I ask a lot of questions about the programmable pipeline in OpenGL and OpenGL ES 2.0 and these two APIs are very similar in many respects. My questions generally apply directly to using either API, such as the shader language that is common to both, or the way you send matrix data to the server in both; in fact cross-platform development in this area allows for the same code to be written for both APIs.

For some reason, despite the applicability of my questions to both tags, a particular user is constantly removing my tag for one or the other API (though strangely, it is inconsistent about which tag gets removed).

I'd like some clarification here because my efforts to get any rational explanation from him on why he constantly retags my questions are failing to produce any meaningful answer. If it was just one question, this would be a small point, but it's quite a large number of questions by myself and others working in this area.

Can anyone explain exactly what the rule is for tagging questions for a particular API? If your question applies directly to multiple APIs, is it against the "rules" to tag more than one API?

  • In this case, it seems like the user in question has done a lot of retagging (or more specifically, tag-removing) that I don't agree with - removing tags that are key to the questions asked. Apr 17 '13 at 1:59
  • It's not me, is it? I usually keep away from OpenGL tags unless it's an obvious typo / alternate spelling...
    – Charles
    Apr 17 '13 at 9:35
  • @Charles no, not you, but this is also more a general question to see what is in fact actually acceptable. The wide liberties some users take with retagging is, in my opinion, detrimental to the value of the stackoverflow site. retagging is necessary in some cases, but plenty of other times it seems very subjective and working against the designed goal of the site.
    – johnbakers
    Apr 17 '13 at 9:48
  • You should tag an API when it is directly relevant to your question. If you're asking a general Java question, and the project uses opengl, don't tag opengl. However, if your question directly concerns opengl, then tag it. I also disagree with that user's retagging. If you think they're critical, roll the edits back.
    – user206222
    Apr 23 '13 at 5:00
  • 2
    As said, if both tags apply to a question, use them. That said, more often than not the OpenGL and OpenGL-ES tags do not both apply to a post. So be careful about their use. Time and time again there are users who slap on OpenGL because OpenGL-ES (which they use) starts with OpenGL. But I'm assuming here you know better than that.
    – Bart
    Apr 26 '13 at 20:12
  • @Bart I would think it's fair to include both OpenGL and OpenGL ES 2.0 when dealing with questions about shader language, for example, which is the same for both.
    – johnbakers
    Apr 29 '13 at 6:49
  • +1, but mainly because your username is awesome. Apr 30 '13 at 3:29

If a question applies to two languages/APIs/etc, then it's good to tag it with both.

This increases the likelihood of getting an answer since followers of either tag will see it and also prevents future duplicates, as the same question isn't asked for both languages.

There's also plenty of precedent for such dual tagging. There are over 16k questions tagged both and , for example.

In the case of problematic re-tagging, the solution is the same as with any bad editing:

  • Rollback the changes
  • Leave a comment asking them to discuss the edits (editors can be @-notified)
  • If the above is insufficient, flag them and a moderator will set them straight
  • However giving C/C++ as an example is probably not good - I would not be surprised if most of those should only be one
    – mmmmmm
    Apr 26 '13 at 22:16
  • Editors can be @-notified? That's fantastic. I did not realize that. Apr 30 '13 at 3:31

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