Until recently, the tag was the only tag for the Python programming language. Now there’s also a tag:

  1. OP tagged this question with (new tag, only used in this question).

  2. I retagged the question with (used in 45 questions), edit-commenting: "no need for a "python3" tag (can be specified in the question)".

  3. OP (accidentally) retagged it again.

Do we want to have version-specific programming language tags?

  • 1
    Oops, sorry, @Unor. I am the OP. I was adding another tag, things got mixed up, and I must have accidentally deleted your tag & replaced. Sounds a bit like "the dog ate my homework", I know, but it's true. I didn't intentionally change it back. Jan 15, 2015 at 16:08
  • 1
    @Mawg: No problem :) Maybe we’ll decide here that we want such version-specific tags, so it’s good that this came up (better sooner than later).
    – unor
    Jan 15, 2015 at 16:27
  • @Mawg hey, the dog did eat my homework! Um... I suppose it's better then spilling the soup on my homework...
    – n611x007
    Jan 17, 2015 at 23:40
  • @unor well.. shouldn't the question reflect the fact-by-accident nature of the retag? Story of a "notorious vicious OP" vs a "whooops... OP"...
    – n611x007
    Jan 17, 2015 at 23:41
  • 2
    @naxa: Aye, I referenced the comment.
    – unor
    Jan 18, 2015 at 0:28

2 Answers 2


No. We had a similar issue over at Android.SE (with CyanogenMod and version specific tags) and decided they are only leading to clutter. If the question is specific to a version, that should be stated explicitly in the question text.

While on some SE sites "versioned tags" serve a good purpose (at Android.SE we e.g. have those for different Android versions), which those are is pretty much site-specific. On SR I see a good use for tags like which affect a much wider range of users, and help sorting things out – but not for every single programming language or software. Otherwise we'd end up with specific version tags for e.g. , just because a user wants some addon to be compatible with the version he's just using – and similar things.

  • It's not as simple as that - there are major language differences between Python 2 & 3, with PRINT being the worst to handle. Python 2 PRINTs break in Python 3 and the script won't run. I think that that alone justifies a separate tag, at least on S.O. For s/w recommendations, I will let you guys decide. Jan 15, 2015 at 16:15
  • This from a Python3 interpreter. First the new PYthin3 form, then the old PYthon2 form. >>> print("hello") hello >>> print "hello" SyntaxError: invalid syntax >>> Jan 15, 2015 at 16:16
  • 3
    @Mawg I know that. This was a big headache for me with several of my Python projects. So I agree with you for SO. For SR I only agree it's a valid requirement – but that doesn't make it a valid tag IMHO.
    – Izzy Mod
    Jan 15, 2015 at 17:31
  • Fine by me. @unor was looking for a ruling & you have given one. Thanks for clarifying. Btw, maybe you can help answer my question which started this? (there's even a bonus) ;-) Jan 16, 2015 at 8:07
  • 1
    Glad we can agree on that :) As for the "starter": My IDE is named vi, you won't be happy with that. I don't use GUIs for programming – neither with Python nor with PHP or Bash. All done in a simple text editor (well, to tell truth: not vi, but mcedit – the built-in editor of Midnight Commander). Felt no need yet to try any IDE, though I of course see the advantages.
    – Izzy Mod
    Jan 16, 2015 at 10:31
  • ah I want to downvote so much. I am a bit ashamed but also proud. I trust your wisdom Izzy. It's just with python3, isn't it all just lead to more confusion if you try to cover both? I mean, cyanogenmod may have countless versions, but python really has only two of them, and they are reasonably incompatible...
    – n611x007
    Jan 17, 2015 at 22:44
  • 1
    @naxa See my comment on your answer. We don't even have a cyanogenmod tag here, but we have a python tag. I could count that a question for removal ;) I still stick to my opinion: if it's important, point it out in the question text.
    – Izzy Mod
    Jan 17, 2015 at 23:08

Izzy may generally be right to have 1 tag... but specifically with Python and Python3, 2 tags are better:

  • only two versions of pythons exist in general use, 2 and 3 - not endless of them
  • they are reasonably incompatible

Let's imagine if I or you were to ask a python question...

  • someone who asks a python question is either a beginner or already knows if s/he wants 2 or 3
  • (extra benefit) beginners would notice "hey there are 2 versions" when tagging - opportunity to learn
  • if someone is looking for python3 specifically, s/he'll be unhappy with something that only works in 2

So, I think, two tags is the best. [python] and [python3].

  • now when specifically need python3 support you could filter to [python3]
  • when it doesn't matter you can choose [python], standing as "default"
  • 1
    So say next year comes Python 4, and has the same issues. You then ask for the next tag? There are currently less than 50 questions tagged python. I might re-think the issue if there were 500, of which it would make a difference for at least 100. But not for one or two. And your imaginery beginner should, as everyone else, make it clear in the question body: if (s)he doesn't know whether to ask for v2 or v3, what tag to use then? Makes no sense to me.
    – Izzy Mod
    Jan 17, 2015 at 23:04
  • @Izzy cyanogenmod is about android. It comes every so often. Google wants a market to sell to... In the last almost 25 years python had 3 versions. How old is softwarerecs.SE? I do not expect py4 to appear any time soon.
    – n611x007
    Jan 17, 2015 at 23:11
  • I know CM (using it myself on multiple devices; see my profile ;) Still, I hold up my arguments. But I am one, you are one – we two alone are not to decide. Your answer is new, so it would be unfair to compare votes right now. Let's check back in a week on that. But as downvotes count in as well, it looks like most voters (up to now) agree with me.
    – Izzy Mod
    Jan 17, 2015 at 23:14
  • @Izzy if the imaginary beginner doesn't know which to use, maybe it's because s/he doesn't know multiple ones exist. The tags would tell that story... And as I imagine it, it's not v2 or v3, but rather python or v3 (python3, that is), because 2 is the default, and I expect it to always be, since the narrative goes down as "python or python3000", so the tradition will always address it as "python3" even when it will be the new default, until python2 disappears, if ever. In which latter, far-away case the tag could be renamed to python2 retrospectively.
    – n611x007
    Jan 17, 2015 at 23:14
  • That's not what tags are for, sorry.
    – Izzy Mod
    Jan 17, 2015 at 23:16
  • @Izzy meta: oh I do know you know CM, sorry. :D Never questioned that. I am just formulating the point, it was prone to be misunderstood unfortunately... I know you do know CM, you used to help me a lot.
    – n611x007
    Jan 17, 2015 at 23:16
  • Thought so, forgot the smiley – sorry ;)
    – Izzy Mod
    Jan 17, 2015 at 23:17
  • @Izzy I guess you mean tags are not for spreading the word of multiple python versions, not a teaching material - I tend to disagree personally but hey, and you're right they have more important roles to stand for probably... Anyway I was just saying they do not harm, they just do this extra little gain here... The main reason is to be able to filter. Python3 compatibility is something that is not granted for "python compatibility"... anyone looking for py3 specifically wont be happy with "woo hey it's py2 only", choose [python3]. And when looking for "py2 and/or py3", s/he choose [python]
    – n611x007
    Jan 17, 2015 at 23:18
  • softwarerecs.stackexchange.com/help/tagging you should avoid creating new tags if possible […] you should only create new tags when you feel you can make a strong case that your question covers a new topic that nobody else has asked about before on this site (just as a short excerpt).
    – Izzy Mod
    Jan 17, 2015 at 23:21
  • Isn't the case "[python] hey IAM NOT INRESTDE IN PTTHON 2!!!!!" del del "[python] I am looking for python3 specifically... problem problem" -> "[python3] problem problem" strong enough? Anyway, the idea is here to vote for now. Curious about the one week later! ;)
    – n611x007
    Jan 17, 2015 at 23:24
  • @naxa So, your point is that python2 and python3 are so enormously different that solutions to one will significantly often not apply to the other? And that because of this we should make an exception to the rule that we don't want versions in the tag? Did I get this right? Feb 6, 2015 at 14:23
  • @AngeloFuchs anyone interested in python 3 will not be interested in python2 at the time the search takes place for 3. anyone interested in "python" wishes to see either python-default-2 or python3 results but not both, at the particular search-time. the only practical exception I can think of is when someone is looking for compatibility, and then both can be specified (or some tag like "version compatibility")
    – n611x007
    Feb 7, 2015 at 0:20
  • @naxa Okay, so the main point is that Python 2 vs Python 3 are special and differ from other languages (e.G. Java1.2 vs Java8) that they are basically two different languages and thus merit their own tag each? Feb 8, 2015 at 11:13

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