Today, the tag was added to a bunch of questions. Apparently it is for questions which do not want an Arduino solution.

Is it really necessary? If someone doesn't want to answer arduino questions, they can just ignore the tag (the 'ignore' functionality makes the posts disappear).

Besides, it seems to me like is a meta-tag:

The reason meta-tags are a problem is that they do not describe the content of the question. They describe some other aspect of the question, like the author’s skill level, or the author’s motivation for asking it, or generally what “kind” of question it is (poll, how-to, etc.).

Meta-tags are actually a subset of a larger problem that I usually call dependent tags. These are tags that don’t say anything by themselves – you can’t tell what the question is about unless they’re paired with some other tag (or several of them).

It seems like a dependent tag to me. It is also pretty similar to "author's skill level", in the sense that it is filtering out answers based on what the author will and won't accept; whereas other people/visitors may (after all, we write answers for visitors to read, not just to help the OP).

  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ Great idea! We should add not a real question tag. That would really simplify closing bad questions. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 17, 2013 at 14:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ Tags are for categorizing questions, not for administrative purposes. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 17, 2013 at 18:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SimpleCoder yes, he was making a joke. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kortuk
    Feb 18, 2013 at 2:25
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Kortuk: I wasn't necessarily talking to Olin. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 18, 2013 at 2:40
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @SimpleCoder Ha, yes, now that I read it again I realize that is the case. I blame manishearth \$\endgroup\$
    – Kortuk
    Feb 18, 2013 at 3:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Kortuk: Why blame poor 'ol me? ;-) \$\endgroup\$ Feb 18, 2013 at 7:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Manishearth bureaucracy 101, blame the easiest target :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Kortuk
    Feb 18, 2013 at 14:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Kortuk: lol :P Btw, since someone or the other has detagged the questions, you may want to [status-completed] this post :) \$\endgroup\$ Feb 18, 2013 at 14:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Manishearth Showoff. I guess I should have done that when I nuked from on high. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kortuk
    Feb 18, 2013 at 14:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Kortuk: Oh, it was you who nuked! glares \$\endgroup\$ Feb 18, 2013 at 14:28

2 Answers 2


No, it's not necessary and a waste of one of your five tags. Are we going to make , , , , , ... well, you get my point.

When you don't want an arduino, say it in your question. Most of the time, I don't even look at the tags before answering a question, so it isn't even a useful tag. It's the same as not mentioning the question in the content but only in the title: it's bad.


I don't think it's necessary, because it is a meta tag. Using the points made in the link the OP posted:

If the tag can’t work as the only tag on a question, it’s probably a meta-tag. Every tag you use should be able to work, more or less, as the only tag on a question.

It wouldn't work as an only tag, since it would be describing what the question is not, an infinite possibility of things.

If the tag commonly means different things to different people, it’s probably a meta-tag.

How is the poster to determine if the tag is to be used?

  • Every non-arduino question?
  • Perhaps they would prefer to not use an arduino
  • Perhaps they wish to explicity exclude arduino

Which one is right?

These two tests confirm that not-arduino is in fact a meta tag, and the article mentions that meta-tags are explicitly discouraged.

Additional points:

  • The arduino tag (or lack therof) should be adequate enough.If the question does not require the use of an arduino, the poster could just not include the tag.

  • The tag sets an example for the creation of other "not-tags".

  • The search function should include the ability to specifically exclude tags (if it does not do so already), so that a searcher may exclude the arduino tag from any post results if they are specifically looking for non-arduino posts.


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