Early on, I was a pretty big advocate of the tag...I was even the one who made it. It's since gone on to be the biggest tag on the site, with upwards of 70 questions as of now.

There's been some past discussion of the tag. Looking over the answers, it seems there is strong support for keeping this style of question (and I agree with that). However, there also seems to be a consensus that it's not a good tag to have.

I suggest that we delete the tag, and leave any questions which have it otherwise unchanged. This is because serves very little function as a tag; tags are intended for searching, and someone searching for information about, say, isn't going to care much about the structure of the question, just the content of the answers. This is the fundamental idea behind a "meta tag". Additionally, if someone is searching for this style of question, they can likely just include "pros and cons" in the search bar.

Should we burninate this tag?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I wonder if there is a place for a more restricted tag like "fundamental trade-offs". As a language designer you are interested if finding out if there any only of those that apply. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 20, 2023 at 12:20
  • $\begingroup$ The stance I agree with the most is summed up very well here. $\endgroup$
    – CPlus
    Commented Jun 28, 2023 at 20:14
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Does this answer your question? What are pros and cons of [pros-cons]? $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 6, 2023 at 10:40

2 Answers 2


I believe the tag should be burninated. However, it may be advantageous to leave it at least until PLDI goes into the public beta stage.

At this point, meta tags are useful since PLDI hasn't decided what the formal rules are for on-and-off-topic questions - questions about the pros and cons of a programming design technique/implementation technique are (often) on topic. The pros-cons tag helps to categorize these questions (and lots of these questions are good-quality, on-topic questions).

As Gilles says over here, it's useless in searches and is a likely sign that the question is too broad. So after PLDI finishes private beta, there isn't really much benefit in keeping the tag around.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ We've been out of private beta for a while now; will the tag be burninated soon? $\endgroup$
    – Bbrk24
    Commented Jul 5, 2023 at 11:33
  • $\begingroup$ Might have to raise a burninate-request in that case $\endgroup$
    – Redz
    Commented Jul 5, 2023 at 22:50

Please don't burninate it. It is not quite a meta tag as it does say what the question is about. Its not useless in searches. I mainly answer those types of questions and like being able to search for them. There are plenty of great pros-cons questions.

  • $\begingroup$ None of the questions with pros-cons would be deleted or changed, they'd just have the tag removed $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 22, 2023 at 16:04

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