First off I should say I'm ignoring the following meta tags: , , , and most with less than 100 views.

A short overview of the discussions around these tags is outlined below:

  1. Tag synonyms (optimize -> optimization)

    We synonymized -> .

  2. - Tags for [optimization], [performance], [speed]

    This came about as there was a synonym request between and . We merged and . However it was raised that should instead be three tags; , and . Only the last tag seemed to have disagreement.

  3. - Should we just put an end to [optimization]?

    This suggested removing the altogether, in favor of other tags. Such as and .

    Again splitting this tag into three tags was suggested, heavily upvoted and seems to be the plan.

  4. [tag:optimization] was made a synonym of [tag:performance]

  5. Optimizing [performance]

    This requested that be merged with . But we don't think we should yet. It also seems like we know there are issues with this tag, but don't know how to deal with them.

  6. Time limit exceeded and performance: what's the difference?

    We agree that these are not the same tag, and so shouldn't be synonymized or merged.

  7. Would burninating [performance] bring good performance?

    Where we came to the conclusion that it's a useful tag. And points to three ways to optimize the code; performance, memory usage and readability.

And so we now have the tags: , , , , and . I'm not sure if fits in this too.

And so I'd like to request we do the following:

  1. Normalize the naming of the tags. This sets a clear naming scheme to follow when adding similar tags. And also helps users find the correct tag when searching for 'optimization'.

  2. Should we add more of these tags?

  3. How should we deal with ?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ code-size-optimization sounds like code-golf (reducing source-code size), but reducing binary code size could well come within memory-optimization, which you mentioned in point 2, but didn't suggest in the summing-up. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 14, 2019 at 17:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ @TobySpeight I agree with your point about code-size-optimization. I also don't mention memory-optimization as it exits with 132 questions, and I don't think it needs it's name to be changed. \$\endgroup\$
    – Peilonrayz Mod
    Commented Feb 14, 2019 at 17:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ Got it - thanks. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 14, 2019 at 18:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ Would your suggestions put tags on existing questions that don't completely fit? As in, are you sure the renames are not going to result in wrongful use of tags? \$\endgroup\$
    – Mast Mod
    Commented Feb 14, 2019 at 18:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ Point 3, how should we deal with optimization, we don't, it's already a synonym of performance. We could remove it, but it would require blacklisting the tag to prevent future problems. I'm absolutely sure somebody is going to reinvent it again otherwise. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mast Mod
    Commented Feb 14, 2019 at 18:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ Cheers for the edit Toby. @Mast Yes, it may potentially rename the tag to something that doesn't fit. We can however see this in the latest complexity question already. \$\endgroup\$
    – Peilonrayz Mod
    Commented Feb 14, 2019 at 18:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ A synonym is different from a merge, yes. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mast Mod
    Commented Feb 14, 2019 at 18:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Mast Fair enough about optimization, I think others may disagree unless opinions have changed since (5). \$\endgroup\$
    – Peilonrayz Mod
    Commented Feb 14, 2019 at 18:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ That thread suggests not to merge them. I suggest to do away with complexity at all. It's one of the most useless meta tags listed. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mast Mod
    Commented Feb 14, 2019 at 18:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Mast I never said to merge them. \$\endgroup\$
    – Peilonrayz Mod
    Commented Feb 14, 2019 at 18:31

5 Answers 5


Should we rename ?

I think we need to just junk it. It's not used very well (it's supposed to indicate an interest in the algorithm design, but it tends to be added by everyone implementing a well-known algorithm). I don't think the tag is adding any value to the questions that have it at present.


Yes, we should rename the tags

I'm ignoring , , , and in this answer.


  • Clear naming scheme if we add more of these tags.
  • Means people that search for "optimization" can see all the different tags and pick the one that is most relevant.
  • Adding tag synonyms that follow will increase the discoverability of these tags for existing users. Currently is our 6th biggest tag and so it's common that users will search for it when adding a tag.
  • Performing a tag-rename and synonym is quick and easy.
  • This should increase site quality just from appending "optimization" to the end of the word, as it'd mean the tag name is all the description you need. Take the latest complexity question, it has nothing to do with big O, and definitely doesn't have anything to do with optimization / improving performance.


And so I suggest the following renames: (all tags fit in the 35 char limit)

  • \$\begingroup\$ If you agree we should rename these, but don't agree with the x-performace synonym please upvote this comment. \$\endgroup\$
    – Peilonrayz Mod
    Commented Feb 15, 2019 at 11:05

I think that might benefit from a rename (e.g. ) to distinguish it more obviously from . That seems pretty wordy, but I can't see a good way to solve that.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Honestly, I think the complexity tags should be removed. They add no value. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mast Mod
    Commented Feb 14, 2019 at 18:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ I like to abstain from voting until traction picks up (so there's no FGITW bias). If we go the route of renaming these I think this is a good suggestion. I'm not sure about the name you picked however. \$\endgroup\$
    – Peilonrayz Mod
    Commented Feb 14, 2019 at 18:48

We can do away with most of the tags which are up for debate, without problem. What are those tags doing there anyway? Problem description should be in the question itself anyway and meta tags are usually quite fuzzy.

Tags can be used to search on, to select and/or ignore. So it makes somewhat sense to have , , , and such. There are people who are above averagely interested in them who can follow such tags, and people who are absolutely not interested in such questions but see them as clutter can ignore them. Perfectly fine.

But who's going to search for or ? I don't see a use-case for them. Are experts going to be interested in such tags, like they could with or ? Unlikely. Are the tags misused a lot? Absolutely.

should stay around since it appears to be a bit of a niche in modern programming (with the often related tag), but the rest, I wouldn't miss them. Do away with this discussion once and for all and nuke the tags.

Everybody wants . Making it explicit in a tag doesn't help anything and should such a question contain a request for it, just having it in the question body would be enough, I think.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Can you specify which tags you mean when you say "We can do away with most of the tags which are up for debate". Your argument for beginner can be used for performance too, some people might like the 'challenge' of improving performance. Others may hate performance questions and stick to normal code reviews. And so people would "select and/or ignore" these tags. \$\endgroup\$
    – Peilonrayz Mod
    Commented Feb 14, 2019 at 18:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'd also like to point out that "Everybody wants performance." is wrong. I asked this question out of interest of readability-optimization, as I want to ask a question where I don't want anyone to care about performance, just how to improve the readability of the code. \$\endgroup\$
    – Peilonrayz Mod
    Commented Feb 14, 2019 at 18:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ok, not everybody wants a performance review. But enough do that it's about implicit. If you're really focussed on it, put it in the body, explicitly. But I still see no use for it's tag. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mast Mod
    Commented Feb 15, 2019 at 13:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah every optimization tag is implicit in a Code Review. Some people either like or don't like answering certain optimization question and so can filter the tag. If we remove the tags how can people reliably filter for or against these questions? \$\endgroup\$
    – Peilonrayz Mod
    Commented Feb 15, 2019 at 13:31

(I'm not sure whether this is right, so use your votes to indicate what you think!)

When we see , it usually indicates a failure of an algorithm to scale well (assuming that the code is sufficiently tested on small inputs, so it's on-topic). So I'd rename those as proposed. We'd need to keep the existing tag as a synonym, of course - this is a tag that brings many new members here.


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