doesn't seem appropriate as a tag. It only serves to clarify the intent of the question, and not identify or categorize it.

Tag use continues to increase (+139 since this question was asked). I hereby request the tag be burninated and hellbanned blacklisted.

If this can be done programmaticallyhar automatically by a moderator, that'd be more convenient than a user-driven mass removal.

Update: questions have all been removed and edited for great justice (thanks, Jeff Mercado!). However, I'd like to leave this open to get the tag blacklisted, if possible. If that's not an option, please let me know.

Trogdor the Burninator

  • Related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/96470/… Commented Jul 14, 2011 at 21:30
  • @Rick - Thanks, I didn't see that one. From Jeff's answer there: "I left solo-developer and programatically for now.", so it seems it was intentional.
    – Rob Hruska
    Commented Jul 14, 2011 at 21:32
  • Unless enough people feel strongly for keeping it as a separate support request, I'll delete this question or accept it closed as a duplicate of Rick's link. Jeff's answer there is pretty recent, and his "for now" probably still stands.
    – Rob Hruska
    Commented Jul 14, 2011 at 21:35
  • 1
    Let's leave this question here for awhile.
    – user102937
    Commented Jul 14, 2011 at 21:58
  • 7
    Sheesh. I just realized the tag isn't even spelled correctly.
    – user102937
    Commented Jul 14, 2011 at 22:00
  • If nothing else, we can get a mass-rename and tag synonym out of this. :)
    – Rob Hruska
    Commented Jul 14, 2011 at 22:00
  • 5
  • (@Peter, people want your editing tool! ;-))
    – Arjan
    Commented Aug 20, 2011 at 11:57
  • And kill a meme? meta.stackexchange.com/questions/8790/… Commented Sep 13, 2011 at 3:52
  • @RobHruska I went through and manually removed the 'programatically-access' tag from the 10 questions it tagged, shifting them to 'programmatically'. So... still a problem, but one less target.
    – blahdiblah
    Commented Dec 10, 2011 at 5:25
  • @blahdiblah - Thanks :) - I'll keep it on here for burnination, so it doesn't get used anymore.
    – Rob Hruska
    Commented Dec 10, 2011 at 16:15
  • 1
    I actually started blasting away at some questions earlier this week when I saw a new question that used the tag. Though I was busy so I couldn't do all that I wanted to (I even have a draft stating that I would ). Now that the weekend is here, I can finish that up. Commented May 5, 2012 at 2:36
  • @casperOne - What form do I have to fill out to file a blacklist request? ;)
    – Rob Hruska
    Commented May 6, 2012 at 20:17
  • @RobHruska Well, this is the blacklist request if I'm reading it right. I can bring it to the attention of the devs and they can decide.
    – casperOne
    Commented May 6, 2012 at 20:40

4 Answers 4


To the argument that it's important that people be able to specify that they are looking for a programmatic solution, nothing's stopping them!

Having edited all the questions in 9 of 10 said "programmatically" in the title! The other said "in code"! The first sentence of one was:

can someone tell me how to programatically set a:visited and a:hover programatically?
(sic, emphasis mine)

The people tagging their questions -* appear to have no problem making clear that they're interested in a programmatic solution. If anything, it's overemphasized.

When someone asks a question about javascript and can't/doesn't want to use jQuery we don't tag it (and honestly that's more descriptive than "programmatically"), we just encourage them to say so.

There's no need for -* tags.


Let's apply the first rule of tags: would be effective as the only tag on a given question? Probably not. What are you trying to do programmatically? Which language should the program be in? We don't know.

Also, remember that Stack Overflow is a Q&A site for programming. If anything, we should be giving programmatic solutions to all questions by default, and tagging the exceptions something like . I believe this is in line with the current philosophy/spirit of moderation, since according to Will, a moderator, we should

Flag [each non-programming answer] for moderator attention. It's either worth something (and we can convert it to a comment) or it is worthless and it needs to be deleted.

The above policy seems to still be active since this +11 answer was converted to a comment yesterday.

tl;dr: has no value, and should be removed.

  • I think this question has enough support to include it in the current tag cleanup effort. Would like a second or third opinion on that before acting, though.
    – Rob Hruska
    Commented May 4, 2012 at 15:34

Seeing this tag in use really irks me. It's just one of those redundant and useless tags and nothing is really being done about them. It's meta-ish and has no business standing alone and needs to be stopped.

So starting right now, I'm going on a crusade to manually remove this tag from existence and its cousins that are tagging along. When the tag has been destroyed by my hands, I will go after it's descendants until they are no longer breathing. It will be a long journey but mark my words, they will be vanquished.

has been purged.

As I do this, I'll mark other tags here that are just as useless that were also included.

x 200
x 697 (might need help here)
x 17
x 155 (ambiguous, change in favor of )
x 32
x 13
x 163
x 91
x 899
x 76

  • 2
    I cut programmatically down to 104. I'll continue this tomorrow until it is gone. Commented May 5, 2012 at 4:19
  • I'll try and help out a bit, too. For anyone interested in helping, we're centralizing the counts and progress on the Tag Cleanup question.
    – Rob Hruska
    Commented May 5, 2012 at 15:24
  • Rock on, looks like we cleaned them out. At the end there I felt like we were doing some Tim Robbins / Ryan Phillipe Antitrust battling, trying to figure out which end I should be working from to avoid collisions. :)
    – Rob Hruska
    Commented May 5, 2012 at 16:41
  • Haha yeah. Fortunately the post edit indicators were there to show me which ones you got to before I did. Commented May 5, 2012 at 16:43
  • Sweet. Thanks for the help. I've updated this question, but haven't updated the Tag Cleanup one if you want to hit that up.
    – Rob Hruska
    Commented May 5, 2012 at 16:45

No, sometimes, on some topics, it's important to let people know that you are looking for a programming answer, so that your question doesn't get closed as off-topic. Not all people read enough to always see that, also not all people write clear enough to always get that point across.

As per the related link Rick commented on the question, Jeff has specifically left the in place.

  • 8
    "Not all people read enough to always see that" - I would argue that people who don't read questions should not be voting to close them, although that's slightly beside the point. :)
    – Rob Hruska
    Commented Jul 14, 2011 at 21:31
  • @rob, and I would agree. Commented Jul 14, 2011 at 21:31
  • 8
    [Programmatically] is a meta-tag; I'm not clear why Jeff wants to keep it, but it must be one of those "special reasons" like the [hidden-features] tag. Helping people understand that it's a programming question doesn't seem compelling (it is a programmer site, after all).
    – user102937
    Commented Jul 14, 2011 at 21:56
  • 6
    It's useful to find questions to close, like the [hidden-features] tag.
    – user7116
    Commented Jul 14, 2011 at 21:59
  • @sixletter: Hah. That's funny. :P
    – user102937
    Commented Jul 14, 2011 at 22:01
  • Note that, technically speaking, the tag in question is programatically (note that there's only one 'm'). Commented Jul 14, 2011 at 22:19
  • 1
    @six, probably for most, it's also useful to find questions to edit, since if edited properly (once it's past it's initial stage) most of those questions wouldn't need it. Commented Jul 14, 2011 at 22:22
  • 1
    To add another opinion on this: if someone's looking for a programmatic way to accomplish something, I would expect that to be in the content of their question instead of the tags; using it as a tag doesn't really help categorize the question.
    – Rob Hruska
    Commented Dec 10, 2011 at 4:48

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