I just noticed a somewhat redundant tags, like this question about the IBM 360/20 carries the tags and . Here is kind of an outlier by being overlapping with . After all, all /360 are mainframes by definition. Accepting the logic of overlapping/redundant tags would mean that all questions regarding any micro computer get a tag added (*1). Similar for all (*2).

As similar pile up of duplicate tags can be found in other places, for example this question about a certain Soviet ZX Spectrum clone, tagged with . Here of the three tags , and , one (zx-spectrum-clones) is essentially the combination of the other two (*3). If it's about a spectrum-clone (and not a spectrum), then neither of the other two are needed.

This brings up another such combination including manufacturer tage together with model/family tags like plus tag:[apple-ii], or as mentioned and . Including a manufacturer without need simply narrows down the application of the question, doesn't it?

So while the first instance is about adding a (way) generic tag that describes something implied in a more specific, the second does feature a generic sub-qualifier(spectrum + clone), to be accompanied by a very specific tag including both. Somehow neither seams a logical and even less useful combination. How to handle either?

All of this is not only important in terms of logical clarity, but as well due the 5 entry limit for tags, obviously meant to avoid an overblown tag cloud.

*1 - Which opens the question why there is an overly specific tag of and why it gets attached to questions about any word size machines.

*2 - Which BTW in itself carries the oddity of being set in plural.

*3 - Which again adds the question why there's a plural on 'spectrum-clones', but not on 'spectrum' (as there were as well multiple) and vice versa.

1 Answer 1


Right now we're experiance an explosion of tags which do not add much clarity, but making picking the right ones arbitrary, resulting in tag clouds not really helping anyone. So I'd say

  • Keep tagging at minimum.
  • Only add tags that are rally relevant to the question.
  • Avoid any tags that are already included in more specific ones.
  • Avoid overly specific tags
  • Avoid (sub) model tags when it's generic issues.
  • Avoid company specific tags if it's about families.

In addition:

  • Get rid of generic tags that are too specific (like 'zx-spectrum-clones')
  • Make all tags singular
  • Weed out overlapping areas (like tape-image vs. disk-image vs. image)
  • Get rid of lately duplicates, especially when variants are over specific (disk-drive vs floppy-drive)

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