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In one way, it does describe the question. It clearly says that it doesn't matter what language you are using, my question cuts across all of them. On the other hand, though, tagging the post without a language or framework tag says the exact same thing.

I'm thinking that the best solution would be to not use the tag, but to tag the question based on what it is about.

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3 Answers 3

Yeah, it does feel like it should be implicit in absence of a particular language tag.

Though now that I think about it, it might be nice to be able to query for questions not related to any particular language, and I don't think there's an easy way to query for "everything without a language tag".

Hmm... :/


Aaaand in reference to the comments Thomas and I made below, I am, unsurprisingly, not the first to think of, well, tagging tags.

Add "tag categories"

Maybe time to revive the discussion, or maybe time to do some electroshock therapy on me to remove the memory of such an idea.

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That is a good point - it does help in adding favorites and searching. So maybe it should stay. –  Thomas Owens Aug 7 '10 at 11:36
    
@Thomas: I'm not really sure what to think. Maybe keep it for now, but long-term I think I'd rather see a way to categorize tags... Oh dear lord, did I just suggest tagging tags? –  Nicholas Knight Aug 7 '10 at 12:59
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I vote for the electroshock therapy –  Jeff Atwood Aug 8 '10 at 6:48
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"it might be nice to be able to query for questions not related to any particular language". I doubt this. And every time I want to post a question on IMAP, AMQP, databases, connection pooling, sorting algorithms, etc. I'm not going to bother adding this tag any more than when I ask a Java question I don't add an OS-agnostic tag. –  AAA Mar 31 '13 at 14:03
    
I do agree with the "it is." But I'm downvoting because this is a non-cohesive answer and I disagree with half-ish of the things in it. –  AAA Mar 31 '13 at 14:05

I am the creator of the [language-agnostic] tag on Stack Overflow.

In my first post with that tag, the intent of the tag was to signal that, despite all the code snippets in the post being in C, I very much didn't want the question to be tied to C or any particular programming language. Without such a tag, it would be rather too easy for the reader to assume the question is about C, and perhaps add such a tag afterwards, which would totally change the intent of the question.

In that sense, [language-agnostic] is (intended to be) a way to signal to people that the question doesn't have a language in mind and discourage people from adding a language tag, notwithstanding the language of any code snippets or other frames of reference.

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Yeah that makes it a meta tag. Signalling is a meta tag. "beginner" would also signal information - to look for easier mistakes instead of potentially subtle bugs - but it's a meta tag too, and disallowed for the same reasons. –  AAA Mar 14 at 14:15

Yes, it is. Per the death of meta tags (which was posted one month after this question):

How can you tell you’re using a meta-tag? It’s easier than you might think.

If the tag can’t work as the only tag on a question, it’s probably a meta-tag. Every tag you use should be able to work, more or less, as the only tag on a question. Meta-tags, like [beginner], [subjective], and [best-practices], are useless by themselves — they tell you nothing at all about the content of the question.

To drive the point home, let's quote the top voted answer to What does "language agnostic" mean?:

Here's an example of some language agnostic questions:

what is a compiler?

what is a regular expression?

should I use algorithm X or algorithm Y?

They're all programming questions but not tied to a specific language.

So those should respectively be tagged compiler, regex and algorithm. Try proposing a good, language-agnostic tagged question for which that works as the only tag - I'm confident you won't succeed.

Note that accordingly this tag is deprecated.

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Does the deprecation of this tag mean we should remove it wherever we see it? Also, is there a chance it'll get burninated? –  Kyle Strand May 3 '13 at 6:25

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