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A lot of questions involve the same thing

All of these are questions that want to know when the row was last updated. In FS parlance we call this MAC Time. I've united them all under the new tag,

I wanted to see what others thought of this. I see a need for it. Any opinions?

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As I mentioned in chat, ideally you would have asked the community for feedback on this new tag before creating it, and new tags should come with usage guidance at a minimum:

@EvanCarroll What the heck does mtime-row mean? If you're going to create a tag, at least add some usage guidance and maybe a wiki. Before you get 2k privileges, you might consider asking on Database Administrators Meta beforehand to get the community's view on a proposed new tag.

That aide, I can see some uses for a tag like this to group similar questions, to:

  • Aid searching for people interested in existing related questions and answers (including for possible close as duplicate actions)
  • Connect users with the required experience and skills to questions they can answer. It may well be that the initial revision of a question will not be tagged appropriately, but editors can address this
  • Provide some statistical information

On the downside, the name is pretty terrible, because it is not well-known to our target audience. I would suggest instead.

The Create Tags privilege page says (emphasis added):

When should I create new tags?

Most common tags already exist on a mature site. You should always favor existing tags; only create new tags when you feel you can make a strong case that your question does cover a new topic that nobody else has asked about before on this site.

The question here does not currently make a case for the tag, but I can see that we do have some other vaguely similar tags (e.g. for common query patterns), for example:

On balance, I would be prepared to give this tag idea a go (as an experiment), on the basis that if it proves not to be popular or useful, it will not take much effort to remove it. It does need a better name, though.

I would not like to see a multitude of similar low-volume tags of this general sort, but I have been wrong about things before, so it seems only fair to try it out.


I have created and made a synonym.

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I commend your efforts, but they're misguided. Whilst the concept translates to the RDBMS world, the terminology doesn't crossover from filesystem to databases in this instance.

The tag and its synonyms should probably be used.

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There are a number of tags in DBA.SE that I don't fully understand, but which are related either to one or the other RDBMS, as they are part of that specific RDBMS or are common DBA l33t 5p3@k.

However, with your suggestion for the new tag I guess the only person that would understand the tag would be yourself, as you defined the meaning of the tag for DBA.SE.

I don't think the tag would get much attention as it wouldn't be common DBA l33t 5p3@k or related to any of the RDBMS.

  • Most of the users here don't know how to tag. Has anyone who has ever asked an Islands and Gaps question known that the question should be tagged Islands and Gaps beforehand? Do you think that's less "l33t speak" than abbreviating modification-time mtime? And, is your solution to expand it modificationtime-row, or are you just arguing against a tag to group all of these questions? All I see is a lot of absurd commentary and no solution. – Evan Carroll Dec 21 '16 at 18:26
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    c'est le ton qui fait la musique - Hi Evan. Yes it's true that 80% of the users here on DBA.SE probably don't realize what a Gaps and Island statement/issue means, nor what the tag implies. But the tag "Gaps and Islands" has been determined as the colloquial term for an issue which can be solved with SQL. IMO your request for the new tag however is about something that has no relevance for SQL as it is derived from a file system specification. I am publicly disagreeing with your tag request. No more and no less. It is my personal opinion which does not have to correspond with your views. – John aka hot2use Dec 21 '16 at 21:47
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    Regardless of your stance, you're still not answering the question I posed to you. So I'll try again is your solution to expand it [to] modificationtime-row, or are you just arguing against a tag to group all of these questions? Sounds like a fair question to me. – Evan Carroll Dec 21 '16 at 22:11
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    Sorry, i missed the question on the first pass. The tag might stand a better chance with a less abbreviated name. Meanwhile @PaulWhite has written a suggestion in his answer, which seems to be a slightly better choice. – John aka hot2use Dec 22 '16 at 5:11
  • @EvanCarroll After showering and thinking over the tag suggestion here another thought that crossed my mind. It's an addendum to your prediction about tags being assigned after they have been asked. If an "Island and Gaps" tag has been added afterwards, the OP will find references to other questions/solutions on the internet outside of SE. "mtime-row" however is not (yet) a general term for tasks the users are facing. But, "If everybody thinks you are wrong, you might be right." :-) – John aka hot2use Dec 22 '16 at 5:55

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