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There has been a lot of discussion here and on the main site about whether we should relax the normal Stack Exchange standards for focus, to allow more open ended discussion. One possible solution to this would be to add a special tag, such as discussion or best-practices, to indicate that the question is intended to spark a wide ranging discussion. This would allow the community to push normal questions to be more focused, but still allow room for "is this a good approach" or "what do people recommend" questions.

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I'm a fan of a best-practices tag as this would make it easier for (new) developers to quickly learn the proper way how to do things.

It would also make it able to register to that specific tag and easily be informed about these posts which in turn might spark a new discussion.

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I'm on board for a best-practices approach. While a question on this tag would always be open to some form of subjective interpretation, it often is a valid question - especially with the rapid pace of implementation practices coming to light (Helix etc).

A question on this tag would solicit answers, presumably looking at the problem from different angles based on the experience of the person answering; and the community votes would indicate the popularity of the proposed answer.

And when you combine this; you do indeed get an indication or an answer to; what is currently the community's preferred and therefore "best" practice.

Even if there is a bit of "it depends" involved.

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    Sounds like we have a consensus around best-practices. We should document in the tag description that tagged questions have extra latitude for breadth. Still, I think we want to encourage posters to state a question rather than asking for undirected feedback. – Dan Solovay Oct 7 '16 at 19:01
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    I agree. It shouldn't be a catch-all for open ended-ness, that would do us no good. But take a question like "What's the best way of handling an Image Field 'source' in a multi site solution?" - I'd love to see what people are doing for this – Mark Cassidy Oct 7 '16 at 22:12
  • I absolutely agree here – Pete Navarra Oct 7 '16 at 22:37
  • I will add this description when I hit 750 rep. – Dan Solovay Oct 8 '16 at 15:51
  • Added tag as suggestion, and approved. – Dan Solovay Oct 13 '16 at 20:47
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There are a number of concerns regarding this tag:

  1. Subjective: One person's best practice is another person's bad practice. Subjective questions are already off topic.

  2. Questionable usefulness: How will people interact with the site using this tag? At the time of writing, clicking on the tag shows a list of largely unrelated questions.

  3. Questionable purpose: What about questions that aren't marked with this tag? Does that mean they don't contain best practices? Ideally wouldn't all top voted answers be "best practice"?

  4. Time bound: When is a best practice no longer a best practice?

Also see:

This may seem extreme, but I would consider a ban on this tag in its various possible forms.

  • Thank you for a thoughtful answer! I completely agree and believe that best-practices should be removed. Even our own help portal explicitly states this tag should not be used. – Dmytro Shevchenko Oct 26 '16 at 5:35
  • I agree it deserves scrutiny, but I don't think the question is clear cut. One of the motivations for this site is to provide more latitude for these discussions than Stack Overflow does, and there has been a clear desire for these sort of discussions. We should note that there are sites such as Programmer stack exchange that are explicitly geared towards these discussions, so we shouldn't necessarily default to Stack Overflow's very restrictive approach. – Dan Solovay Oct 26 '16 at 11:09
  • @DanSolovay I'm very conscious of this site's wariness of making the same decisions as Stack Overflow. I almost didn't add some of the links for this reason! However I felt they were directly applicable, regardless of their origin. – Alex Angas Oct 26 '16 at 23:43
  • I hear you. I will post an answer giving a bit more thought to this, and then let the rest of our users weigh in. – Dan Solovay Oct 27 '16 at 1:35
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While writing above question, I discovered the [discussion] tag already exists. I went ahead and posted to document this.

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