Prior to the beta launch, there was discussion of whether this site would be limited in scope to open source software. The strong consensus was behind an answer that argues:

If the scope does not include significant areas of interest to just the open-source world (licensing, hardware, DIY projects, robotics, whatever), then it really doesn't need to exist.

With that in mind, it's still likely that most of what gets asked at first (and maybe indefinitely) will be about software, since that's where the concept of open source began/is strongest.

Should we use an explicit tag to categorize questions about software development? Or do we intend that anything not explicitly categorized as hardware, robotics, etc. be assumed to be software-related?


I would be of the opinion that "software" as a tag would become overused and cumbersome and ultimately completely useless (like a "computer" tag on Superuser)..

It'd make more sense to tag non-software questions with the other tags, like you suggest - hardware, robotics, data, etc –

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    I tend to agree. software would ultimately become abused by 95% of all questions on the site. – Madara Uchiha Jun 23 '15 at 18:29
  • If we want to split it up like this, we may need to think about obligatory tags (either x or y, but always one of them). They need to be way better defined than just software/hardware though. Where goes firmware, why isn't data software, that kind of questions should be handled. – Mast Jun 23 '15 at 21:14
  • @Mast And if my question doesn't fall under one of them? – Zizouz212 Jun 25 '15 at 22:29
  • @Zizouz212 If we get the tags right, the chances of this happening should be minimal. Should you really miss a certain area, make a meta about it and propose a new one. SE-style. – Mast Jun 26 '15 at 6:48

We should have a tag and use it consistently.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who would like this site to become a place for more than just software. By making software an implicit default tag, we're indicating that software has a special position on this site.

Another point in favour of a tag, is that you can follow it if your area of expertise is software specifically.

A last reason, that is a bit more subtle but no less important, is that having to add a tag when necessary also allows for agnostic questions, that is questions that are neither about software specifically, nor about hardware. (Or anything like that.) Making the software tag specific to me makes this option clearer.

Obligatory tags like mast suggested could be a good option, we could even explicitly include a soft/hardware-agnostic tag.

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