One of the defining factors about this SE is that it's NOT about programming. I recently edited a question which, I was surprised to see, the user had tagged as "C++", and had asked for an implementation.

I'm wondering, is there a specific reason we have tags for programming languages? It seems to me that having these would give new members the false impression that questions about programming in those languages are on topic. Likewise it seems silly to have only those languages when there are some languages which are much more likely to have questions appropriate to ask here (i.e. a type-theory question for Haskell).

I propose we delete those tags: , , , .

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    $\begingroup$ Some of those were on closed questions which I've now deleted. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 15, 2013 at 20:15
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    $\begingroup$ I think some questions about semantics and language design and the like can be ontopic, and it may be useful to have the tags around. I agree in principle, though, and would expect most uses to be "wrong". $\endgroup$
    – Raphael
    Commented Jul 16, 2013 at 7:57
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    $\begingroup$ For reference, we have been having a more current discussion about the issue. $\endgroup$
    – Raphael
    Commented Mar 24, 2014 at 14:20
  • $\begingroup$ how do you justify your 1st claim, "one of the defining factors about this SE is that it's NOT about programming"? ofc there are other SE sites for coding/ programming but nowhere in the site description is there a statement that programming is off topic and think the phrasing of such a ban wouldn be quite problematic. $\endgroup$
    – vzn
    Commented Mar 31, 2016 at 0:52
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    $\begingroup$ @vzn Just read the off topic descriptions. "Questions about software development or programming tools are off-topic here, but can be asked on Stack Overflow. " And from the help centre, Programming questions are off-topic here. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 31, 2016 at 1:35
  • $\begingroup$ programming tools (the main topic of Stack Overflow) are different than programming. and what are any mainstream CS experts who assert that CS does not encompass programming? what universities espouse this in their curriculum? etc! $\endgroup$
    – vzn
    Commented Mar 31, 2016 at 1:40

1 Answer 1


Questions about programming languages are fine as long as they are questions and not programming questions.

For example, it is fine to ask design questions about the C++ programming language. So the tag is can be useful for on-topic questions.

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    $\begingroup$ "it is fine to ask design questions about the C++ programming language" -- careful. I don't think "How do I instantiate an array in C++?" is ontopic; you are probably thinking about question on the design (decisions) of languages? $\endgroup$
    – Raphael
    Commented Jul 19, 2013 at 8:20
  • $\begingroup$ @Raphael, yes, that is what I meant. :) $\endgroup$
    – Kaveh
    Commented Jul 19, 2013 at 8:45

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