This is a tough question to ask, because it will seem like I'm either informing on fellow SO'ers and/or concerning myself too much with Rank.

Here's the non-controversial version: jQuery is a library we all know, and it's written in JavaScript. What is the tagging policy for questions on popular libraries (eg jQuery) that can often stand on their own (due to said popularity), and the underlying language used (JavaScript). Should the question always get tagged with both?

The motivation behind the question: I monitor the "JavaScript" stats page as I'm somewhat chuft with making it to the "top 10" of answerers.

Earlier today I noticed another user shot right up though the ranks. Good for that person. But then I noticed it was after re-tagging a bunch of fairly old questions with the "javascript" tag. I became aware of this "rank jump" feature of SO when someone experimented with it recently. In this case the late nature of the re-tag left me feeling uneasy of my "demotion".

Now, don't get me wrong: this is not about me wanting to be ranked higher than anyone else. I enjoy answering JavaScript questions and I've learned a lot from other users with far more knowledge than I here. I enjoy being up there alongside great JavaScript contributors on the site including the user I'm referring to. I just want some clarification on this re-tagging thing, in part so this question can be a reference point for users re-tagging jQuery questions with JavaScript, and in part to help calm the human side of me that feels this is a little bit unfair.

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    In many ways this question is about people gaming the system, and taking over a tag that they weren't really participating in ... I'm just not sure it's an issue. Thanks for admitting your bias.
    – C. Ross
    Commented Dec 9, 2009 at 19:13

6 Answers 6


If it's a question about JavaScript that seeks a jQuery solution, then yes.

If it's purely a question about jQuery ("what selector should I use for..."), then don't bother.

If you're not sure, then use both.

Same thing goes for javascript + dom, javascript + html, jquery + dom, etc...

  • Same applies to retags 6 months later then? Commented Dec 9, 2009 at 17:25
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    Sure. Tags shouldn't really be a historical artifact - they're used for categorization, so any change that improves that is good, regardless of when it happens.
    – Shog9
    Commented Dec 9, 2009 at 17:44
  • "improves" is subjective. Case in point: stackoverflow.com/questions/1218068/… Commented Dec 9, 2009 at 19:14
  • @Crescent Fresh: yeah... That was not an improvement (see my latest revision notes).
    – Shog9
    Commented Dec 9, 2009 at 19:21
  • @Shog9: yeah, and that was your second time editing the tags for that question. Obviously there was some disagreement with your original assessment. Thanks for leaving a good edit description. Commented Dec 9, 2009 at 19:24
  • But the question applies again, who was correct there? There are a few more questions I have similar issue with I would like to re-tag. Both you and the user in question have a) been around longer than I have, and b) have higher rep [taking rep to mean the community's assessment of your "value"]. Who decides?? Commented Dec 9, 2009 at 19:26
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    Well, it's one thing to include new tags if they're relevant. But pushing out an old (but widely-used) tag in favor of one that doesn't really apply does not make a whole lot of sense.
    – Shog9
    Commented Dec 9, 2009 at 19:27
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    As for who decides... If you see a user adding tags where they don't apply, then edit them out again. If the user persists, then flag for moderator attention and/or bring it up on Meta (use the specific-question tag and cite specific examples). There's a big gray area here, but in specific examples such as the one you linked to here I consider it fairly clear-cut: removing a descriptive tag for a less descriptive tag is right out.
    – Shog9
    Commented Dec 9, 2009 at 19:30
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    I don't like pure jquery questions that are tagged as JavaScript. Commented Nov 24, 2012 at 22:30

Actually, when you ask questions about jQuery, you are quite far from JavaScript itself. Who cares about closures when you have selectors.

So, when you think about it in an analogy - you wouldn't tag a question "asp.net" if it is a SharePoint question. Even though, as we know, SharePoint is built on top of asp.net

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    Just uh for the record, saying "who cares about closures when you have selectors" is like saying "who cares about cars when you have television."
    – djechlin
    Commented Aug 5, 2013 at 17:12

Do we tag jQuery questions as code, binary, or library? No. Because even though all of these tags could apply, they are not relevant.

The same is true of tagging jQuery as JavaScript. The whole point of an abstraction such as jQuery is so that we can avoid much of the unpleasantness of pure JS.

So, no. jQuery questions should not be retagged as javascript except in those cases where javascript-ness is an important part of the question.


If it should be searchable via google with the word javascript even if javascript the word isn't included in the question, then yes.

Personally, I believe it should be included. To some degree it's the rectangle/square issue. JQuery is always javascript, but javascript isnt' always JQuery.

If a beginner wanted to find out how to do asynchronous javascript http requests, they might search google for that phrase - I'd want them to find both JQuery and javascript questions that fall along that line.

The only reason to leave it out is if there are already 5 other tags that have a higher priority - in that case it's best to use the better tags. But if there's space to add the javascript tag I'd rather be inclusive and get more/better search results than exclusive and have people miss out on good JQuery solutions because they don't add the word "jquery" to their search.


Something you can do to get more relevant stats is search for javascript and not jquery as with the following URL:

https://stackoverflow.com/questions/tagged/javascript -jquery

You can still get stats from that page, too:

https://stackoverflow.com/questions/tagged?tagnames=javascript -jquery&sort=stats&pagesize=50


I think it's fine to tag jQuery related questions with both and —jQuery is Javascript after all, isn't it?

Anyways, I think answers to jQuery questions suggesting the use of Javascript are completely appropriate, considering some tasks, namely that for which the OP has used jQuery (and is requesting jQuery help with) can be done more easily with Javascript, and in fact boost performance.

So it's the best of both worlds—we'll get the jQuery answers, to help future users looking for help on the same subject, and we'll get the pure Javascript answer, for the performance and comprehensibility benefits.

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    Arguably, a question about the selector syntax in jQuery is not a question about JavaScript.
    – Shog9
    Commented Dec 13, 2011 at 0:57

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