I like to peruse all the questions about the Java language, class libraries, JVM, etc., in part to learn about these things and in part because I have decent expertise on many of these areas to share.

But when I subscribe to the "java" tag in my feed reader, I'm absolutely inundated with questions that aren't really about Java -- examples:

  • Questions about Spring
  • Questions about XML (where the user irrelevantly is also using Java)
  • Questions specific to EJB, JDBC, Hibernate, Swing, the Facebook Java API etc. etc. -- see, if I wanted to see those things, I'd be looking for those tags!
  • Questions about how to learn C++ .. if you're a Java programmer
  • Questions about how this bit of Java code would be written in Python

and the list just goes on, and on, and on. It's quite a flood of stuff that I don't care about.

How can I find just the questions that are really about Java? Do we need a new tag, like plainjava or justjava? Or, should people with an EJB question (and ejb tag) just not be adding the java tag as well? Or am I just out of luck? Thanks.

EDIT: so far, all the answers given require me to keep maintaining a list of all the specific technologies I'm uninterested in. But this isn't really an issue of what I'm not interested in; what I am interested in is simply questions that are about Java, as opposed to related to Java. Isn't there a better way?

To illustrate how this is not a great solution, the following link:


... doesn't even seem to work. But if I remove one excluded tag from it, then it does. Seems like I'm overflowing the site's capabilities.

EDIT EDIT: Groan! Even with filtering all these most-popular tags out, the ten most recent posts are still about: Spring, Java, Unicode, Cold Fusion, Servlets, HTML, SOAP, Apache-Poi, Java, MySQL! This seems hopeless unless some kind of "justjava" tag is introduced...

  • 11
    I see you are trying to read about Java. You should totally drop that and use jQuery.
    Feb 3, 2010 at 19:18
  • So do you want people to avoid the java tag if the question is about something that depends on Java (e.g. JACOB, Swing) but not about the language itself?
    – Perpetual Motion Goat
    Feb 3, 2010 at 21:43
  • 2
    I don't "want people" to do anything; I don't have the answer here, just the question. It's an interesting failure of the tag system that there is this whole, very important topic area -- the Java platform -- that's virtually impossible to subscribe to. Feb 4, 2010 at 22:29

3 Answers 3


Add java and jvm to your list of Interesting tags, and add spring, xml, ejb, jdbc, etc. to your Ignore list. Then go check the "Hide Ignored Tags" box on the prefs tab of your profile.

  • Seems like a stopgap solution though.
    – Pacerier
    May 22, 2014 at 22:26
  • @Pacerier It's been over four years. May 23, 2014 at 0:51
  • but the problem is still not fixed right?
    – Pacerier
    May 23, 2014 at 14:08
  • @Pacerier There's nothing to fix. The solution was there all along. Follow tags you like and ignore tags you don't want to see. May 23, 2014 at 14:46
  • Ok I know that, but the question has stated that it's generally a stopgap solution. The crux of it is that he would have to add a never-ending constantly-increasing amount of tags to ignore, instead of simply have an option to e.g. follow the tag "plainjava".
    – Pacerier
    May 23, 2014 at 16:20
  • @Pacerier How real a concern do you think that is? You might have to add a new tag to ignore every 6 months or so. That's a lot more workable than expecting every Java programmer to know about and use the "plainjava" tag and not use any other tags. May 23, 2014 at 16:44
  • I'm obviously not suggesting the use of the "plainjava" tag. I'm saying the system should be reworked to easily provide a way to view questions that are "plainjava".
    – Pacerier
    May 23, 2014 at 16:57
  • @Pacerier How are you not suggesting that? The example that you gave was exactly that. A hand-wavy "rework the system" is not a solution. My answer is. May 23, 2014 at 17:09
  • It's an example to illustrate the idea. Also see meta.stackexchange.com/questions/36695/…
    – Pacerier
    May 23, 2014 at 17:44

Promoting sth's comment and my follow-up comment to an answer, you can filter out certain tags by preceding them with "-". For example:

https://stackoverflow.com/questions/tagged/java -ejb -jdbc

You can get feeds the same way:

https://stackoverflow.com/feeds/tag/java -ejb -jdbc

  • Is manually modifying the URL the official way to do this? Feb 3, 2010 at 19:19
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    @KevinBourrillion: it's the only way I know of to do it. It may be one of those expensive features that they don't want to advertise.
    – Kip
    Feb 3, 2010 at 19:27

It would be interesting if you could create a Boolean expression for tags. Like: java and not ejb and not jdbc


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