tag, but I agree it is off scope, and more suited towards other forums.

Subjective programmers exchange has parameters and isn't a catch all for everything that doesn't fit with SO.

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