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I'm concerned that a lot of Joomla questions and answers are neglecting to specify the Joomla version. This can make information misleading, confusing or just plain wrong. The lack of version information could be due to the fact that we don't have any specific Joomla version tags yet yet -> What should the format of tags be for different Joomla! versions? As Joomla continues to mature I see this becoming increasingly problematic.

I'm interested to know what other people think about this issue and what we should do about it. Should we make the Joomla version required when posting questions/ answers? If yes, how? What do we do about questions that are not specific to any particular version? How specific do we need to be?

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    It's not just the Joomla (CMS) version you need to worry about. It could also be the PHP/MySQL. It could also be the version of the extension one is asking about. I think the point is that there is a good cheat sheet/dummy example about how to ask a support question. – Andrew Eddie Apr 23 '14 at 5:59
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    Could it be required like here in meta by SE? I'm not sure if we should require the joomla version, as Andrew says there maybe Joomla unrelated questions. – Harald Leithner Apr 23 '14 at 9:22
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    @HaraldLeithner Actually I wasn't thinking of Joomla meta. I think it wouldn't make sense to apply it to the meta. – TryHarder Apr 23 '14 at 11:02
  • @AndrewEddie Good point. – TryHarder Apr 23 '14 at 11:03
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    You miss understand me. In meta you are forced to select a tag. – Harald Leithner Apr 23 '14 at 12:03
  • @HaraldLeithner Sorry. I understand what you mean now. – TryHarder Apr 23 '14 at 13:44
  • @moomoochoo the last section in stackoverflow.com/help/whats-meta says that you have to set a tag on meta, the question is, is this also possible to do such thing on the main page? – Harald Leithner Apr 23 '14 at 13:50
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    @HaraldLeithner Good question. I'm afraid I don't know the answer to that. It's good to see that there is already a possible method of implementing it though. I imagine that it wouldn't be too hard to validate that at least one of the tags was a version tag. – TryHarder Apr 23 '14 at 14:02
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The only currently available way I can see to handle this is to implement appropriate tags.

This seems to work OK on other Stack Exchange websites.

Maybe there could be a "not-version-specific" tag or similar?

  • I was thinking along those lines too. After reading the comments though, I'm not so sure. – TryHarder Apr 23 '14 at 11:11
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    Just need to set forth "suggested tags" (if SE allows it) of 2.5, 3.0, 3.1 etc etc. That should help. – Don Gilbert Apr 23 '14 at 13:27
  • @DonGilbert Suggested tags would be an excellent idea. – TryHarder Apr 23 '14 at 23:33
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    It looks like the "cms" tag will act as the "not-version-specific" tag for joomla cms and "fw" for joomla framework. – TryHarder Apr 26 '14 at 0:29
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    I'm not sure I like fw for the framework (I'd rather write it out) but I agree that we shouldn't enforce versions. cms is good for generic CMS questions. One can always ask for specific version in a comment if needed. – Bakual Apr 28 '14 at 14:22
  • I agree with @Bakual that framework is better written out. If I was new and wanted to ask a question regarding the framework that's how I would tag it. – Adam B May 2 '14 at 17:50
  • To avoid a lot of specific versions, maybe it should be tied to the STS/LTS versions (currently 2.5 and 3.X) – Jeepstone May 6 '14 at 15:15
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Yes, when referring to anything Joomla related, its always best to include the version in your question. I have seen a lot of people add the version specific tags and when answering the question, they have replied saying they're using a different version of Joomla, therefore I think if one manually types the version in, there is less room for mistakes.

Personally, I hate the version tags with a passion as when I check to see if there are any new questions, a lot of people dont use the generic Joomla tag and use something like joomla3.0, so having to check multiple tags for new questions is a pain.

So overall opinion, scrap the tags and include the version in the actual question.

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    Maybe we should standardize the generic tags early and lock out the other tags before it becomes a hassle? It doesn't fix the problem of incorrect tags, but it would fix one of the issues you mentioned. – TryHarder Apr 23 '14 at 10:58
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    Is it possible to lock tags? – Dmitry Rekun Apr 23 '14 at 11:04
  • I believe so- at least for people of low rank. If I'm wrong please let me know. I doubt we'd be able to lock tags until after the Beta though. – TryHarder Apr 23 '14 at 11:06
  • True, but casual users most often do not include the version when asking about software until asked, and SO many Joomla questions ARE version specific, and SO many questions are from casual users. Since the site is ONLY about Joomla, checking for new questions for powerusers doesn't even need tag checking because all the questions ARE about Joomla. For folks just looking for answers, the version is very important, and for folks providing answers the version is USUALLY important. Plainly put, is the site here for powerusers to answer questions, or for Joomla users to find relevant answers? – GDP Apr 23 '14 at 15:12
  • I think you can alias tags later. That should help. – Bakual Apr 28 '14 at 14:23
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In keeping with some sort of standard, there should be required tags that match the Official Joomla! CMS versions. I don't care to say how many hours I've spun my wheels using an answer than doesn't apply to the version I'm using. Casual users cannot be counted on to include that clarification in their question or an optional tag - and let's face it, a LOT of Joomla questions come from users that have limited technical experience.

If you we don't do this, we're going to have thousands of answers that are floating around that the reader cannot be sure apply to their question or not, or worse yet are for an older version than they have and are flat out wrong for the version they're using. That's great for a discussion board, but horribly frustrating in when you need answers that ARE version specific (convenient or not).

If you want to see this confusing outcome, try finding an answer on the support forum for the JW Player. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE their software, but there are many significant differences between versions/implementations and most of the answers only don't mention it, so it becomes a hit/miss as to whether the answer will work for you or not.

Additionally (and I'm not even sure that this is possible), but having the ability to EXCLUDE versions in search results would be a god-send.

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    Also, there should be a "General" tag in the list for questions that aren't version specific, but a selection from the list should be mandatory. – GDP Apr 23 '14 at 13:58
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I don't really agree with most of the points here that every question needs a version attached to it. If a question is obviously about one version, such that is involves a class only available a 3.x then yes it should be tagged as cms-3.x.

But if someone is asking a somewhat generic development questions I would much rather people provides multiple answers that will work in both 2.5.x and 3.x and have that question be a good resource for whoever finds it in the future. In that sense we don't gain anything from pigeonholing a question into one version if it could have easily applied to both versions.

  • Perhaps if we used a general tag as Neil Robertson and GDP suggested? My concern would be that people might get lazy and just click the general tag. – TryHarder Apr 23 '14 at 23:34
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    For the immediate answer, I agree....it's after a year or two, a couple of versions have passed, and when core functionality undergoes changes that the answer may or may not longer be accurate and integrity of past answers then becomes questionable. Unlike PHP or MySQL versions that remain relatively stable, Joomla is still relatively young, and each major version has dramatic changes which affects how things are accomplished. – GDP Apr 24 '14 at 12:59
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I think that the entire goal is to make it as simple as possible for someone asking a question to get the right tag without having to read the manual or even think. Stack Exchange has a tag synonym feature: https://joomla.stackexchange.com/help/privileges/suggest-tag-synonyms. It isn't active yet, because I doubt anyone has enough rep yet.

At first, we can only vote for the tag format that we like best by tagging our questions with that version format. Will this be a mess for the next few weeks? Absolutely. But there won't be so many questions that you will likely be searching by tag too much yet. (And all questions are joomla related, so it will be better than trying to find joomla questions on Stack Overflow.)

As we all get above 1250 rep, we can see what formats are being used, which ones are most popular (i.e. make the most sense to people actually asking questions) and create synonyms to make them all consistent.


In terms of getting people to mark the version number, I would definitely want to get that as part of our FAQ to encourage people to do so. I think that it will also be a common comment on questions that are asked without it. (I'm not sure that there is any way to get them to have to do it before asking a question.)

If someone does just put it in the question and not tag it, I would really like to also edit the question and tag the version number. I think that the version is a great reference point.

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No, version info should not be required. Version tags should only be applied when relevant. Questions should contain the specific details relevant to the question. Even with 1.5, 2.5 and 3.x there is far to much info the same.

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