The current excerpt of is:

Application Programming Interface - the specification of the methods, classes, structures etc of software libraries and how they are to be used when developing applications using those libraries.

... and the excerpt of is:

Software Development Kit - a set of tools, documentation and other resources aimed to help a programmer develop for a specific platform, application, framework, hardware etc.

These excerpts correctly describe what APIs and SDKs are. However the focus of the tags is vague as there is no tag usage.

Most of the questions tagged with one of these come along with another tag, such as opengl, unity, android. In most cases, the api or sdk tag is redundant because the other tag implies an API or a SDK (e.g. OpenGL is an API).

This has the downside of adding noise for an expert API or SDK developer looking to answer more questions, or for a developer interested in creating their own API and SDK and seeking knowledge about it.

I suggest we rename the tag 'api' to 'api-development', and 'sdk' to 'sdk-development' in order to clear up their purpose.

With this, we'll need to review all of the tagged questions and make sure they're appropriately tagged.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Are these tags even useful? Of the 47 currently tagged with SDK, I think the tag is noise on 45 of them. Of the ones using API, the first page of results seem to be questions that would need the tag removed as well, if we were to rename it. \$\endgroup\$ – user1430 May 2 '17 at 15:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ @JoshPetrie I guess we could merge them into api-sdk-development. There would be a couple of questions that could use that tag. This would require to check each question and retag them, then create tag synonyms for api and sdk. \$\endgroup\$ – Vaillancourt May 2 '17 at 16:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ What then is the fundamental difference between "API and SDK" development and "engine" development (and the corresponding material difference in questions tagged as such)? \$\endgroup\$ – user1430 May 2 '17 at 16:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @JoshPetrie There are none. We can add to the list framework and libraries too. framework and libraries seem to be used like API and SDK: in addition to other tags, with a reduced amount of questions tagged as such. engine is often used along other engine tags, but it seems more popular from users searching for engines (281 closed questions on 906) or other users working on their own engine. Most of the tags with sdk, api, libraries and framework could be removed, the others could be changed to `architecture. \$\endgroup\$ – Vaillancourt May 2 '17 at 18:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ engine looks like it is going to be harder to remove as it's been used a bit more. It also looks like it's being overused though.. \$\endgroup\$ – Vaillancourt May 2 '17 at 18:51

As per my answer in the related meta, no.

The only usage I can see for these tags are in contexts that are too broad, or otherwise have more specific context, where said tags are only being used as meta-tags.

As such, they should be blacklisted, not renamed.


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