When asking a question on Super User, add a suggestion for users to include their "operating system" when adding tags.

It's such a common omission in questions on Super User, I think an extra reminder would be justified.

5 Answers 5


I think it would be nice if the posting guidelines for questions gave some more definitive tag suggestions. Like what you said, if you have a problem, don't forget to include your OS (if you think it is important).


I made the default tag suggestion help text "osx linux windows"


I agree. Although I wouldn't get too sophisticated with this. Maybe just a little note on the page near the tags list.

  • 3
    Right, I wouldn't want the user to feel like they have to include an os specific tag on every question. Otherwise you have a lot of useless tags getting spammed around.
    – TheTXI
    Commented Sep 9, 2009 at 15:04
  • That's all I am suggesting. An extra bit of text by the tags box. "Include your OS."
    – Robert Cartaino
    Commented Sep 9, 2009 at 15:06
  • 4
    @rcartaino: I would like it to be a bit more clear than that. We don't want people adding in "windows-xp" to a tag that is asking about how to use Gmail.
    – TheTXI
    Commented Sep 9, 2009 at 15:07
  • How do I add a signature in gmail using Windows XP and a Netgear wireless router?
    – Jon B
    Commented Sep 9, 2009 at 15:12
  • @TheTXI - "Include your OS, if relevant." Trying to keep it simple/brief. Tag editors can help out here, if there are unnecessary tags.
    – Robert Cartaino
    Commented Sep 9, 2009 at 15:15
  • @Jon B, you'll need to drop that current thinking and use jQuery instead. – random 0 s
    – random
    Commented Sep 9, 2009 at 15:16
  • 2
    Ólafur Waage 2 mins ago – Ólafur Waage 5 mins ago – Ólafur Waage 3 mins ago
    – Ólafur Waage
    Commented Sep 9, 2009 at 15:21
  • 1
    I've noticed the answer to a lot of questions is 7-Zip or VLC. If we'd add a note to try those 2 apps, it would remove the number of questions by half :)
    – alex
    Commented Sep 9, 2009 at 15:49
  • Maybe there's 7-zip and VLC flash mobs?
    – random
    Commented Sep 9, 2009 at 16:43
  • 1
    7-Zip or VLC? Try jQuery instead!
    – perbert
    Commented Sep 9, 2009 at 17:02

Sometimes you can infer stuff from missing tags. When the OS is not included, it is safe to assume that we are talking about Windows.

  • 4
    Sometimes. But inferred tags don't allow people to use the tag system effectively; searching by tag, interesting/ignored tags, etc.
    – Robert Cartaino
    Commented Sep 9, 2009 at 15:19

the site is about trusting users as well, if we start "suggesting" to include the operating system tag, later people will want to include a hardware specific tag, and later start demanding stuff.

IMHO, if you believe a operating system is relevant to the questions, would be enough to add a comment politely asking the user to add one, or someone with enough rep. This kind of participation is what make users learn and improve their questions.

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