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Let's nuke the catch-all tags

Every question on this site should be related to (or something tangentially related to software engineering), and/or . These are just the ones on the front page of the "popular" tags, too.

If I get some free time this week or weekend, I would honestly like to go through all (currently 52) pages of tags and come up with a list of tags that add little or no value, and let the community decide. Perhaps as a part of the Summer Cleaning. I would like to see a major effort to clean up tags and write some good tag wiki pages, but I'm not going to ask other people to jump in on this until I get a feel for how much value this would add or what the community thinks.


In response to Matt Ellen's answer, the tag makes sense if it is referring to issues that arise during the construction of software. I would still want to go through the questions tagged with it and make sure that its used appropriately, but I can now see it being a valid tag.

The other two, and I still feel are two general. More specific tags, such as , , , , , , , , and , along with a number of others should probably be used instead to get at the root of the topic of the question.

And this brings up another issue: the tag being used to refer to architectural design, component/module design, and UI design. This is kind of blowing up the scope a little bit (well, a ton, but we'll overlook that for a second), but I think it does underscore a need to take a good hard look at tags and how they are used to make it easier to search and sort.

One of the reasons why I don't have favorite tags here is because it's too hard to use them. Cleaning up would make this easier.

  • Related: Yet another cleanup idea – user8 Aug 3 '11 at 18:10
  • What if your question is just a software-engineering question? You have to tag it before you can post the question. I've been in the situation where a tag was restricted, and I couldn't think of any other existing tags... so I just created a new bullshit tag so that I could post. Removing tags can be annoying - especially to first-time posters who will not know what tags aren't to be used. – Steven Evers Sep 13 '11 at 14:02
  • @#SnOrfus Give (or find) an example of a question that is about software engineering and can't be tagged something more specific. Every question on this site should be about some aspect of software engineering. – Thomas Owens Sep 13 '11 at 20:16
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    Duping this to the catch-all nuke discussion, as the standalone discussion didn't get much action. These tags are probably good candidates for the Structured Tag Cleanup, though. – user8 Feb 4 '12 at 0:24
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I disagree.

Since we have questions (as an example), many of which it would not make sense to tag as programming, software engineering or software development, there is ample scope for question not relating to any of them.

For example, it would not make sense to tag "How to get into accessibility consulting?" with , or

I am all for removing pointless tag, but I don't not think these three qualify. (Although programming and software engineering might be merged as synonyms, I'm not sure.)


Having looked through some of the questions, the tag does seem to be a meta tag that adds little to a question. I am for removing the tag, since meta is murder

  • I see your point about programming (although, as a purist, I would prefer "construction", but most people call it programming, so we can go with that), but I think that "software engineering" and "software development" are pointless. Is the question about requirements engineering? Architecture? Design (and then, application design or UI design)? Construction (programming)? Testing, Verification/Validation? Maintenance? Process? Quality? Tools? Education? All of those (and a lot more) are part of software engineering or software development. – Thomas Owens Aug 3 '11 at 12:00
  • I guess every question tagged "software-engineering" or "software-development" should have at least one more specific tag that can be used to identify at least one specific aspect of software development. – Thomas Owens Aug 3 '11 at 12:01
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    @Thomas Having looked through a few software-engineering questions I'm inclined to agree. They could well be meta tags, and thus should be removed. – Matt Ellen Aug 3 '11 at 12:19
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    In theory, there could be something that is so cross-cutting, that it wouldn't be feasible to tag it with every aspect of software engineering, but I don't ever recall seeing such a question that couldn't be tagged with something more specific. – Thomas Owens Aug 3 '11 at 12:22

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