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I would like to suggest merging the and tags on StackOverflow. I made that suggestion a while back on the synonyms page, but there are probably there have been no votes on the topic (possibly, because to few users check this). (For those who don't know, TLS is the IETF standard name for what SSL used to be. They're mainly different versions of the same thing.)

There's one slight problem because has been used a few times to talk about "thread local storage", despite its wiki description referring to the IETF TLS RFC. Perhaps those could be re-tagged with (EDIT: I've just realised there is a tag already, probably better). (I don't mind doing some re-tagging if necessary.)

We could also merge (the datagram variant of TLS) into this tag this there are only 4 questions with that tag.

I would prefer not to merge into it if possible. I know it's been done on other sites, but sometimes I think it would have been better not to (e.g. on Security.SE). It makes sense to do it on Webmasters.SE (since it's about HTTP anyway), but I think it's good to keep certain tags separate. SSL/TLS isn't necessarily about HTTPS (even though it's quite common). It's not particularly harmful to keep certain topic separate (e.g. for those who want to look for databases or and without being overwhelmed by the questions).

Another one that could be merged into would be . It's possible to use SSL/TLS without certificates, but it's a much rarer occurrence than using SSL/TLS with protocols other than HTTP as far as I'm aware.

Following that path, there's a question of merging into it. I would suggest not to. X.509 certificates can be used for other purposes, including S/MIME and code signing. Merging all that into SSL/TLS wouldn't make sense. Strangely, the tag description for refers to the X509Certificate classes in .Net and Java rather than the implementation-agnostic concept of X.509 certificate. could probably be merged with it.

There's also on its own, but that's an even wider field: it could be X.509 certificate, OpenPGP certificates, or even (although quite rare) proxy certificate (RFC 3820), Attribute Certificates, ... Hence, it's probably better not to merge that with the rest.

I think it would definitely make sense to merge (only 2 questions) with .


(EDIT: I'm editing this to try to reflect the feedback from the answers.)

In summary, I would like to suggest the following mergers:

Of course, these are just suggestion. I know there normally is a suggestion process via the synonyms page, but I'm not sure there's enough traffic on those pages.

EDIT:

As Eugene suggested, we could get rid of , since it's indeed not the correct term. (It's a very common expression, though.)

I'm not sure about merging "X.509 certificate" with "certificate". Just in case people were referring to other types of certificates. I know few people refer to PGP public keys as certificate, but if they did, they'd probably understand better why they're signed.

Merging into would make lose its tag descriptions specific to Java/.Net implementations. I think this makes sense since it's the way it's used anyway. I'm not sure what to do about in this context (X509Certificate2 is a subclass of X509Certificate is .Net, which allows a private key to be associated with the certificate, amongst other things).

EDIT 2:

Any ideas about ?

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put on hold as off-topic by Martijn Pieters, rene, Shadow Wizard, Emrakul, Monica Cellio 3 hours ago

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I don't know how this procedure normally works, by the way. It would make sense to have a discussion before this is done perhaps. –  Bruno May 4 '12 at 19:33
    
This is exactly the right way to discuss tagging issues. Take a small number of related tags, discuss first, then act when we know what to do. –  Gilles May 7 '12 at 0:36
    
It certainly looks like an area that should be cleaned up; the only people who can usefully distinguish many of these terms can most certainly live with fewer tags, and the vast majority of questioners won't comprehend the differences. –  Donal Fellows May 7 '12 at 9:12
    
I like the suggested changes. I'm not sure about ssl-certificate. I am not as concerned with being technically correct in the tag names as I am of capturing the intent of non-expert users. After all, it is non experts who will ask most of the questions. I am afraid they will look for ssl-certificate. –  GregS May 8 '12 at 0:32
    
@GregS, I see your point about ssl-certificate. Do you think it should be merged with ssl-tls? After all, Kerberos or PSK cipher suites are quite rare (and could be identified with additional tags or simply search key words). –  Bruno May 8 '12 at 20:43
    
+1 for all suggestions, although I'd probably put all the X.509 tags plus the certificate tags in one single "certificate" tag, I don't see why they should be separated. Less tags makes navigation for people seeking answers easier IMO. –  emboss May 8 '12 at 20:46
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3 Answers

Don't merge with .

While there are few questions for PKIX, it's a very specific and well-defined tag. I'd like to encourage its appropriate use. PKI is much more broad; its an umbrella or qualifying tag like C# or Java. If you put them in a hierarchy, PKIX would be a sub-tag of PKI, but there are plenty of PKI questions that wouldn't warrant a PKIX tag.

I agree with the other recommendations.

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This makes sense. I also personally refer to WoT as a form of PKI sometimes (the RFC 5280 sense would be "hierarchical", but WoT would still be an infrastructure for public keys); I'm not sure everyone agrees on this. Talking of PKIX, I've also just noticed that the description for the x509 tag said "X.509 specifies [...] a certification path validation algorithm" (same as Wikipedia in fact). It sounds like a rewording of the actual X.509 spec abstract gone a bit wrong. –  Bruno May 4 '12 at 20:31
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is often misused to refer to x.509 certificate and as such it should be discarded at all (so that people start learning the correct term). should be an alias to if this is technically possible on SO.

, , and can indeed be merged, yet I'd make one tag omiting dlts, which is not popular (despite its great nature) and people looking for dtls probably know that it's datagram tls and as such can use .

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Did you mean using the hyphen in x509-certificate (creating a new tag)? The current x509certificate tag description only talks about the classes representing X.509 certificates, but I guess we could widen that description to anything related to X.509 certs. (Btw, even CAs use the word "SSL certificate" unfortunately...) –  Bruno May 6 '12 at 12:52
    
I must admit I'm not entirely clear on how synonym tags work, but as far as I understand, something tagged ssl, tls or dtls would appear as ssl-tls. –  Bruno May 6 '12 at 12:53
    
Just remembered I edited an answer from someone (possibly) from GoDaddy (unverified) a couple of days ago from "If the SSL is from Go Daddy as well, then there is no cost to re-key the SSL." It wasn't even called an "SSL certificate", but just an "SSL"... :-) –  Bruno May 6 '12 at 13:04
    
@Bruno yes, x509-certificate with hyphen could/should be a different tag from x509certificate. and CAs have a good reason to call them SSL certificates as they call others code signing certificates - SSL or code signing are purposes for use. But unfortunately people misuse that term –  Eugene Mayevski 'EldoS Corp May 6 '12 at 13:46
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I'm a bit concerned that no one would make the difference between x509certificate and x509-certificate. x509certificate is already widely used for questions that are not about the .Net/Java classes, but more about X.509 certs in general. Most people who ask about this will simply not make the difference (getting rid of the expression "SSL certificate" would be quite an achievement already). –  Bruno May 6 '12 at 13:53
    
@Bruno maybe you are right, but then we need to change the description of x509certificate. –  Eugene Mayevski 'EldoS Corp May 6 '12 at 16:29
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should be merged into .

I think should also be merged into . The tag wiki describes it as being specific to Java and .NET, but I can't see the point (why not other frameworks as well?), and the tag has plenty of uses that aren't related to Java or .NET anyway. I can't see a real difference between the usage of and the usage ot .

is broader than X.509, it is a generic concept. It should be merged with . Also, should be merged into it. The other certif tags look different. In particular, , , and are more specific than , they have a different meaning and must remaine separate. There is indeed a very widely-used tag ; even if you don't like the name, it has a natural meaning: X.509 certificates as used in an SSL/TLS connection. I think this tag can stay, although I wouldn't mind if all questions were retagged to + .

and should be merged, since they are different sets of versions of the same protocol. If there are version-specific questions, they should be tagged , , etc. but there doesn't seem to be any demand. I'm not sure whether the merged tag should be or , I think SSL is a little better-known but TLS is the modern name. The risk of confusion with thread-local storage makes me lean towards . I don't understand why you propose the name : what's the connection between SSL/TLS and “tag” (or TAG)? is more specific and should remain separate.

must not be merged with or . This wouldn't make any more sense than merging with , or with , or with .

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ssl-tag was just a typo, I meant ssl-tls, sorry. I agree with the rest (I'm surprised https was merged with ssl on Security.SE in fact.) All of this seem like a good case for tag hierarchies (which seems to have been declined a few times on meta (e.g. looking for ssl-tls would match https, ssl-certificate, jsse; looking for jsse would match questions tagged with both java and ssl-tls...) –  Bruno May 7 '12 at 10:36
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