There was a tag added to SO, I really think this tag needs to get booted. Why is it even there? As far as I can tell it's being used for "I have a homework problem mapping DNA sequences."

I understand making tags to help organize questions about , or , but the content of a programming problem? What if a user has a homework question about (I don't know) sheep? Do we need a tag to categorize all of those as well?

Can we get rid of the tag?

  • wow, clicking that tag makes me feel like I've fallen into a parallel universe. Oct 22, 2012 at 19:53
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    No sheep, but I can offer you a turtle :-). Oct 22, 2012 at 19:56
  • It looks like helix gets abused as well.... Oct 22, 2012 at 20:25
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    Would it make sense to re-tag some of those questions with the bioinformatics tag?
    – hammar
    Oct 22, 2012 at 20:30
  • Why not make "dna" a tag synonym of "bioinformatics"? Oct 24, 2012 at 18:00

3 Answers 3


I see three kinds of questions in that tag:

  • Homework-type questions about string processing, where the fact that the strings represent DNA is an irrelevant detail. These should be retagged to . Examples: 1 2
  • Bioinformatics questions. DNA sequences tend to be very long, with some typical search operations. There are libraries dedicated to DNA processing. The tag is meaningful and useful for these questions. Examples: 1 2
    There is a tag that covers this meaning and that is used more often. After casperOne indiscriminately blazed through the tag, I went back and retagged questions to where it seemed appropriate.
  • DNA-based computing. 1 It's off-topic.
  • Nice job checking up on that mass-destruction operation! (Although I can't see the second example, it's been mod-deleted.)
    – Pops
    Oct 22, 2012 at 21:43
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    There is already bioinformatics. Why would dna be more appropriate?
    – apaderno
    Oct 23, 2012 at 9:14
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    @kiamlaluno Why have list when there's already data-structures? Why windows-8 and not just windows? Why have tags at all when it's all about programming anyway? Oct 23, 2012 at 10:13
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    In how many cases is knowing the question is someway about DNA relevant? Does a programming question have a different answer, if it is tagged dna (with the actual meaning given to the tag)? programming is not a used tag; if it were, it would be too generic.
    – apaderno
    Oct 23, 2012 at 10:21

It does mean something relevant for computing. From Wikipedia:

Windows DNA is short for Windows Distributed interNet Applications Architecture, a marketing name for a collection of Microsoft technologies that enable the Windows platform and the Internet to work together. Some of the principal technologies comprising DNA include ActiveX, Dynamic HTML (DHTML) and COM. Windows DNA has been largely superseded by the Microsoft .NET Framework, and Microsoft no longer uses the term.

However, it does not seem to be used like that, as the question seem to be just about DNA sequences. I think best burniated and if there was a DNA question tag it windows-dna.

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    OK, I'll give you that. But this clearly isn't how the tag is being used
    – Mike
    Oct 22, 2012 at 19:58

is effectively used to mean Deoxyribonucleic acid.
With that meaning, it is not a tag that is needed on Stack Overflow. The fact the question is someway related to the DNA is not so relevant to require a tag, especially because it is used in different contexts (e.g. different programming languages).

The tag can be removed from the post revisions (i.e. burninated), but first somebody should search for questions to close, such as String read and find different sub-sequences (which is already closed).

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