For people who only want guidance in understanding how to approach the problem, as opposed to seeing a fully fleshed out solution.

Would this tag be useful?

Am new to this site, so don't want to create this tag especially if people think that it won't be used. I don't really use tags as yet, so don't understand how others would view it.

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    $\begingroup$ I often see statements of the kind "Looking for a hint, not a full solution" in the body of a question. This is probably more effective than a tag would be. Not everyone looks at the tags as they read a question. $\endgroup$ – user53153 Jan 3 '13 at 5:00
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    $\begingroup$ Meta-tags and dependent tags are generally discouraged. (But the MSE community decided to keep a few of them, anyway.) $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Jan 3 '13 at 7:35
  • $\begingroup$ @MartinSleziak Thanks for that link. I don't understand the discouraged link though, could you explain why you linked to that post? $\endgroup$ – Calvin Lin Jan 3 '13 at 7:41

Tags are for consolidating questions together. There are a few basic ways they get used:

  • As ways to search for questions on a particular topic.
  • To add to favorite tags.
  • To add to ignored tags.
  • To hand out tag badges. (This lets the community get a sense for what kind of questions particular users are good at answering.)

Having a hint-only tag serves none of these purposes, so I don't think it would be useful.

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    $\begingroup$ Thanks for that explanation. $\endgroup$ – Calvin Lin Jan 3 '13 at 4:39
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    $\begingroup$ Hmm. In principle I agree. However, the same objections exist against other meta-tags (see the list in Martin Sleziak's link in the comments to the question). Also, it is hard to see that anyone would add a meta-tag to her/his list of personal favorites or search for more questions using such a tag as a buzzword :-). The thought of somebody earning a tag badge on "hints only" does strike me as strange. I guess we would mostly chuckle at such a badge of merit. $\endgroup$ – Jyrki Lahtonen Jan 3 '13 at 11:35
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    $\begingroup$ I'd love a [hints-only] badge. So esoteric. $\endgroup$ – Alexander Gruber Apr 16 '13 at 1:26

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