As someone who enjoys answering questions under the tag, it becomes quite annoying when the page becomes filled with questions about Android. It's starting to seem like is simply a throw-in tag when asking a question about Android.

Since Android is almost always programmed in Java, is tagging a question as both and really necessary?

  • 2
    Just search [java] -[android]
    – Doorknob
    Jan 25, 2013 at 3:10
  • Doorknob: But is tagging a question as both really necessary? I was hoping to make this a discussion about the meaning of the Android tag.
    – Zach Latta
    Jan 25, 2013 at 3:11
  • 2
    If they're not tagged with Java that may chop out a bunch of people who might be able to help (who have favourited only Java), if the problem turns out to be with their java-fu rather than their android-chi.
    – Jeff
    Jan 25, 2013 at 3:21

2 Answers 2


We have the same issue over in , with ,* but the answer is pretty straightforward, to my mind.

The tag is for questions which deal with that operating system. The tag is for questions either about that language or with code in that language. The two are neither mutually exclusive nor dependent on each other. Many questions can and should have both applied -- questions which deal with features that are specific to that OS, from the perspective of code. Some, although asked by someone programming on Android could use and leave off, because the OS is irrelevant. A question which doesn't feature code, or isn't about the language, shouldn't have .

I'm completely unfamiliar with Android, but if there's a primary framework (on iOS there is Cocoa Touch) that might also be a candidate for tagging in many cases.

There are five tag slots available on each question, and it's rare, in my experience, to need more. Tags shouldn't be used willy-nilly -- only those that truly apply should be there -- but any and all that do helpfully categorize the question should be present. So, yes, if there's Java in the question, it should have , even if it's also about that stupid mobile OS.

*And so I share your frustration, as someone who loves ObjC questions but is tired of the hundreth iteration of "how can i rotate my tableview in ios objective-c" since I don't really work with iOS. I am ruthless about editing off of questions where it does not apply.

  • I don't like my answer. I like this one. Jan 25, 2013 at 3:36
  • @BoltClock'saUnicorn If it's any consolation, I like both.
    – Jeff
    Jan 25, 2013 at 3:37
  • I just remembered that I don't yet have my gold [objc] tag badge. Who's a sad unicorn? Jan 25, 2013 at 3:40
  • @Bolt: Looks like you're awfully close. 974 votes in [objc].
    – jscs
    Jan 25, 2013 at 3:42

I have a habit of retagging platform questions with the language where applicable, although I haven't done that with questions for a long time. Admittedly this is only most helpful on questions about platforms that support multiple languages; I'll tag a question with the language to make it easier to tell at a glance what language the asker is coding in.

That said, you can always add to your ignored tags and questions with that tag will be hidden anywhere you're looking at a list of questions.

  • I have android ignored. Sometimes it has to do with the java, but usually it's a bunch of android stuff I have no idea about. Good recommendation, +1
    – Doorknob
    Jan 25, 2013 at 3:34

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