Currently on Programmers.SE we have a tag and a tag.

Neither of them are needed. If somebody has a question on code issues, go to Stackoverflow.

I say kill them, but what do you think? Are they useful?

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    Hmmm, I think both are pretty useless. Do you have a specific question you want to tag code or coding? – yannis Jan 8 '12 at 20:55
  • @YannisRizos: No actually. I just happened to notice it. – Dynamic Jan 9 '12 at 1:16
  • Oh, ok, just forget about them, then. Bad tags, will be cleaned up at some point - hopefully before they grow too much. Or, you could check out other meta questions on tags, and revise yours to be a cleanup request. – yannis Jan 9 '12 at 1:28
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    @Yannis I wouldn't call them useless. There should be some kind of tag to identify questions about things that happen when writing code (as opposed to requirements, architecture, design, or other things involved with producing software). However, I'm not sure if either code or coding is the best name for such a tag. – Thomas Owens Mod Jan 9 '12 at 1:28
  • @ThomasOwens I quickly scanned the question list for both tags, and I don't see any point to them, most open questions have more appropriate tags. I think software-development should be used on questions about the process of writing code, but I really don't have time right now to properly check out the tags, and find valid uses / synonyms. – yannis Jan 9 '12 at 1:33
  • @YannisRizos: I'll clean up the tags if that's the case... – Dynamic Jan 9 '12 at 1:35
  • @Yannis Same here. I just took a quick look and they seem like they should be duplicates, but I'm not sure if a simple merge would make sense on all questions. But software-development isn't the answer either, since requirements is part of software development, but not related to the act of writing code. I'd have to take a much closer look, though. – Thomas Owens Mod Jan 9 '12 at 1:35
  • @ThomasOwens: Even if we did keep one, do we really need the other? – Dynamic Jan 9 '12 at 1:37
  • @Jae Post a meta question suggesting the clean up (or revise this one), and allow for some time for others to weigh in. Don't take my comment for an answer :) - Make sure to checkout the current tagged questions and try to understand what the tags are meant for... – yannis Jan 9 '12 at 1:37
  • @YannisRizos: No problem... – Dynamic Jan 9 '12 at 1:37
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    @ThomasOwens I think the most appropriate tag for the process of writing code would be "programming" (we don't have a tag), and "coding" could be a synonym... – yannis Jan 9 '12 at 2:08

Like the software development and programming tags, these add zero content to the question and should not exist.

We really don't have a great way to deal with our crappy meta tags; even though needs to die, I'm tempted to just merge and into it, as—in practice—it's come to mean exactly the same thing (i.e., nothing). This way we'd be dealing with two less tags.

But in the end, we're going to need to clean it up, just like we've perpetually been doing with the career and jobs tags.

  • So basically we need to go through and retag all questions with these tags? – Dynamic Jan 9 '12 at 10:54
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    @Jae Not exactly: mass retagging without doing anything else is less helpful than just leaving the tags be. We need to start by removing the tags on new questions so the tags don't get any bigger, then we'll have to go through the questions, see what's still good and what isn't (closing and deleting the questions that suck or don't fit here), then revise the questions that are left to be the best they can be, changing the tags in the process. – user8 Jan 9 '12 at 11:45
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    I agree that they should probably be merged, but I disagree that they add zero content. They define a part of the SDLC that's more formally called "implementation" or "construction". Having a single tag for questions about that part of the life cycle would make it easier to search for or filter out questions that are about that part of the life cycle. The only question is if "coding" is the appropriate name, or if another tag would be better. – Thomas Owens Mod Jan 9 '12 at 12:01
  • @ThomasOwens In practice, nobody follows—or particularly cares about—the SDLC when tagging. Tagging is based on real-world usage, and having a programming or software-development tag and expecting people to follow a very specific definition instead of the colloquial usage of the terms (i.e. to mean everything ever asked here) is like herding cats. – user8 Jan 9 '12 at 12:12
  • I don't necessarily agree. The requirements, architecture, design (although this tag needs some clean-up to differentiate between systems design and UI design, among others), and testing seem to be well used and cover the other 4 parts of the SDLC. The only one missing is one for writing production code. I think that coding (although I would prefer something else to differentiate between writing production code and writing test code, it would work with an appropriate description) makes perfect sense. Those should be generic enough, yet still add filtering value. – Thomas Owens Mod Jan 9 '12 at 12:23
  • (Also, I'm using SDLC in the generic sense of requirements -> architecture -> design -> implementation -> testing -> release and the overarching methodology (development-methodologies, which should probably be made singular IMO) used to progress between those phases, not a specific implementation of an SDLC such as RUP or Spiral which often have unique names for those phases.) – Thomas Owens Mod Jan 9 '12 at 12:26
  • @ThomasOwens I know we've had this discussion many times before, but this site does not and will never correspond to a rigid designators in the SDLC. Regular programmers—the site for whom this site exists—consider "programming", "coding", and "software development" to be roughly synonymous and completely encompassing the topic of this site (i.e. every question is about programming, coding, or software development directly or indirectly). One need only look at how the tags have been used to see that. Tags are for carving out niche topics: here on Programmers, programming is not a niche topic. – user8 Jan 9 '12 at 12:39
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    If this site is only about programming/coding, then remove development methodologies, business/freelance concerns, software architecture, software engineering (thereby removing requirements, process, development methodologies, configuration management, and software project management), and software licensing from the list of on-topic things in the FAQ so that another site can be created. It can't be both ways. Either this is a site about programming and all of those have to go, or it's a site about software development and there needs to be a way to differentiate between different activities. – Thomas Owens Mod Jan 9 '12 at 13:05
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    @ThomasOwens Why not post a meta question and let the community decide? – yannis Jan 9 '12 at 16:16
  • @ThomasOwens Those things are on-topic as long as they relate to programming or software development. That's the issue; every single on-topic question is about programming: development methodologies in programming, business/freelance concerns in programming, software architecture in programming. When every single question here is about the topic of the tag, it's useless, particularly when it's erratically applied. Tell me with a straight face people have used software-development and coding to mean some strict subset of the questions on-topic here. – user8 Jan 9 '12 at 17:34
  • @MarkTrapp Software development? No. That's a bad tag. If it's not about software development, it doesn't belong here. Coding? Yeah, it is a strict subset of questions on topic here. I can pick out many, many on-topic questions that are not about the act of writing code: programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/129181/…, programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/128093/…, programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/127658/… – Thomas Owens Mod Jan 9 '12 at 18:07
  • @ThomasOwens The issue isn't whether there are questions that fall outside your strict definition of what constitutes a "coding" question vs. any other question on the site: you've made it clear there are. It's whether—based on everyday usage of the tags—that's a meaningful distinction to make. Looking at coding and software-development (not to mention programming before we killed it), people don't think like that when deciding whether a question is about coding or programming, instead opting for a much broader definition that encompasses everything that's on-topic here. – user8 Jan 9 '12 at 18:57
  • I assert that they are valuable and most people are using the tag in a meaningful way. I looked through all of the questions tagged coding. They are about the explicit act of writing code. Having this as a filter is valuable for people like me who don't (professionally) write code and don't necessarily care about questions about writing code. There are a few that aren't properly tagged, like one about Project Euler questions on a resume or collaborative project management, that are tagged coding but aren't about writing code (including on a whiteboard), meaning they need cleaning. – Thomas Owens Mod Jan 9 '12 at 19:06
  • @ThomasOwens: But [coding] and [code] don't BOTH have to exist. I'm sure we can get rid of one... – Dynamic Jan 9 '12 at 19:52
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    @Jae Yes, I never said they should both exist. They should be merged into one tag, and that tag should be applied to any question that is about writing code (in an IDE, on a whiteboard, on paper). – Thomas Owens Mod Jan 9 '12 at 19:56

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