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Edit: Synonyms in Stackoverflow seem to be two-way. That is, i now think se should not add this synonym anymore. Because making STL synonymous with standard-library is just plain wrong. What I meant in my original post is a one-way relation: Make questions tagged by STL being retagged to standard-library, but making standard-library not synonymous with STL (because it isn't!).

I see now that synonyms are not the proper tool for this.

"stl" is used as a tag by people asking about stuff in C++'s standard library components, like std::vector and so on. Stuff that used to be in the STL library back in old days and hence sticks to that name since today.

Nowadays, it's increasingly clear that people intend to refer to the standard library if they tag their questions by "stl". Especially in the light of the upcoming C++0x's components. Does c++0x's std::array belong to STL just because it's a "template component" or to c++-standard-library? Or to both? To clear up matters, I propose to add "stl" as a synonym to "c++-standard-library" (I have already created a synonym to add that in turn as one to "standard-library").

It could be worth-while to add "standard-library" in turn as a synonym to "stdlib", since the latter is shorter and also proposed currently by the "stl" tag info. I don't know about that, although I feel that the latter is shorter and commonly used.

To specifically refer to the original STL specific things, people could use "sgi-stl".

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[standard-library] should not be a synonym to a language specific library, as there are other systems using standard libraries. –  malach Aug 24 '10 at 10:41
@Ralph [standard-library] is not a synonym to a language specific library. It's the other way around. This way around, it would not make sense, for the reasons you give. The synonym relation is not symmetrical. –  Johannes Schaub - litb Aug 24 '10 at 10:49
@Ralph i was wrong on synonyms. I now see what they really mean. –  Johannes Schaub - litb Aug 24 '10 at 19:10
I want to close my post, but there is no category that fits. -.- –  Johannes Schaub - litb Aug 24 '10 at 19:50
Hm, why close? It is a valid meta question. –  Georg Fritzsche Aug 24 '10 at 20:26

2 Answers 2

I don't like it. Synonyms are meant for terms that are interchangeable, stl and something like standard-library clearly are not (even if often used that way).

I think the better solution would be if a few users started retagging new [stl] questions if they are about the standard-library. I'd say after a while this is going to be picked up by users being able to retag etc.

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Yes, the optimal solution would be to retag those to [sgi-stl]. I do understand your opposition. Maybe it's not a good idea to introduce a synonym like this. –  Johannes Schaub - litb Aug 24 '10 at 10:46
@litb: I can't really make up my mind about what to retag as what. Non-STL-specific to e.g. [standard-library] or STL-specific to [sgi-stl] or even both? :| –  Georg Fritzsche Aug 24 '10 at 12:54
@Georg in my mind, std::vector is not STL specific. If we retag all such questions, i bet from the thousands of questions there will only be a few, maybe 50 or even less, that directly concern sgi-stl. Given such facts, now that i think about it, why would it be bad to have such a synonym? Notice that i think this is one-way. It won't state that standard-library is synonymous with stl. It states the other way around. And in my mind, the synonym system should still show a separate topusers list for the synonyms. –  Johannes Schaub - litb Aug 24 '10 at 19:04
I.e If A is master and B is a synonym, then A's table should contain B's one, but B should still have its own table. Hmm but wait - i now see that there are even two things one should consider. There is a tag hierarchy, like with STL and C++-Standard-Library: The former is more specific than the latter. But synonyms in stackoverflow seems to state, like you say, interchangability, so actually I see now that making them a synonym is the wrong thing to do. –  Johannes Schaub - litb Aug 24 '10 at 19:06
@litb: Yes @ interchangeability - see e.g. here. –  Georg Fritzsche Aug 24 '10 at 19:21
@litb: It seems so, i added an answer to the linked question and went on the nth downvoting round in the synonyms. –  Georg Fritzsche Aug 24 '10 at 19:49
@Georg added my synonym findings as a comment there :) –  Johannes Schaub - litb Aug 24 '10 at 19:54
@Georg btw yesterday i first looked at the "/reputation" file, and it showed exactly "rep cap was exceeded on 150 days" :) Now i'm eagerly waiting for my [legendary] - let's hope it arrives soon! :) –  Johannes Schaub - litb Aug 24 '10 at 20:05
@litb: Nice, congrats :) (maybe i'll get there in 1-2 years ;) –  Georg Fritzsche Aug 24 '10 at 20:12
Ohh thanks :) Good lucks mate. –  Johannes Schaub - litb Aug 24 '10 at 20:18

(I was going to reply to Georg's post, but this became too long.

I'm not sure about this.

Obviously, using "STL" to refer to the C++ standard library or parts thereof is incorrect (ok, misleading at best). One could therefore argue that most of the questions currently tagged [stl] should not be tagged that.

However, using "STL" to refer to the parts of the C++ standard library that originated in the SGI STL (or that are extensions to what originated in the SGI STL) is a very, very common practice.

I'd argue that [standard-library] is too broad a tag: should any question using std::cout be tagged as [standard-library]? I don't think so: nearly every question tagged [c++] should then be tagged [standard-library].

The [stl] tag provides a convenient bin for categorizing questions dealing with the containers, iterators, algorithms, and function objects libraries. I don't know that it would be as useful to have separate tags for each of those libraries or tags for each class or function in those libraries.

Is there another, single, tag we could use to categorize these questions?

This is just my opinion, of course.

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Not every question using std::cout should be tagged "sgi" or "standard-library", much the same way as not every question using "#include" should be tagged "preprocessor". If a question currently is not tagged "stl" or "standard-library" there is no need to tag it "standard library". A synonym wouldn't do that either automatically. I feel like i misunderstand you :) "dealing with the containers, iterators, algorithms, and function objects libraries" -> I agree, i guess this is probably a good point. Retagging those "standard-library" will lose this information. –  Johannes Schaub - litb Aug 24 '10 at 19:57
@litb: I guess what I'm trying to say is that "standard-library" is too broad a categorization, but "std-containers" or "std-vector" would be too narrow a categorization. I think that the "stl" tag serves as a good compromise between those two extremes. I just don't know what else it could be called, other than "stl" –  James McNellis Aug 24 '10 at 20:01
I should have just replied to Georg's post; I'd not have rambled so much :-P –  James McNellis Aug 24 '10 at 20:01
But you have a good point - i guess just retagging to [sgi-stl] if necessary makes the most sense then. –  Georg Fritzsche Aug 24 '10 at 20:21

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