This question is what brought this issue to mind for me:

Is it possible to turn Tenser's Floating Disk into a chariot?

This is apparently an AD&D question, but it addresses a rules element that exists (at least) in both AD&D and D&D4e. The real issue I have here, is that the only place the system/version was specified, is in the tags for the question.

After reading the title and question, I began writing a response based on the D&D4e rule, having practically no knowledge myself of AD&D at all, let alone that this rules element also existed in that version.

It wasn't until I was half-way through writing the post, that I noticed the tags referencing AD&D and realized that my answer may be very inappropriate depending on the differences between the versions of that rules element.

To prevent similar confusions in the future, should we enforce via mention in the FAQ and/or question editing, a specification of system/version in the title and/or text of the questions?

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You can always ignore tags that you know you don't want to see. –  Pat Ludwig Feb 16 '11 at 21:57
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@Pat - That's a great solution, if I actually don't want to see AD&D questions. I do however want to see those questions, since I'm interested in learning more about that version, but I'm just not qualified to answer those questions. –  Iszi Feb 17 '11 at 13:13

3 Answers 3

You are welcome to edit the questions, but the tags are there for a reason. I read the tags first before clicking into any question - they are one of the most important parts of a question's frame. Tagging should be sufficient.

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This about sums it up for me. IMO, if it confused you and you can make it feel natural, go for it. But we don't want to append 'adnd - ' or 'dnd4e - ' to the front of every question... That's what the tags are there for. –  AceCalhoon Feb 16 '11 at 17:56
    
Now, I definitely don't object to people stating their system verbosely, mainly because it helps Google search rank - the tags are bad for that. –  mxyzplk Feb 16 '11 at 17:57
    
as a principle, we generally discourage putting version information in the title (or the tags, for that matter -- same principle) unless it is absolutely essential to the question, e.g., the question would be utterly wrong and broken without it there. –  Jeff Atwood Feb 16 '11 at 18:07
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@JeffAtwood oh, there's no doubt that not having the version makes this question broken. It's just a matter of should it just be in the tag or should it also be stated in subject or body? My take is "absolutely not in subject, doesn't hurt to mention it in body but it's by no means necessary" –  mxyzplk Feb 16 '11 at 18:10
    
Seems everyone's focused on the title here, when I specifically said "and/OR text of the questions". If the title is an inappropriate place, then that's fine and understandable. I still feel it should be mentioned in the body text at least. –  Iszi Feb 17 '11 at 13:08
    
@Jeff - For most questions here, and at SU/SO/SF for that matter, version information is very often an absolutely essential part of the question. Here, it's because rules vary widely across versions. On the trilogy site, it's because software features and functionality can also vary widely across versions. And, it's not so much the question that would be "utterly wrong and broken" as it is the answers - which really are the important part, aren't they? –  Iszi Feb 17 '11 at 13:11
    
@Iszi - it sure doesn't hurt for people to mention it in the body. Feel free and edit it into bodies. But no, we will not ENFORCE putting the system/version into the body. That's what this question says. So officially, tags are the only ENFORCED area where you must put system/version. –  mxyzplk Feb 17 '11 at 13:55

Enforcing clarity by editing the question is the SE way. Eventually people pick up on it and it becomes a cultural practice that is self-sustaining.

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This Q&A thread would have benefitted from a 4e perspective I think: different ways of looking at what the spell does. I think Iszi should have posted your answer, perhaps editing it to say "I don't know about AD&D, but maybe the mechanics of the 4e version are relevant ..."

I don't see see how the site benefits from Balkanisation.

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The trouble is, the 4e mechanics don't actually answer the question. The spell simply behaves differently in the two editions of the game. The 4e mechanics are better than nothing, of course. And if they're interesting they might be worth posting as a comment. But beyond that they're noise. If the 4e answer is really super interesting, then I still believe the right thing to do is to reask the question under the new system. –  AceCalhoon Mar 1 '11 at 14:40

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