I see numerous iOS SDK questions being tagged as "objective-c" and many times I see this it makes me wonder if the tag is being misused. If the question is about the Objective-C language then the tag is appropriate, but if it's an iOS SDK-related question I don't think the tag is appropriate.

If I removed this tag from iOS SDK-related questions, would that be an appropriate edit?

  • (Sort of) Similar question about Java and Android: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/112790/… Commented Feb 7, 2012 at 21:56
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    Another sort of similar question on the .NET side: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/111706/… . As I recommended there, I do not suggest removal of the language tag unless it truly is tag spam (like someone doing C# Java PHP C++ with reckless abandon). The language is relevent for the asker and the person searching via google. Technically, you could replace C# with .NET for many of the questions on Stack Overflow, but why would you? Language is relevant to the audience, leave it alone. Commented Feb 7, 2012 at 21:56
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    Geez this is a rough crowd on meta... Why are people down-voting this question with such reckless abandon? Last time I asked a meta question the same thing happened and I didn't think it was such a bad question. Before I asked this I did a search for similar questions before I asked this and didn't find anything particularly relevant (although I hadn't thought to look for tagging in other languages besides objective-c so thanks to jadarnel27 and Anthony for pointing those out). I guess I'm going to just have to get used to being down-voted here on meta... Commented Feb 7, 2012 at 22:32
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    Downvoting on meta just means "disagree", it doesn't have the "bad question" vibe as on regular SO, so don't worry about it.
    – EboMike
    Commented Feb 7, 2012 at 22:34
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    We're going to need a few examples because whether an iOS API question is objective c related or not can be subjective.
    – Pollyanna
    Commented Feb 7, 2012 at 23:06

2 Answers 2


I disagree. I don't see the harm caused by leaving on these questions. If they involve the Objective-C language in some way, the tag would seem to be appropriate, even if the question isn't about a specific aspect of the language.

It is inconsistently used, but I don't think that causes much of a problem. If people want to find iOS questions, they follow the and/or tags, and Mac developers go to . Whether or not is present doesn't change the visibility of the question much in my experience, although it may help clarify cases where someone explicitly doesn't want to use a C or C++ approach to a problem. I wouldn't waste your time with retagging tens of thousands of questions one way or the other for minimal gain.

However, if you want to see a tag being misused in the iOS areas, look no further than . That mistagging really grinds my gears, and I often edit that out. Man, do I hate seeing questions like "how do I write image downloading in xcode?"

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    Related to your last point: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/93974/xcode-is-just-an-ide I also sometimes edit it out but then, really, what's the point? You're emptying an ocean with a thimble.
    – jrturton
    Commented Feb 8, 2012 at 8:43
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    Between the downvotes on my OP and the upvotes on this answer, I'm concluding that meta folks think that leaving the objective-c tag in is ok and it should not be edited out in. Accepting this answer given that... Commented Feb 8, 2012 at 19:56

The problem with applying the Objective-C tag to questions that simply involve the language is that it hides questions about the language. It's exactly equivalent to the situation with Xcode, where questions about Xcode are hidden by questions from people who happen to be using it.

Back when Stack Overflow first started I did a ton of tag clean-up along those lines. It'd be cool if there were a "show me a random sample of questions" button that would make this kind of "crowdsourced tag-gardening" tractable: It would let people who feel like it press the button, screen 15 to 50 random questions, and gradually improve the quality of the site as a long-term reference.

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