There is this question:

Should we consider dropping or modifying the "objective winning criteria" requirement?

Instead, think it is better to make the winning criteria tags:

obligatory, like here in meta you have to choose one of the four:

I also think that only some of the above mentioned tags can be used in tandem such that you can't choose code-golf with popularity-contest etc...

Doing this is better than what is currently done:

Ask question (no criteria) -> VTC -> edit to add critera -> reopen.

Also this would be more welcoming to new users who aren't familiar with such tags, reading the excerpt of these obligatory tags might give them sense of what is this site about.

What do you think?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Those are not the only winning criteria. Also, what happens when a new one is created? \$\endgroup\$
    – Doorknob
    Commented Mar 16, 2014 at 15:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ thanks, you are right that they aren't the only winning criteria, maybe we should add all of them. But I think that any tag that will be created in the future will be related to one of these so it should be accompanied by one of them. For e.g: code-trolling, it is accompanied by popularity contest (usually). \$\endgroup\$
    – Mohammad
    Commented Mar 16, 2014 at 17:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Can't mods be given power to modify site design? Why must they wait for a developer from SE? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 27, 2016 at 10:32
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @Doorknob, ok, my question is a duplicate, but this one seems deserted. Your question about new types can be solved by special tag experimental-challenge (seems like somewhen there was such). And of course I assume that moderators (or company moderators) will be aиду to update required list. \$\endgroup\$
    – Qwertiy
    Commented Mar 28, 2016 at 20:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ Is this really possible? I think that the four required tags on meta are hardcoded, although I'm not really sure. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 11, 2017 at 12:21

1 Answer 1


This probably wouldn't help much, and might hurt

The purpose of mandatory tags is, at least partly, to keep out offtopic posts. Now, it's true that a post that doesn't have a win condition (and isn't ) is offtopic on PPCG. However, when an offtopic question is posted here, it's often clear that the question asker struggled to find even one currently existing tag to tag the post with, and it's often tagged with a nonsensical set of tags (e.g. internally contradictory, and also failing to describe the question). ( seems popular for that; "my question is about programming, and I'm puzzled"!)

It's also the case that a) a question which is very offtopic is trivially identified as such and tends to be closed within a few minutes, thus doing no real lasting harm (we have a lot of moderation power within the general user community on PPCG compared to the amount we actually need, so wasting small amounts of moderation power isn't an issue); and b) a question which is only slightly offtopic nearly always has a win condition tag, so this wouldn't affect it. The only occasions I can really see this helping are situations where a poster simply forgot to write "shorter (measured in bytes) is better" in the question (or whatever the win condition they wanted is, but is the most frequently forgotten), and the "you must provide a win condition tag" prompt reminds them. That's rare (although not unheard of), and commenters to the question are likely to remind them quickly enough.

I can see two ways in which this could hurt, though. One is giving people who post wildly offtopic things a nice handy list of tags that they can use to get their question past the "this is offtopic" check; it's not like we have a classification as simple as , , , that clearly delineates the site into only a few possible valid reasons for making a post. (In fact, we even have , which is a tag which explicitly means "none of the above" when it comes to win conditions, and thus any possible post is covered by some win condition tag, even if it doesn't have one in its body; this is directly counter to the main advantage from required tags.)

The other issue is that sometimes, a win condition becomes popular enough to be worth its own tag. The OP doesn't list or , presumably because they weren't around at the time; we've had to add them since. If we needed to bother a diamond moderator (or more likely, SE staff) to adjust the list every time a new win condition became popular, the list would likely be doing more harm than good as it would cause a limbo situation where we couldn't use the new win condition tag until a sufficiently highly-privileged user was found to update the site configuration.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ About your last paragraph, maybe we can have a privilege, at, say 10k rep (but if this is ever implemented could be enitrely different) that allows you to create required tags. But, if a diamond moderator has the power to create a required tag, I doubt it would be much of an issue, as our moderators are pretty active. \$\endgroup\$
    – Okx
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 10:26

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