What tag should be used to describe hash objects in Ruby and Ruby-on-Rails? Currently, it is . Should it be:

  1. : 2,597 questions overall, by far the most common term in Ruby, being used 392 times. However, I suspect it's the wrong tag, as it's described as "... mathematical function that converts a large, possibly variable-sized amount of data into a small datum".
  2. : 2,559 questions overall, 10 uses with Ruby. Described as "... a collection of keys and values allowing efficient value lookup given the key."
  3. : 770 questions overall, 7 uses with Ruby. No wiki yet.
  4. : 704 questions overall, 9 uses with Ruby. Described as "... a collection that uses a hash function to map identifying values (keys) to their associated values."
  5. : 52 questions overall, 11 uses with Ruby. No wiki yet.

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A ruby hash object is a hashmap/hashtable which are both types of dictionaries. I would tag it with either or . I'm leaning towards though.

I'd also create a tag synonym for hashmap and hashtable, but I don't have a score of 5 in those tags.

  • Glad we agree on making them synonyms. Any reason you'd prefer hashtable, though? – Matthew Read Aug 25 '11 at 23:53
  • @Matthew, I'm really kind of torn, it's a slight lean haha. I think (but I'm not sure) that more languages have a built in structure called HashTable than HashMap though. – Paul Aug 25 '11 at 23:57
  • HashMap would be slightly confusing because they might think you're calling map on a hash object, so I'd prefer hashtable. – Andrew Grimm Sep 6 '11 at 0:03

hash and hashes should be synonyms, and the tag should make clearer that it applies to hash values as well as hash functions.

Ruby hash objects are hash maps, from what I can tell of reading the documentation, since they allow nulls (nils). It depends on your definition of the terms, though, and it varies between languages/packages; either way there's really not much difference from a hash table, so it might actually make sense to merge hashtable and hashmap.

You might want something like ruby-hash to map to hashmap as well, to help avoid people inappropriately tagging questions with hash.

  • Is it possible to create a tag deliberately as a synonym? – Andrew Grimm Aug 26 '11 at 4:43
  • @Andrew Mods can do it via merging. – Matthew Read Aug 26 '11 at 15:08
  • This still needs to be done. I just tagged a Ruby-Hash question hash as well as dictionary. No one will know to tag ruby-hash or hash-table unless it's a suggestion when typing hash or dictionary. – OJFord Oct 2 '13 at 15:31

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