I've just noted that on Stack Overflow, .Net users seem to have created a load of tags like "2.0", "3.5", "4.0". This seems to me to be a bad idea, (though I realise that some .Net programmers believe that SO was created for them alone) and they should all be retagged as .Net2.0 etc. and the creation of numeric tags be banned in future.

  • I thought, we have discussed that before, but it's not part of the faq. +1 Commented Aug 4, 2010 at 11:49
  • 7
    I suspect this is people entering ".NET 2.0" (for example) into the tags field without realising it is space separated.
    – Richard
    Commented Aug 4, 2010 at 12:22
  • I agree. A tag should tell you something all by itself. It shouldn't have to rely on the context of the question. .net2.0 tells you something, 2.0 tells you nothing.
    – raven
    Commented Aug 4, 2010 at 12:24
  • @Ladybug Killer: I seem to remember this coming up in the past as well. I think integer values are banned, so [3] and [2008] are invalid tags, but floats get through. Commented Aug 4, 2010 at 12:30
  • @raven Quite, but this question was prompted by a user who used only the "3.5" tag, no others.
    – nb69307
    Commented Aug 4, 2010 at 12:32
  • 1
    @Bill Integers seem to get through too - see stackoverflow.com/questions/… - which is in a way a reasonable tag, I suppose.
    – nb69307
    Commented Aug 4, 2010 at 12:34
  • I wish I could DV weblog for reinserting the invective. @Neil, thanks for softening the top of it :) Now it's just pure fact.
    – devinb
    Commented Aug 4, 2010 at 12:39
  • 1
    @devinb: Stop misspelling my name, man.
    – Welbog
    Commented Aug 4, 2010 at 12:40
  • @Neil: Grrr... Intel. Naming products after numbers continues to be a bad idea. Commented Aug 4, 2010 at 12:41
  • @Weblog then how to refer to you? @We(bl|lb)og
    – devinb
    Commented Aug 4, 2010 at 12:42
  • 3
    So much for my new programming language. I was going to name it 42
    – user50049
    Commented Aug 4, 2010 at 13:09
  • I've at least retagged 1.3 and 1.8 on SO. Both had only 2 questions attached. For the other tags like 2.0 and so on, there are too much :)
    – user138231
    Commented Aug 4, 2010 at 15:15
  • This is still a problem. There are still 32 questions tagged "4.0" on SO. Can we just get rid of them and ban these tags? Commented Apr 20, 2011 at 17:18

3 Answers 3


A quick look through the questions tagged reveals that it's not just .NET users. That's unfortunate, since it will make retagging a manual process. That ambiguity makes me even more strongly in favor of banning the tags.

  • 8
    Dang, and I was just about to ask a question about calculating the next digit of 3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510582097494 45923078164062862089986280348253421170679821480865132823066470 93844609550582231725359408128481117450284102701938521105559644 62294895493038196442881097566593344612847564823378678316527120 19091456485669234603486104543266482133936072602491412737245870 06606315588174881520920962829254091715364367892590360011330530 54882046652138414695194151160943305727036575959195309218611738 19326117931051185480744623799627495673518857527248912279381830 1194912983367
    – tvanfosson
    Commented Aug 4, 2010 at 12:42
  • 1
    @tvan: I was wondering what the folks at the Math SE site would think of banning numeric tags. Mathematicians name the really important numbers though. :) Commented Aug 4, 2010 at 12:43
  • What about the editor 6? Commented Aug 4, 2010 at 13:25
  • @tvanfosson: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/5460/post-overflow
    – Kip
    Commented Aug 4, 2010 at 13:34
  • @kip - I figured it was a known issue so I didn't report. I vaguely recalled seeing something about it, but I thought it was fixed. Apparently, he never got around to implementing it for comments.
    – tvanfosson
    Commented Aug 4, 2010 at 14:04
  • What about the number of the beast?
    – Pekka
    Commented Aug 4, 2010 at 15:19
  • My Chrome 5 feels all jerky and slow because of that format bug. Strange.
    – Pekka
    Commented Aug 4, 2010 at 15:20
  • Well, you also have [Web-2.0] and lots of other 2.0s.
    – jjnguy
    Commented Aug 4, 2010 at 17:23
  • @tvan no fixes "work" for variable size areas like comments. Sorry. Commented Aug 4, 2010 at 22:12
  • @Jeff -- "alternate implementation", then.
    – tvanfosson
    Commented Aug 5, 2010 at 0:10


As Bill said, the questions would have to be manually separated in most cases.

I created a Data Explorer query to find all the numeric-only tags in the system and the question count for each.

It doesn't look that bad to clean up. Basically go through each one, retag the ones that don't belong to a major group (i.e., .NET), and then get a mod to merge the rest. There aren't very many popular groups in the list, which is nice.

I think each tag can be put into a different tag that's not numeric only, i.e. [8086] --> [intel-8086]


Just a small notice. This is going to break stuff on [Drupal Answers]. They use numeric-only tags for versions of the software, and this is perfectly fine because the entire site is about Drupal.

Ask Ubuntu also does this: Tags like all exist on AU.

It is also possible that a similar case exists on another site.

Implied from that, I'm against this proposal.

Magento people are too smart. They prefixed all version tags with magento so it looks like instead of , which is the way Drupal Answers is currently doing.