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I think most people feel software recommendations are off topic here at SU - please correct me if I'm wrong.

Yet, we have a software-rec tag. Is this not confusing?

4

I think is a perfect candidate for Tag Cleanup. Quoting @LanceRoberts:

[…] the site doesn't want or encourage questions, [and] there are older, historical ones that need to be tagged that way

That's the definition of an obsolete tag: all tags that are cleaned up already exist (i.e. have historical posts) and we don't want new ones tagged like that.

Referring to the rest of @LanceRoberts' answer:

It's also useful to categorize the new ones that need to be cleaned up (since it takes less rep to retag than do the cleanup).

Instead of "categorizing" low-quality posts, we should teach users how to improve them before posting. Obsolete, historical tags like this one encourage posting of low-quality questions that will almost certainly need further editing (if there's an dedicated tag for that, then it must be on-topic, right?). If the quoted statement is true, then we should quit deleting obsolete tags as a part of Tag Cleanup.

Now, quoting the About [software-rec]:

When writing a question looking for specific software recommendations, make sure to include an aspect that can be objectively measured, for example: […]

That sentence is contradictory to this help page:

[…] and it [SU] is not about […] asking for a shopping or product recommendation

The proposed shopping closing reasons explicitly prohibit software recommendations too.

Then, on the tag's About page, there's a list of objectively measurable aspects that should be included in a good software-rec question:

  • performance (execution speed)
  • usability
  • feature richness
  • compatibility with hardware or other software
  • free and open source vs. paid and closed source

Usability is highly subjective, feature richness is a part of almost every single software-rec question and doesn't make it non-software-rec. The latter two encourage questions like Skype alternative which is open source and lets you call phone numbers? or What is the best Paint-like program for Mac OS X? and as you can see, those are getting closed as software recommendations/not constructive. Likewise with performance, I'm sure question titled "Faster alternative to KDE" (or something like that) would end up closed too.

Having a tag like encourages its usage. What's more, tag's description is clearly in conflict with Help and community rules. I think [software-rec] should be included in tag cleanup.

  • I couldn't agree more!! – Dave Sep 6 '13 at 10:47
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No, while the site doesn't want or encourage questions, there are older, historical ones that need to be tagged that way. It's also useful to categorize the new ones that need to be cleaned up (since it takes less rep to retag than do the cleanup).

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