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Maven 3 was released the other day. Most of the maven questions are now tagged maven-2, and a smaller amount of questions are tagged .

The discussion I linked can now be extended, because:

  • maven-3 and maven-2 are quite similar, and maven-3 is backward-compatible - i.e. you can take a maven-2 configuration and it will work on maven-3.
  • maven-1 is rarely used (so it does not deserve the maven tag)

What I suggest is:

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4 Answers 4

There should only be the following tags

  • for Maven 1 specific questions
  • for questions that are relevant for Maven 2.x
  • for questions that relevant for the latest Maven version (currently Maven 3.x), and possibly older Maven versions (which may be optionally marked through additional tags).

With this approach, we would not get into trouble again, if ever there should be a Maven 4. This is because we would have the right defaults:

  • Given that Maven is all about community, Maven 4 will be mostly compatible to Maven 3.x. This implies that most Maven 3.x questions (tagged with maven) will still be applicable to the then latest Maven version (= Maven 4) and hence be tagged correctly.
  • And whenever happen to come across a question that is not applicable to Maven 4, you replace the maven tag by a (then to be created) maven-3 tag.

So to get to this state, we would need to

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As tags are ordered by usage count, replacing [maven-2] by [maven] will encourage every asker to use maven even if they use specifically maven-1 or maven-3.

So as @Pascal Thivent said, "don't retag [maven-2] into [maven]."

The best solution (IMO) is either to "blacklist" [maven] to only have specific versions, or have [maven] as a synonym to [maven-2].
I prefer the second solution :

  • The synonym can be changed later (when [maven-3] will be more common)
  • If the tag is incorrect (the question wasn't really about maven-2 but about maven-1) it can be changed manually.
  • I looked for the [java-se] tag (which is a synonym to [java]), and there is still today 12 questions tagged with [java-se], so I suppose that when a tag become a synonym it doesn't change everything automatically. Even if [maven] would be a synonym to [maven-2], questions previously tagged with [maven] would keep their tag until they're manually retagged to [maven-1]. (But this point would have to be checked first)

This way :

[maven-1], [maven-2] and [maven-3] represent maven in a specific version

[maven] is a simple synonym to the current most used maven version. Plus, as a synonym the [maven] tag would have to be manually entered (with no completion), this way, less people would use directly this tag.


I thought there were an easy way to remove a synonym but apparently it will need moderator privileges (at least).

How and when decide that maven-3 is more used/common than maven-2 ?

I would say when there will be more questions with [maven-3] than questions on [maven-2], (yes it's totally subjective, but I think with some common sense everybody can agree on a point where maven3 is more popular than maven2).

Keeping [maven] for general questions is also a very good solution (see @dalle answer), the downside is the fact that [maven] isn't really popular (compared to other maven tags) and will be even less if maven-1 question are correctly retagged, so people will mostly specify the version of maven when they'll tag their question and the [maven] won't be as relevant as it should.
In the given example (windows, windows-xp, windows-vista, windows-7) the [windows] tag is far more popular than others, that's why it works well. (and this was a weak argument)

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1  
Personally, I don't like the idea of a synonym for the "current most used version". First, the system doesn't offer a way to change synonyms to users so this would require more discussion, votes and mod power (ok this is a weak argument). Second, when/how to decide when to change the "current most used version" (this is a strong one)? No, really, I don't like the concept. Why not just keep the [maven] for general maven question. What we are currently doing with the Maven questions (retagging them when appropriate) doesn't work so bad IMO. –  Pascal Thivent Oct 11 '10 at 13:58
    
@Pascal Thivent, What I wanted to say didn't fit in a comment, I added a second part in the answer. To sum up I agree with the common [maven] tag solution, but I'm afraid it wouldn't be as used as it should be. –  Colin Hebert Oct 11 '10 at 15:17

maven-3 and maven-2 are quite similar, and maven-3 is backward-compatible - i.e. you can take a maven-2 configuration and it will work on maven-3.

Yes, but the inverse is not true, any Maven 3.x POM won't work with Maven 2.x. In other words, there will be Maven 3.x specific questions and my hope is that users will use the [maven-3] tag for them (to give informations about the context, even if this doesn't work well in practice), both animals are distinct.

maven -> maven-1 (after scrutiny whether they are really about maven-1)

This would be nice for consistency (even if this is somehow the de facto situation and documented in the tag info), it just never happened.

maven-3 specific questions can be tagged with maven-3

As already mentioned, I hope people will use it for Maven 3.x questions, this would give an hint about the context (instead of having to ask "what version?" when not able to reproduce something).

maven-2 -> maven

I'm not for this move, I don't see the value.

  1. first of all why retagging [maven-2] questions?
  2. I don't think this would help people to find Maven 2.x questions.
  3. it would make things even more confusing than they currently are.
  4. I'd prefer to blacklist the [maven] tag (but I don't want that, I'd prefer to keep it as a "general" tag) than to use it for [maven-2] questions

To summarize, please, no, don't retag [maven-2] into [maven].

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My opinion:

maven should be for general maven questions.
maven-1 for maven version 1 questions.
maven-2 for maven version 2 questions.
and so on.

This is how it's done for windows, windows-xp, windows-vista, windows-7 for example.

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How do you know if a question is a general Maven question? Who knows all Maven versions to be able to say this? I don't think that this approach can work well... –  oberlies Dec 4 '12 at 12:26
    
What happens to maven-3 tagged questions when Maven 4 comes out? Do you assume that the majority of Maven 3 questions will not also apply to Maven 4? –  oberlies Dec 4 '12 at 12:48

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