The tag is a meta tag, it adds nothing to the question and can removed without adversely affecting the question. It has recently resurfaced.

I made a start removing the tag from the most recently asked questions and deleting some older closed questions.

As of this writing there are 22 questions left with the tag so they can be address by editing rather than getting the development team to delete the tag that way.

Assuming that there's agreement that it should be removed feel free to remove it from any question you find.

The Stack Overflow homework tag has the following wiki:

Homework means the asker is requesting help with school homework. This lets potential answerers know that they should guide the student in solving the problem, rather than simply showing the complete answer.

Given that answers aren't as hard and fast here the chances of posting a "complete" answer are rarer, making this warning unnecessary.

  • 4
    Wouldn't this essentially make it open-season for students taking algorithm courses? Take this question for example. To me, it looks like a nicely disguised homework question and all the OP is looking for is pseudocode (which if I'm not mistaken is within the scope of Programmers.SE). Do you not feel a homework warning would be appropriate for these kinds of situations? Commented Jan 16, 2012 at 15:03
  • @Marvin - possibly, but the OP didn't tag it anyway, so in that case the point is moot.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented Jan 16, 2012 at 15:04
  • 2
    Granted the OP didn't tag it as homework and my (brief) experience on SO tells me that OPs will not usually tag them as homework for obvious reasons. It's upto the rest of the community to decide and in the case we (community) get it wrong, a quick comment by the OP to clear it up is all it takes. Either way, I don't feel we should get rid of the homework tag completely. Commented Jan 16, 2012 at 15:07
  • 2
    @Marvin There is no problem with homework questions, if they are on topic & follow the normal guidelines. And although it's delightfully ironic that the first such guideline is titled "Do your homework", it doesn't mean don't ask about your homework. The tag may indirectly serve as a warning to reviewers, it may also create the perception that (bad) homework questions are welcome here. In any case, tags are meant for categorizing, not identifying bad (or good) answers. [homework] doesn't serve it's intended purpose, so it must die.
    – yannis
    Commented Jan 16, 2012 at 18:33
  • At this point, I think it's getting close to time to blacklist this tag. The cleanup saved and closed as appropriate (still waiting on a few questions as of now, but they are close). Since it's a meta tag that might be used again, I think it should be blacklisted.
    – Thomas Owens Mod
    Commented Jan 25, 2012 at 14:09
  • 1
    @ThomasOwens AFAIK it can't be blacklisted as long as there are questions attached to it (even closed ones). And there is no point in spamming the homepage with retagging closed questions, so remember to bring it up again when the tag has no more questions.
    – yannis
    Commented Jan 25, 2012 at 14:25
  • @YannisRizos My understanding is that some people (SE staff?) have the ability to totally obliterate a tag, and then black list it. Once the questions have been reviewed and either fall into the "saved" or "closed" category, I think it's safe to obliterate the tag and black list it.
    – Thomas Owens Mod
    Commented Jan 25, 2012 at 14:27
  • @ThomasOwens Yeap, I know. Now that only closed questions remain, the mods can delete them and ask for the tag to be blacklisted.
    – yannis
    Commented Jan 25, 2012 at 15:42

1 Answer 1


I've retagged every question that I thought was on topic, and assembled a list of the ones I think slipped through. Take a look at the list and ping me a when you're through, to retag the survivors.

Update #2:

Only closed questions remain. Moderators, it's now up to you :) And of course as Thomas suggested in the comments, we want the tag blacklisted as soon as possible.

  • Went though these questions. Did some cleanup, voted to close as appropriate. The only one I disagree with is the design patterns in Java question - I don't think it should be closed.
    – Thomas Owens Mod
    Commented Jan 25, 2012 at 14:07
  • 1
    @ThomasOwens Editing and appropriately retagging (which you did on many of the homework/software questions) was my intention, so I'd say we agree completely. Both lists were just questions where I couldn't think of any way of improving them...
    – yannis
    Commented Jan 25, 2012 at 14:22
  • Ah. The heading of the list is "close candidates", which is why I made my comment about it probably not needing to be closed. I see your intent now, though.
    – Thomas Owens Mod
    Commented Jan 25, 2012 at 14:28
  • as far as I can tell, @ThomasOwens managed to salvage this question with rev 2: programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/85309/… (I upvoted after that rev). Also, Thomas retagged it out of homework which looks justified now
    – gnat
    Commented Jan 25, 2012 at 14:58
  • 1
    @gnat Yes of course he did, and also salvaged a few questions on the [software] tag cleanup. My point was that I couldn't salvage them, hence "close candidates" as far as I'm concerned. But that doesn't mean go and close them because I said so...
    – yannis
    Commented Jan 25, 2012 at 15:02
  • And then there were none. No more open questions tagged homework and only 4 closed questions with this tag. Mission accomplished?
    – Thomas Owens Mod
    Commented Jan 25, 2012 at 15:37
  • @ThomasOwens Mission accomplished.
    – yannis
    Commented Feb 24, 2012 at 20:54

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