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Can we remove the tag and make it a synonym for instead? There are only two questions tagged with this, and both are tagged with as well.

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closed as off-topic by bluet, Infinite Recursion, animuson, gnat, Martijn Pieters Jan 9 at 20:19

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I don't think we need to alias for 2 questions. –  Richard J. Ross III Apr 1 '13 at 16:18
As of now no questions have that tag. It will disappear within 24 hours. –  Bart Apr 1 '13 at 16:21
@Bart Thanks. To prevent this tag from being created again in the future, it should be either blacklisted or being created as an alias. Of those two options I think creating it as an alias is the better option. –  hlovdal Apr 1 '13 at 16:24
@hlovdal No, it shouldn't. We'll take care of it if it pops up again. What if someone creates a programming language named hayes that gets traction? Shouldn't it deserve the tag, rather than serial commands which already have their own? –  Richard J. Ross III Apr 1 '13 at 16:25

2 Answers 2

The tag has been removed, but I strongly disagree that this deserves a synonym, and here's why.

  • The tag only had 2 questions. Generally, synonyms should have a significant amount of questions behind them to be proposed candidates for synonymization™, as they would come back on their own over time.
  • Both of the questions tagged as such were already tagged with it's proposed synonym. That indicates that it possible could be a separate tag from the synonym, although in this case that is unlikely.
  • The original tag is such that it could be re-used. An example would be someone creating a programming language called 'Hayes' down the road, which would then cause questions to either be mis-tagged, or tagged with hayes-language instead, hurting searchability.

There's probably more reasons why not to synonymize it, but those are the ones off the top of my head.

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Point 1: The best argument, but in my opinion weak. AT commands is quite a narrow topic, there is just 244 questions tagged at-command. So on a relative scale it is not that insignificant. –  hlovdal Apr 1 '13 at 17:46
Point 2: Not relevant. The unlikeliness equals exactly zero in this case. –  hlovdal Apr 1 '13 at 17:47
Point 3: It might certainly be that someone invents a programming language called hayes. But the probability of that is several order of magnitudes lower than the probability that some user will try to create a hayes tag when asking a question. We cannot avoid using words just because there is a tiny, tiny chance that maybe sometime in the distant future it might be used in some specific way. –  hlovdal Apr 1 '13 at 17:47

I think it should be a synonym, and here's why

  • The Hayes name is very commonly associated with AT commands{1}. In the future when some user comes here to ask a question about AT commands, it is not unlikely that he/she will think that hayes is good description when being unaware of the at-command tag. Much the same way as i18n is an synonym for internationalization, because it is very likely that some users in the future will create questions using i18n rather than internationalization.

Why would that be bad? Well in best case hayes would be put on in addition to at-command but in worst case the author will just use hayes and miss out on at-command (which already is an underused tag, several of the modem questions ought to have this tag for instance).

{1} To put things in perspective with some google searches:

hayes modem               1 950 000 results
"at command" modem          990 000 results
hayes                   174 000 000 results
"at command"              1 840 000 results

Notice that hayes modem gives more results than "at command".

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I think you miss the point of a synonym. It should only be used when the source tag is likely to come back - there's no need for a synonym for a tag that's not popular. –  Richard J. Ross III Apr 1 '13 at 18:00
I think you and I put severely different meanings into the word likely. Can you explain at what point you would start considering the possibility for a tag to re-appear to be likely? –  hlovdal Apr 1 '13 at 18:31
Just because the tag has low activity does not mean that it is dead (there were 20 questions created last 30 days). Assuming maybe 200 new questions the next year and a 0.5% probability that a user will try to use hayes that gives an expectancy of one such question within a year. In my view, this is a problem that is not yet solved and that will reappear. The moderators are already complaining about an overwhelmingly amount of janitoring tasks. why not solve the problem right now once and for all and never have to deal with it again? –  hlovdal Apr 1 '13 at 18:32
If 'hayes' (which was created in 2009) had more than 100 questions, then it becomes a candidate for synonymization in my opinion. After 4 years, only 2 questions means it won't come back any time soon. –  Richard J. Ross III Apr 1 '13 at 18:33
Wait - where do you see 20 questions in 30 days? According to this Data.SE query (which lags behind SO by several days) there were only ever 2 questions with it. –  Richard J. Ross III Apr 1 '13 at 18:35
At stackoverflow.com/tags/at-command/topusers it says 20 questions last 30 days. –  hlovdal Apr 1 '13 at 18:38
that's for at-command and not hayes. Nobody wanted to use hayes at all over the course of 4 years, why would that suddenly change? –  Richard J. Ross III Apr 1 '13 at 18:39
I think your data analysis is flawed. Data explorer is just a snapshot of the current site, so what your query shows is noting other than what was stated in the original question, that at time of its creation there were two questions tagged. Or did I miss something, does it show something else? –  hlovdal Apr 2 '13 at 7:10

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