Please can we unify all "is {language} on-topic?" questions to one tag scheme.

Since there are, with my counting at least, 35 such questions if we were to make this a tag then it would have more questions than , , and .


but seems incorrect.

but is a collection of languages.

Given the amount of this type of question I believe that they should be categorized together in some form. At the very least it would help me when I search for questions.

I asked in chat about making a new tag, say , and was recommended to instead use both and together. At first I thought this was a good idea. And since only these questions have been tagged that way it's feasible. However after collecting and grouping all of these type of question, that I know of, together I'm not sure it makes the most sense.

How should we tag these questions, with or ?

  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree with unifying and disagree with the new tag. Now I'm not sure what to vote... \$\endgroup\$
    – Mast Mod
    Apr 30, 2020 at 19:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ The question is just asking for a unification. However it doesn't say which way to go, just my opinion. IMO upvote = agree with unification, downvote = disagree with unification. I'll post an answer with the tag to make it clearer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Peilonrayz Mod
    Apr 30, 2020 at 19:52

2 Answers 2


Unification is great! But we don't need a new tag for that.

All questions mentioning a language by name:

Yes, this only covers less than half of the questions you list. Honestly, I think those are among the most important questions of your list.

Especially really sounds like it was made for (among others) this type of question. Besides, languages don't have a scope. The site has. So is both counter-intuitive and ambiguous. I'm not a fan of using that.

All questions mentioning a specific question can be amended with .

Looking at the tag-wiki for I think it shouldn't apply to those questions in general, unless it's about a question which was incorrectly closed. looks misused as well.

I'm on the fence about . I think the current scope of that tag is too broad, but that's for another meta. It's kind of implied already with and adds no new value, but might make it easier during a search.

Turns out that the list and the question title don't share the same load entirely, so the list has to be thinned out a bit too. We can unify "Is {language} on-topic/reviewable" questions, but some of the listed questions aren't about that it seems. At least, not in the sense of programming-language.

I'll concede it could apply in language as in the broader (and outside of CS more widely supported) definition. While I'm not sure we should use it as such on a purely programming-oriented site, I won't oppose it if there's community support. I just hope the tag won't get too broad to be useful.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I have seen questions that seem hypothetical that don't mention a language tag, such as just using the OOP tag. \$\endgroup\$
    – pacmaninbw Mod
    Apr 30, 2020 at 20:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @pacmaninbw It's unclear if you're talking about main or meta. \$\endgroup\$
    – Peilonrayz Mod
    Apr 30, 2020 at 20:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @pacmaninbw On main, hypothetical-code questions should be closed, their tags are irrelevant. If it turns out the code only looks that way, a proper tag can be applied. All questions should have a language tag. But this is about meta questions asking about whether a certain language is acceptable here. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mast Mod
    Apr 30, 2020 at 20:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm talking about Main. Is this discussion about Meta? \$\endgroup\$
    – pacmaninbw Mod
    Apr 30, 2020 at 20:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ This is about meta tags... since the question is tagged meta and all the tags link to meta tags \$\endgroup\$
    – Peilonrayz Mod
    Apr 30, 2020 at 20:11

We should tag them with

Note: In case it's not been clear we're talking about Meta tags.

It should be noted that Mast's answer is in agreement with the groupings in the question. If the tag is added it would incorporate Mast's suggestion. It seems my explanation on why only fits on 11/28 questions was inadequate, and so I have expanded on it below.

Collection of languages

The tag is not a good fit for the last group of questions. This is because they're not asking about a specific language. They're asking about:

  • Images
  • Databases
  • Esteric languages
  • Configuration files

It should be clear that tagging any of these with is wrong. And so regardless of the second category is handled a unification of all these under , would pollute it with incorrect questions.

I don't believe anyone wants this, and so I believe the addition of a new tag would solve this problem.

Languages that most programmers wouldn't count as 'languages'

Human languages

Human languages are not normally counted as a 'language'. And so if someone were to ask if asking if English is a language we support, tagging the question as would be incorrect. This is because 'language' is a subset of language.

My preposed tag is there to determine the scope of what we count as on-topic languages. Whilst this can be in short summed up as most programming languages.

This means the question is legal code on-topic? would not fit in as it's not a 'language'. But I think we can all agree human languages are a language.


Pseudocode is the combination of human languages, programming languages and math into one language. This language comes in many dialects, for example I write pseudocode base heavily off Python. Pseudocode is widely used form of communication, however its large differences between dialects can make it seem like it's not a 'real' language.

Finally since it's unlikely to ever have a compiler/interpreter then the code is never going to be a 'language'.

Unknown third party preprocessors

Most 'languages' are just third party preprocessors. You have your C that transpiles into assembly. You have TypeScript and JavaScript that transpile into JavaScript. You have your Java that transpiles into JVM bytecode.

A preprocessor makes you no longer program in the target language, however that doesn't make what your programming in a 'language'. Unlike pseudocode it has strict grammar and can become a 'language'. The only requirements for it becoming a 'language' is to have a name and for people to say it's a 'language'.

UML - Unified Modelling Language

I don't think this needs to be explained.

Git workflows

The way you interact with Git is through a shell and at least one program (git). All interactions are through a language, and you can make a complete script by just looking in your history. To say this isn't a language seems like a stretch. It's like saying REPLs stop the exchange from being classed as a language.

CAD models

From my very basic knowledge these share similarities to Scatch. They're structured and allow people to communicate. If I were to give a designer a CAD file they could determine what it is without me saying a single word. However if someone were to give me a CAD file I wouldn't be able to because I don't know the language.

This is as language is just an abstract form of communication. But what we class as 'languages' is much more narrow.


I don't think we should tag human languages, pseudocode, 3rd-party preprocessors, UML, git workflows or CAD models as . Because for many on the site that just doesn't make sense. To many on this site these just aren't 'languages', but that doesn't make them not languages. Personally I don't aim to change how the tag is used now or or in the future.

I also don't think tagging "Is {collection of languages} on-topic?" as is correct. As a collection is clearly not a specific language.

Adding a new tag solves both these problems and allows for easier and more correct searching. Don't want to know if a language is on-topic then just add -[language-scope] to your search. Want to know which specific 'languages' are on topic [language-scope][specific-language]. And so I think adding a tag to determine the scope of all languages would be a benefit.

If we contrast this with Mast, then there would be no way to search for these questions. Even if we were to change specific-language to account for all languages then there would still be a gap. This is as asking if a collection of languages are on-topic would not be counted. Additionally I don't think we'll change to account for all languages and so we'd be left with three groups that are all related but without a tag. This just makes the site harder to navigate.

TL;dr: In short adding the tag will allow me to more easily navigate the site. I cannot see how it harms the site.


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