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Using the data dump, I've put together some tag trend graphs that show the rate of tagged questions over time. Below are some samples, there are many more on the linked page. I can update the page with requests for specific tag groups if you're interested.

Update: There's a new interactive tag trend graph page where you can select any set of tags to compare. Also, the graphs are improved and have a labeled X axis.

Popular Languages (c#, java, php, javascript, c++, python)

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Distributed Source Control (git, mercurial, bazaar)

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Javascript Libraries (jquery, prototype, mootools)

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Meta (subjective, not-programming-related, polls, belongs-on-serverfault, stackoverflow)

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Id love to see these for Superuser –  Ivo Flipse Sep 26 '09 at 7:40
With a Superuser data dump, it would be possible. :) –  Greg Hewgill Sep 26 '09 at 8:49
Guess Jeff should get to work then ^^ –  Ivo Flipse Sep 26 '09 at 9:30
nice, you could add maven-2 to "Build Systems" –  Rich Seller Sep 26 '09 at 12:23
@Rich Seller: good addition, thanks. –  Greg Hewgill Sep 26 '09 at 12:38
oh no, thank you, really like the graphs –  Rich Seller Sep 26 '09 at 12:57
I don't see autotools under the Build Systems. Or does no one ask questions about autotools on StackOverflow? –  Super Long Names are Hilarious Sep 26 '09 at 21:41
@Chris, not a huge amount. 44 total, 3 last 30 days, 1 last 7 days: stackoverflow.com/questions/… –  Rich Seller Sep 27 '09 at 11:51
Awesome work! How often do you update them? Is it possible to add actual week to them? –  Pablo Santa Cruz Oct 24 '09 at 12:49
It would be nice to have the x-axis labeled. –  Andrew Medico Mar 6 '10 at 0:52
@Pablo and @Andrew: The latest revision at hewgill.com/~greg/stackoverflow/tags labels the x-axis. –  Greg Hewgill Mar 7 '10 at 9:10
@Greg Hewgill: Great graph! Maybe you could make it RESTful, by adding the tags on the graph in the querystring, so you can send the diagram with a link. Could be useful. –  Jonas Apr 28 '10 at 23:19
@Sanoj: Click the [link] button. –  Greg Hewgill May 24 '10 at 2:22
@Greg: The trend site doesn't seem to work anymore :( I liked it! –  Jonas Nov 17 '10 at 0:10
@Jonas: I fixed the links. Also, now you can query the tag stats for any SE site. –  Greg Hewgill Nov 29 '10 at 1:57

6 Answers 6

While % is useful, I'd personally be more interested in the growth of individual tags. Perhaps normalising the current counts (i.e. so they all end at 1 or 100 or something), so we can see which tags are linear / sub-linear / super-linear / stagnant / etc.

My point is: a sudden spike (in either direction) by itself doesn't mean much - it could just be that there was a rush on people learning "ook". The overall trend of the % is interesting, though. Thanks for the data.

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+1 It's very difficult to visually integrate. –  Leopd Sep 9 '11 at 18:31

For anyone who might be interested I put together an interactive tag comparison. You can put in up to 4 tags and compare them over a date range and granularity. Check it out here.

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I would love to see the graphs show cumulative number of posts, rather than activity. Activity is valuable, but it's hard to visually integrate to see how big the total bodies of information are. This kind of comparison can give very valuable clues about the health of the community around a project you'r considering using. I don't care how much better you think mootools is than jquery -- look at that graph above and the sensible choice is obvious.

Also, I made this a feature request here: Graph trends for activity within tags

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This tool gives you actual values, individual percentage growth, 6 month history, and live queries so the data is always up to date:


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I like these. Here are some more ideas if you've got time:

  • iphone/blackberry/android/palm
  • windows/unix/linux/mac
  • ie/firefox/chrome/safari/opera

Edit oops, my eyes jumped over the text to the pretty graphs. Looks like you've got all three of these (or something close) on the linked page.

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I added 'unix', as well as 'blackberry' and 'palm-os'. Everything is dwarfed by 'iphone' in the mobile space. –  Greg Hewgill Sep 26 '09 at 8:47

OK. I LOVE these graphs.

I'd like to see graphs of activity for....

  • r <-- especially this, with the "flash-r-mob" thing that happened a few months back
  • f#

Also I'd like to see a plot of homework, I'm wondering if that spikes around Sept 1 and Jan 15. :-)

edit: i r dumb. i need to look at linx.

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You're quite right about homework! Check this out: hewgill.com/~greg/stackoverflow/tags/?homework –  Greg Hewgill Mar 7 '10 at 9:09
Awesome! I has a win! –  Paul Nathan Mar 8 '10 at 17:28

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