I've stumbled on the and tags today, but funnily enough, there was no generic "documentation" tag that could gather all-documentation related issues.

So, i've tried adding it () in my latest question. It makes sense to have a tag that's more generic (an hypernim, rather than a synonym) to me; but I'm not completely sure.

Is it fine or is it useless?

  • My concern with a documentation tag is that it would be used instead of (or in addition to) the citation tag. Or something else regarding sources. Perhaps instructions or something similar would work better?
    – Cyn
    Mar 15, 2019 at 16:45

2 Answers 2


There are other types of documentation, like assembly instructions, directions for using equipment, and so on. My thought when I created was that doc for software might have important, different properties from those others, but I'm not sure that's true. Possibly we could promote that tag to , pending a need for specific subcategories.

is different enough that I want to keep that tag, for findability if nothing else. API documentation is (usually) generated from comments embedded in source code; that's pretty different from writing free-form text. Even when it's not generated from code (REST APIs, for example), there are usually API-specific tools, standards, and requirements. When you're looking for information about that stuff, having a tag helps find it in the larger collection of documentation questions.

For a long time we had a zillion different genres and forms for fiction and a single tag. Technical writing has different types too, so that's what I started to build out here. But I was definitely reacting to the questions we have, not following a grand plan, so I don't object to tweaks.

All that said, though, we do have a little targeted advertising specifically in the software area, so maybe it's worth keeping .

  • To be fair, I would keep the specific ones too; I totally agree with your reasoning on the matter.
    – Liquid
    Mar 15, 2019 at 16:35
  • 1
    Yeah, after writing all that I think I want to keep software-documentation (and api-documentation). I expect to see tags for other kinds of documentation arise. All of these (so far) are also technical-writing, which has a tag, so I don't know that we need documentation. Mar 15, 2019 at 17:28

I don't see a reason to have both the overarching tag, and the specific tags. To me it makes sense to either have and or to have . My reasoning is: is there any question to which would be applied, but not one of the more specific ones? If the general tag will always be used with one of the two more specific ones, why have it?

However, I have no opinion on whether we should have the one overarching tag, or the two separate ones. I'm not sufficiently tech-savvy to understand the difference between them.

  • 3
    While I agree in general, there are many types of documentation that are not software or API documentation. "How to assemble this IKEA bookshelf" is documentation; as is an in-depth technical description of a programming language or web service or a user's manual for a piece of software. So there are clearly cases where documentation could apply, but not either of software-documentation and api-documentation.
    – user
    Mar 15, 2019 at 12:05
  • @aCVn ah, my logic + additional information = different conclusion. OK. Mar 15, 2019 at 14:17

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