I found very difficult to filter the questions based on the programming language because most people forget to specify the language and they are using more specific tags like JQuery but they forget to add JavaScript tag.

People are forgetting that SO is a general purpose programming site and for this reason they are not adding the language tags.

It is not practically possible for users to add to ignore tags each sub-tags (i see language tags as major tags and the more specific ones as sub-tags).

I think that StackOverflow needs a system to auto-assign tags based on existing tags like.

  • hibernate -> java
  • jquery -> javascript
  • nhibernate -> .net
  • rake -> ruby

Using such a system would make the filtering by language/technology accessible.

  • 3
    there is no way to reliably maintain this as you would need a massive map of one to many tags Jan 5, 2010 at 14:27

2 Answers 2


This would be massively difficult to maintain; there are simply too many technologies out there that you'd need to take into account. You might run into problems if the question already has 5 tags; what do you do then?

We're still waiting on a tag white/blacklist that would prevent users from using the same wrong tags over and over again. In my opinion, this would be the most important thing, tagging-wise.

If something is tagged JQuery, why would you need to also tag it JavaScript? Why not also tag it object-oriented and scripting, since JavaScript is both? Where does the tagging stop? I also believe this doesn't really solve any problems.

  • limiting the number of tags is not something wise to do but assigning tags to tags could solve the issue. It we were to tag the tag jquery as javascript and make the tag assignation to inherit tag's tags this could be solved. Also I would allow only experimented users to assign tags to tags.
    – sorin
    Jan 5, 2010 at 13:25

It might be better to tweak the search to do the reverse, so

  • A search for java would include a list of other java related tags, e.g. hibernate
  • JavaScript searches also include questions tagged with JQuery
  • etc...

Technically this could be quite difficult to do, however it's probably easier than having to go back and re-tag thousands of questions.

  • I think that this approach is not technically possible because it would create very slow queries - the number of things you can search is limited and this solution does bring all the complexity to the search query.
    – sorin
    Jan 5, 2010 at 13:22
  • It would be perfectly possible to make this quick - in the worst case it would require the index to be modified based on the tag inclusion heirachy.
    – Justin
    Jan 5, 2010 at 15:21

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