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There are 15,708 questions using . Those questions have very little in common, except that they are related to an API, in some way.

Isn't too broad? If it is too broad, should not it be burninated?

To me, it seems a meta tag, as it cannot be used alone, and it has a different meaning to different people. For example, if you ask about the API to a Drupal developer, s/he will think of Drupal API; if you ask about the API to a Windows developer, s/he will think to something different (even if it still an API).

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It could (in theory) relate to questions about developing an API of your own. –  Anna Lear Sep 15 '12 at 15:34
    
@AnnaLear: under such a circumstance, wouldn't (for example) api-dev (or a more 'full' api-development) be appropriate? Otherwise it does seem to be more a meta-tag than a useful question-type identifier. –  David Thomas Sep 15 '12 at 15:37
    
@DavidThomas I've favour [api-development] myself. –  Anna Lear Sep 15 '12 at 15:40
    
@AnnaLear: Me too, in all honesty. =) –  David Thomas Sep 15 '12 at 15:41
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api-design already exists –  Ben Brocka Sep 15 '12 at 17:24

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I disagree with your judgement that it's a meta tag:

  • The tag would typically be used in combination with a programming language tag, but that always goes on SO. Conceivably, a question about API design could be tagged just .
  • The tag's meaning is not ambiguous. Of course drupalers will think of the Drupal API and so on. Similarly, if you tell me about C, I think about embedded or unix programming, but it's still the same language if you're using it on Windows.

In principle, a tag like this should be cleaned up, not removed. However, this tag is very heavily abused to mean “I'm using some API”. This usage is completely meaningless: every program uses an API (even if you're programming on bare metal, you're using a hardware API). So I'm not convinced that cleaning up the tag to remove it from 90% of the questions that have it, and subsequently fighting off new misuse, is worth the trouble.

I think the best course of action would be to pick a new tag name ( already exists), scour for questions to retag, and after a while burninate the tag.

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There are 17,000 questions in the tag now. How can we effectively separate the wheat from the chaff? What tag combos should we look for? –  Charles Dec 10 '12 at 4:01

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