I reverted a tag change on one of my questions, removing the software tag that had been added. That may have been a bit hasty, since I then took a look at the listing for that tag, which has a number of software-related questions on it.

My question originally had the photoshop and lightroom tags on it, I had figured the "software" aspect was implicit, so I removed the seemingly redundant tag.

Now my question: if the question title, or the tags, imply that the question is about software, should the software tag be necessary? I don't mind being wrong - not too often, though! - and if the consensus is that the tag should be used, then I'll put it back on myself. I'm not thinking of just my question, and can see this issue being brought up again in the future, so it may be a good idea to get some guidance on this.

2 Answers 2


I went through and added software to a bunch of software related questions. Technically speaking, it is not "required", however, it can be useful. When clicking a tag, you only get a list of questions with that particular tag. However, if you want to view all of the questions related to software, without a "common tag", it is rather tedious to do so. You would have to explicitly find all of the software tags, such as lightroom, aperture, photoshop, picasa, etc. etc., and view each one.

So, despite not being "necessary" and possibly being "redundant", I think it is still "useful" in that it allows you to find related questions in a broader category.

  • 2
    Also useful for the 'ignore' list. Not to deride using software, but rather just in a "how do you use the site" sort of way; I'm not interested in tech-supporty questions here.
    – ex-ms
    Aug 10, 2010 at 1:09
  • 2
    isn't "software" a meta-tag. Have you seen this blog post about avoiding meta-tags? blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/08/the-death-of-meta-tags
    – Tom
    Dec 31, 2010 at 21:15
  • @Tom: I don't think "software" is a meta-tag in the sense used there. It's still about the content of the question, not about a quality of the question.
    – mattdm
    Jan 9, 2011 at 15:23

I'm going to post an answer here since @jrista did not respond to my comment.

I don't think we should tag things as software because it's a meta-tag. See this post about them:


Please see a similar question I asked over on the physics stackexcahnge meta site:


  • It is not a "meta tag" in that sense. All tags are metadata about posts; the problem is tags which are essentially commentary on the posts, not for categorization. Now, on a software-focused site, "software" has a different problem as a tag. But here, it's only a part the site — big enough that the tag is useful, small enough that it's not redundant.
    – mattdm
    Feb 1, 2011 at 22:25

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .