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The iCalendar, ical, and ics tags are applied to questions covering the same basic topic: the iCalendar format. Is there a meaningful distinction between them, or should they be marked as synonyms? I don't have sufficient reputation (or expertise on the topic). Can someone with more expertise weigh in?

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Technically, AFAIK, “iCal” is an application from Apple whereas the other two are the name and the file extension of a data format (which iCal uses); other calendar software uses iCalendar as well. – Kevin Reid Jun 6 '12 at 22:32
Apple's application does use that name, but consider: 1) the "ical" tag description mentions the iCalendar format but not the Apple iCal application, and 2) a quick review of questions with the "ical" tag found many questions related to the iCalendar standard but none related to the Apple iCal application. I think an iCal tag concerning the application would be useful, but people don't seem to use it that way. They treat it as a synonym for iCalendar and ics. – Eric Rath Jun 6 '12 at 22:52
I was about to ask a meta question about the same thing. See this question that is tagged as both iCalendar and ical. Either the ical description should change or the tags should be merged. – Mr. Jefferson Sep 4 '12 at 17:17

I've gone ahead and approved the existing synonym that was in the system and also created the synonym. I didn't merge them, just in case. Let's see how it plays out.

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Err...wasn't there some questions tagged "ics" that were referring to "Ice Cream Sandwich" (aka Android v4.0)? I seem to recall a question about that here. (Searching now.) – Al E. Jul 11 '13 at 18:24
Ah. Found it. They were fixed. – Al E. Jul 11 '13 at 18:25
@AlEverett: I thought about that too, but I didn't see any when I browsed over them before making the synonym. I figure at some point the ics tag should get merged over and deleted since it's ambiguous. – animuson Jul 11 '13 at 18:29
@AlEverett: Thinking about it more, I've added a android-4.0android-ics synonym so when typing "ics" it will at least show the proper Android tag too... – animuson Jul 11 '13 at 19:00
@AlEverett: They'd still been showing up fairly regularly, but I'd adopted that tag and was checking it for new questions showing up that needed retagging. – Wooble Jul 15 '13 at 11:09

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