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I reviewed a first question today and it was tagged and . I removed the spares but I now see there are 1700+ questions tagged and it's pretty clear none of them deserve it.

These are:

  • about programming for a specific phone and carry an appropriate tag like , etc
  • about programming for a specific phone and sadly, are tagged only or other bad combinations, so that removing from them would leave them in bad shape
  • about validating phone numbers (there is a these could be switched to).

I think the tag should not burninate until it's been disambiguated by an edit posse. And then, please make it go away.

closed as off-topic by Undo, Martijn Pieters, ale, animuson, Monica Cellio May 15 '14 at 1:35

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  • 1
    But how will E.T. phone home if there is no phone tag? I agree this is a terrible tag. – Taryn Feb 14 '14 at 14:29
  • How do you feel about the [embedded] tag? Most things you could tag with that could be a bit more specific, too. – Geobits Feb 14 '14 at 15:26
  • 2
    We need to keep the wiki excerpt, so great value: A ... device that permits two or more users to conduct a conversation when they are not in the same vicinity of each other to be heard directly. – rene Feb 14 '14 at 15:37
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The two tags most commonly used with are (× 668) and (× 465).

  • The 668 questions tagged + appear to be mainly misspellings of , and should presumably be retagged accordingly.

  • There's currently no tag, but one could argue that something like that tag should exist, for the same reasons as why is not a synonym of . That said, looking at the actual questions tagged with +, they're kind of a mess — while a few of them might actually be about issues specific to Android phones (as opposed to e.g. Android tablets), most of them just seem to have the usual random assortment of poorly chosen tags.

  • The remaining 596 questions are a mixed lot. (When two out of the top three highest-voted questions are closed, that's pretty telling.) Many of these seem to be about phone number storage and validation; I'm not sure if these really form a useful topic for a tag, but we do have an existing tag they could be moved under. A few seem to be about programmatically making phone calls, for which we have the (pretty poorly named, IMO) tag, and yet a few more seem to be about things like detecting whether a mobile device is a phone or a tablet and other odds and ends.

In any case, I do agree that this tag needs a thorough cleaning and blacklisting. I just wish there was some way to do the first step that didn't involve manually editing (and bumping) just shy of two thousand questions. We do have a write API now, so maybe someone will write (or has already written) a good tag-editing bot that could at least take care of the easy cases.

In the mean time, I believe it's technically possible to blacklist the tag now, to stop it from being added to new questions, and then let the cleanup proceed at whatever pace we can muster. Accordingly, that's the course that I'd vote for.


Ps. I noticed that there's also the essentially synonymous tag with 77 questions. And the and tags aren't really in very good shape either, although they're at least slightly more specific.

  • There's also telephony... – Charles Feb 14 '14 at 17:07
  • @Charles: That actually looks like it could be a good tag with some cleanup. Maybe we should merge phonecalls into it. – Ilmari Karonen Feb 14 '14 at 17:21

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