Think of a hierachical tag structure/scenario. Currently it's not possible to model an "is a" hierachical relation between tag subclasses and their parents.

A good example are the browsers that are available for Android and the following tags for it:

├── chrome-for-android
├── dolphin-browser
├── firefox
├── opera #virtual, doesn't really exist yet
│   ├── opera-mini
│   └── opera-mobile
└── stock-browser

Currently I need to look for each of the available tags to get all results, i.e. the generic browser doesn't list every browser-relevant questions.

How should this be handled:
Should each subtag also be accompanied by its parent tags? (e.g. browser, opera, opera-mobile instead of only opera-mobile).

EDIT: I'm not suggesting to add an 'opera-browser' tag here, it's just to take the example to the extremes for better illustration only.

  • Somewhat related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/45438/…
    – Flow
    Commented Sep 4, 2012 at 22:20
  • thanks! read through it already in parallel. A hierarchy of tags has it's obvious downsides... and obviously is really not needed here. So just asking for your opinion on tagging.
    – ce4
    Commented Sep 4, 2012 at 22:22
  • 1
    browser is kind of a sticky tag since the vast majority of Android devices simply name their default browser "Browser". I imagine many uses of this tag refer not to "browsers" as a general concept but rather to the specific Browser app (though we also have a stock-browser tag). However, I can certainly see plenty of situations where browser as a generic tag isn't necessary - what if the question truly is specific to, say, Firefox? Tagging with browser seems somewhat misleading. Commented Sep 4, 2012 at 22:55
  • additionally: browser and stock-browser will be dependant on the Android version, as JB's stock has changed to Chrome for Android
    – ce4
    Commented Sep 4, 2012 at 22:56
  • Specifically on the the browser front, see also meta.android.stackexchange.com/questions/899/…
    – GAThrawn
    Commented Sep 5, 2012 at 12:58

2 Answers 2


Similar issue, but possibly other rules apply: I just encountered the tag (30 questions). Many of the questions tagged with this additionally have a specific device tag applied (e.g. or -- or even both, making it double-obsolete (see: Should we merge the motorola-droid and motorola-milestone tags?).

So basically I could understand "motorola" being a fall-back if your Motorla device does not yet have an own tag. But if it has, is it really necessary to triple-tag it? Should we remove the obsolete ones here?

To pick up Flows scheme here:

├── motorola-droid            (CDMA)
|   └── motorola-milestone    (GSM/UMTS variant)
├── motorola-droid-2          (CDMA)
|   └── motorola-milestone-2  (GSM/UMTS variant)
├── motorola-droid-3
[ sony ]                      (no such tag -- yet)
├── [ sony-xperia ]           (no such tag -- yet)
|   ├── sony-xperia-arc
|   ├── sony-xperia-neo

Looking at that: There seems no such "fallback" for Sony devices. But we again have it for and , don't have it for "acer" or "archos"... So how to deal with those hierarchies?

  • 1
    "motorola" shouldn't be a "fall-back" tag. If there's a device-specific question it should have a tag for that device. "motorola" should be for questions about Motorola devices in general.
    – ale
    Commented Sep 6, 2012 at 12:47
  • OK, but in that case it makes absolutely no sense to tag a question "motorola", "motorola-droid" and "motorola-milestone" -- only one of these tags should be used. And if there's a tag for "Motorola devices in general": Do we need the same for Sony devices as well? They also have their particularities (UI, headphone-connector specifics, ...). And how about Acer and others? Or maybe that's a different question I should ask separately?
    – Izzy Mod
    Commented Sep 6, 2012 at 12:59
  • I wouldn't worry much about whether or not we "should" have tags for given topics. If a question comes up where it seems appropriate to use a generic sony tag then it can be added. Commented Sep 6, 2012 at 13:40

If there are tag slots left, tag it with and . If there are no slots left, just use .

I saw some edits here that removed the "parent tags". E.g. if something was tagged with

, ,

and was removed. IMHO this is counterproductive. As long as the removed tags are not replaced with some better/important tag(s), just leave it as it is.

  • Is there a reason to tag something (per your example) with usb, tethering and usb-tethering? What benefit does that provide? It seems like using the more specific tag would be preferable since it would logically "group" the question with other ones about USB tethering and not with ones about unrelated USB functions (file transfers, charging, etc). Commented Sep 4, 2012 at 22:51
  • More specific tags are better. Generally fewer tags are better; if you regularly run up against the five tag limit and would add more tags if you could, perhaps your question is not as focused as it could be. As it is, each tag on a question should be able to stand on its own.
    – ale
    Commented Sep 4, 2012 at 23:03
  • I agree that more specific tags are better. But it doesn't hurt to have also the parent/general tag, if it doesn't consume space for another more important tag. This enables for example to search for all questions regarding browsers and a device, which would not be possible if the browser tag had been removed. I know that this breaks the "stands on its own" rule, but I see no advantage from this rule.
    – Flow
    Commented Sep 5, 2012 at 8:30

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