I am aware of two current IDE tags:

I'm not an expert on IDEs in general, but I think most code is written in some kind of IDE. However, so few questions here use such tags, but only because they specifically mention the IDE that was used. If we really wanted to be consistent, then each question with code written in an IDE should be tagged with one (and possibly new ones as they come up).

From a reviewing standpoint, I don't think it matters which IDE was used. The same thing applies to compilers, although we don't appear to have such tags. On the other hand, environments (such as and ) seem important, and I think those have a place here.

What do you think? Burninate the above IDE tags and discontinue such use?

  • \$\begingroup\$ In answering this question, we should look at and consider how IDE tags are used at SO... which is to say about 99% inappropriately. I regularly removed the Xcode tag from Objective-c questions, and only once can I ever remember seeing it used even remotely appropriately. \$\endgroup\$
    – nhgrif
    Feb 19, 2015 at 17:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nhgrif I doubt that is going to be a problem here. We don't have nearly as many questions as Stack Overflow, we can keep our IDE tags under control. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 19, 2015 at 17:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SimonAndréForsberg codereview.stackexchange.com/revisions/86074/1 Incorrect use of eclipse. \$\endgroup\$
    – nhgrif
    Apr 6, 2015 at 22:16

4 Answers 4


Burnination would be a step too far: even if the tags aren't appropriate for these particular questions, they have a potential legitimate use. If you've written an Eclipse plug-in or a Visual Studio extension, you might want to submit it for review, and then how would you tag it?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Fair point. Perhaps burnination could be too far, then. Would you suggest revising the wikis to specify a more specific use? \$\endgroup\$
    – Jamal
    Dec 22, 2013 at 17:19
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Yes, that would make sense. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 22, 2013 at 17:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Okay. I'll wait for more feedback from others, although you're not restricted from making such changes since you're a trusted user. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jamal
    Dec 22, 2013 at 17:27
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Untrusted me agrees with this. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 23, 2013 at 0:25

I've removed the Visual Studio tag from this question, and as you can see in the edit history, it was actually the "edit-happy" @Jamal that added the tag in the first place. I've also removed the VS tag from this other question.

For the remaining questions that uses these tags, one of them is about accessing Visual Studio services through code, and the other about an Eclipse plugin. Therefore, those tags should remain - just like Gareth Rees says.


I'm here to meddle with the discussion.

Let's review the existing non-closed, non-migrated and questions.

Reduce duplication while accessing Visual Studio services

Code demonstrates usage of a VS-specific API so a VS-related tag is appropriate.


Nothing to do with Visual Studio aside from using T4, a VS-specific feature. Question should be tagged as instead.

Resharper: Unit of measure is redundant

Resharper is an extension of Visual Studio. Might as well tag it because Visual Studio only runs on that OS. Obviously this tag isn't appropriate here either. There is nothing in the actual code that links this to Visual-Studio, it's just background information.

Wrapping types with alignment requirements

Visual Studio has a limitation so people work around it. Xamarin Studio might have the limitation as well but we don't tag it like that either. This is background information and not appropriate for a VS-related tag.

"Compare" program for Eclipse preference files

The question's premise isn't changed a bit if you swap "eclipse" for "my little pony online". We are being told how the example input looks and that's all that matters, Eclipse is not a relevant tag here.

Retrieving font preference setting in Eclipse JDT plugin

The question's content is about a specific Eclipse API. An Eclipse-related tag is appropriate.

JSON fetcher for Eclipse plugin

There is code relevant to the Eclipse API so an Eclipse-related tag is appropriate.

On Stack Overflow there is more meaning in IDE tags: people are allowed to ask for help on IDE-behaviour. IDE-behaviour however is not something that can be code-reviewed so there's only a very limited set of aspects that are appropriate here. Writing a plugin for an IDE is all I can think off right now.

Proposed solution

There seem to be more tags in the eclipse-* spectrum that might be related to IDE development. If a question arises that uses a specific API/approach from these technologies then those should be additionally created and used together with .



The currently accepted answer suggests that IDE tags would be appropriate when the question is a sample of code that serves as an extension or plugin to the IDE. But if this is the case, are we limiting this option purely to IDEs?

Are there going to be these sorts of questions frequently enough to warrant the tag? Between VS and Eclipse tags, there are 10 total questions and some of them very well could be tagged inappropriately (I didn't look that closely).

But even if this is the case, why are we limiting this to just IDEs? Should we create a tag for every piece of software that someone writes an extension for?

If I create a mod for Minecraft, should I create a tag for Minecraft? If I create a plugin for Notepad++, should I create a tag for that?

Moreover, while I don't think that answers should determine how a question is tagged, a question's tag should lead answerers toward what topics the questioner is perhaps most interested in feedback in, or what the question is about. Of all the questions tagged with VisualStudio or Eclipse, do any of the answers to these questions make any sort of comments that would be explicitly specific to these programs?

And finally, if the code being reviewed is a plugin or extension to an IDE, isn't the title going to be enough information to convey this fact?

For as long as the policy remains that IDE tags are okay, I figured I'd start a list of the questions which the IDE tag has had to be removed because someone thought you just tagged with whatever IDE you're using. Note, this list was started on April 6, 2015, and I don't feel like trekking back through time to compile any instance before now. Moreover, this list will almost certainly be incomplete. But here's the beginning of the list:


  • \$\begingroup\$ I wonder if something like ide-plugin would work. I do agree that keeping these separate IDE tags are not that important, and it's way too easy for others to misuse them. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jamal
    Feb 17, 2015 at 5:09
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Or just plugin? What makes an ide plugin different from a non-ide plugin? \$\endgroup\$
    – nhgrif
    Feb 17, 2015 at 14:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nhgrif Making a plugin can be significantly different depenending on what you are targetting. And for the record, we already have a minecraft tag. No one said that this was limited to just IDEs. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 18, 2015 at 23:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SimonAndréForsberg you are almost arguing that if two questions have an identical set of tags, they should be closed as duplicates. Not quite, but almost... \$\endgroup\$
    – nhgrif
    Feb 19, 2015 at 16:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nhgrif umm... no, that is not what I am saying. Not at all... \$\endgroup\$ Feb 19, 2015 at 16:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SimonAndréForsberg you are arguing that these two questions would be significantly different and thereby warrant different tags. Does this mean any two questions that are significantly different must have a different set of tags? \$\endgroup\$
    – nhgrif
    Feb 19, 2015 at 16:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ I said can be, not are. I doubt that those who make a plugin for Visual Studio would be interested in making a plugin for Eclipse, or Minecraft, or Notepad++. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 19, 2015 at 16:43

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