We have both a and a . It seems to me one should be a synonym for the other.


After @al-everett's answer below, I realized the problem might be the tag in general. I can think of two (maybe three) distinct definitions that fit: The vast majority of questions tagged seem to regard variable scope in a particular language, but some also refer to project scope (as in scope creep).

We also use the term at my company to refer to application scope--which data is being operated on or displayed (active date range, especially)--but I'm not sure if this is an industry-wide use of the term, or just our local lingo.

Is this tag just too general/ambiguous?

  • I have used "data scoping" before to mean the active data range Commented Mar 8, 2011 at 22:38

5 Answers 5


I think the tag should be black listed as it has no meaning on its own. Then all the questions on the tag should be retagged.

  • I agree that it should be blocked. The questions should use a more specific "scope" tag: [variable-scope], [application-scope], [project-scope], etc. Though scope does have meaning on it's own I think, it's just that it has different meanings in different contexts and is therefore ambiguous. Commented Mar 10, 2011 at 3:19
  • 2
    So what's the etiquette with this on meta? Do I accept this answer, even though I don't have the rep to perform this clean up? (and it's gonna be a lot of clean up). Should I retag this question as feature-request or something like that? Commented Mar 26, 2011 at 1:50

Update: 3 years later, there has been no change.

While I support deletion of in general, until that happens (if that happens), in any case should a synonym for .

Current tag descriptions:

scope: Scope is an enclosing context where values and expressions are associated. Use this tag for questions about different types of scope as well for questions where scope may be unclear.

variable-scope: A variable scope is the context within a computer program in which a variable name is valid and can be used.

While there are valid differences between the two; it appears that many questions tagged scope should have been tagged variable-scope instead: The reason is because most people would refer to that as just "scope". I do not feel there is much value in separating the two anyways (in fact, I don't feel like their is much value in either of these tags, in all cases the general language tag is appropriate -- also, "scope" itself seems frequently misused to refer specifically to Ruby on Rails' scope).

I think the blurry line between these two tags, the common misuse of one when the other (or something else entirely) was meant, and the relative non-usefulness of these tags in general warrants a merge.

Even better would be a blacklist of both, after manually retagging the Ruby on Rails scope questions.


Looking at the questions, I think variable-scope should be set as the synonym for scope. However, I don't have enough rep in the tags to make the suggestion.


"Scope" is too generic for a synonym, I think. What about Requirements scope?

  • That raises an interesting point: the word "scope" has multiple definitions in programming. I've edited my question to address this as well. Commented Mar 8, 2011 at 16:34

The question is, what is the scope of the scope (lots of flavours to chose from):

  • scope× 1039
  • variable-scope× 397
  • transactionscope× 207
  • named-scope× 152
  • cscope× 47
  • gyroscope× 21
  • scope-identity× 20
  • default-scope× 14
  • lexical-scope× 12
  • sessionscope× 9
  • scope-creep× 7
  • dynamic-scope× 7
  • scope-resolution× 6
  • scopes× 5
  • transaction-scope× 4
  • session-scope× 4
  • global-scope× 4
  • scope-chain× 4
  • oscilloscope× 4
  • named-scopes× 4
  • scopeguard× 4
  • flash-scope× 4
  • shareddbconnectionscope× 3
  • scoped-lock× 3
  • scoped-ptr× 3
  • anonymous-scope× 2
  • scope-id× 2
  • inputscope× 2
  • sync-scope
  • scoped-proxy

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