There are differences between Java Standard Edition (which I would assume makes up most of the questions tagged "java"), Java Enterprise Edition, and Java Mobile Edition. However, I have seen JEE and JME questions tagged as "java". I'm fluent in Java, but I can't answer a lot of JEE questions and no JME questions because of my limited experience.

Should the Java tag be phased out in favor of tags more like "java-standard", "java-enterprise", and "java-mobile" (or similar) or supplemented with one of "jse", "jee", or "jme" tags to define the flavor of Java being used?

  • 5
    Yes, it is appropriate. Questions should be tagged both with more generic and more specific tags. (This is not Java specific - just how tagging on SO works in general.) Note that more specific tags (like java-ee) are being used already (although there's some clean-up to do about them: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/11786/…)
    – Jonik
    Commented Aug 12, 2009 at 18:20
  • Also, simply ignore all JME and JEE tags if you don't care about them. If a more specific tag is missing where it would be appropriate, add it. (And sorry, reading the second sentence of the question I linked to, you probably knew about them being used already :-)
    – Jonik
    Commented Aug 12, 2009 at 18:27
  • No. But ruby is. Commented Mar 28, 2010 at 7:25
  • Hey, I know people hate the language, but banishing the tag? That's going a bit too far. Wait. I approve.
    – bobobobo
    Commented Jan 8, 2012 at 0:36
  • java-ee is in a critical need for understanding plain java. Many EE questions can live without it, true, but cases when this ain't so outweight. Eg, solid skills in plain old Java are required to understand why EJB 1 and 2 are a mixture of drudgery and complexity. Or that ridiculous, shameful bugs like Tomcat 27988 are not something mysterious but plain bad java - throw new FileNotFoundException() for every different kind issue, without specific message
    – gnat
    Commented Dec 1, 2012 at 15:43

5 Answers 5


I'd like to see people use both the generic 'java' tag and a more specific tag ('jme', 'jee', 'swing', etc.) on most Java questions. This would allow you to follow them all by flagging just 'java' as interesting, while at the same time ignoring the more specific ones that you're not interested in. Remember, ignored tags trump interesting tags.

  • 1
    Yeah, this is how it should be, and how it mostly is (with some occasional retagging by more experienced users). Trying to artificially "phase out" the 3rd most popular tag on SO would only fail miserably.
    – Jonik
    Commented Aug 12, 2009 at 18:11
  • 3
    So I think what I'll do is start adding a more specific tag to questions that need it. And I forgot that ignored tags override interesting tags, as very few questions are tagged with something that I have as interesting and ignored at the same time. Commented Aug 13, 2009 at 12:10
  • Doesn't that encourage the same problem with questions tagged C# and .NET? Maybe I'm missing something..
    – Drise
    Commented Aug 7, 2012 at 18:35

I think it would be better to leave the Java tag for questions that are flavor agnostic (or the asker doesn't know if flavor matters) and still have flavor specific tags for questions dealing with flavor specific issues.


Java is a language.

Java SE, Java EE, Java ME are all platforms. For that matter so is Dalvik (Android). And Java servlets designed for use in a particular third-party host environment (for example, IBM WebSphere) have almost nothing to do with the Java platform the environment is run in.

There are plenty of language questions that are not more or less relevant to any of the platforms.

  • Yea, good point.
    – bobobobo
    Commented Jan 8, 2012 at 0:38

Let the people decide. If a tag is popular, leave it, it makes sense to people.


I'd just like to note, three years later, the slightly different outcome with and its versions , , and , compared to and its versions , and .

I realise there is a reason for the difference (for anyone who doesn't know: VB.NET is very different to VB6 in many respects, so it makes some sense that very few "VB" answers are not specific to either VB6 or VB.NET), and with respect to this question there are the separate tags like and related.

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