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On guidelines to tagging and avoiding unnecessary tags

I'm reading and answering questions with tag on Stack Overflow. These questions can be divided into three categories:

  1. Can be fully answered by a Ruby programmer; not related to Ruby on Rails.
  2. Directly related to Ruby on Rails, but it can be answered by someone who knows only Ruby.
  3. Can be answered only by a Ruby on Rails professional.

Which tags must each of these categories have? I think they should be:

  1. both and

I very much want to clean up this chaos, so I need your opinion in case I'm wrong.

  • You can add ruby-on-rails to your "Ignore Tags". Commented Sep 22, 2010 at 6:12
  • 5
    @nhnb, a looot of people think, that Ruby == Rails — that's why often true-ruby-questions tagged only with rails. I can't ignore them. And problem is not in that I don't want to see rails' questions. I just want ruby-related questions to be tagged properly.
    – Nakilon
    Commented Sep 22, 2010 at 6:18
  • @Shog9, why to close this question and not this? meta.stackexchange.com/questions/32446/…
    – Nakilon
    Commented Nov 23, 2012 at 11:03

2 Answers 2


Almost every single question marked with Ruby-on-Rails (or some variant of it) is also marked with Ruby. The thing is, most of these questions are not about Ruby proper, but about Rails-specific topics such as:

  • Rails MVC patterns
  • Rails objects
  • Rails methods
  • Rails gems
  • Rails views
  • et cetera ad nauseum

While you can do exclusive searches, following the [ruby] tag doesn't make much sense since it's so abused. I'd love to see a cleanup to remove the [ruby] tag from Rails-specific questions, and do something to encourage people to avoid tagging all things Rails as Ruby questions.


The tagging system is used to target the question to people capable of answering and make it findable for people with the same problem. I therefore tend to tag a question as accurately as possible. This includes all broad category, language, as well as fine grained information such as framework and problem category, if applicable.

My go would be to tag with both ruby and ruby-on-rails.

This allows for the question to be found searching for [ruby] as well as [ruby*] and [ruby-on-rails]. Omitting ruby narrows the search options.

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