I find the tags and confusing when used together to denote , yet there seem to be many questions tagged this way. See many of the posts in https://stackoverflow.com/questions/tagged/open+source

Am I missing some hidden meaning?

Also, makes sense by itself, e.g., when working with files. But does make sense by itself? Note that there is already .


Those users are doing it wrong: tags need to have meaning on their own. There should be no compound tags on any SE site.

Most of those questions also shouldn't be tagged , as it's not relevant to the question that the software described happens to be open source.

I'd suggest that both the and tags should be nuked from orbit. They don't seem to be of any use.

  • Thanks. Then if nobody minds I'll go through them and submit a retag request, at least syntactically if not semantically. – Bogdan Vasilescu Mar 31 '12 at 16:11
  • 2
    @BogdanVasilescu This has to be done manually. Fabian: there are legitimate uses of open and source; it's only the posts tagged with both that should be retagged. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Mar 31 '12 at 16:41
  • @Gilles: Agreed. I'm doing it manually. – Bogdan Vasilescu Mar 31 '12 at 16:43
  • 3
    @Gilles I can't really imagine any valid uses of those tags, from a quick glance at the questions tagged with those tags I don't see any reason to keep those tags. If they should be kept, they should at least be renamed to something less ambiguous (e.g. open-file for questions about that) – Mad Scientist Mar 31 '12 at 17:02

This is probably due to newbies just typing away at tags and not knowing the dash-ing convention.

looks like it needs to be synonymerized. ... well, I dunno.. Someone should first comb through the tag(both tags actually) and check for legitimate uses. Then synonym+merge. Or blacklist. Since they'll just keep coming back.


Looks like "open" means "open-file" at times, and "source" can mean source code. Proposed battle plan:

  • 2
    open is mostly used for opening files. I don't see what it could be synonymized to. source is less clear. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Mar 31 '12 at 16:42
  • @Gilles: in which case, its best left alone. Blacklist source if it doesnt have any other uses. – Manishearth Mar 31 '12 at 16:50
  • 1
    Stuff like this makes me wish SO had an extensive API like Wikipedia--and bot support(ability to make automated edits from an approved bot account nearly silently). On Wikipedia I'd have taught my bot to do such a open AND source job in a jiffy :/ – Manishearth Mar 31 '12 at 16:53
  • 2
    @Gilles Looking at open, there's too many cases where open has nothing to do with files. But regardless of that, I prefer the tag to be explicit about what's getting opened (e.g. file-open or open-file). – tshepang Mar 31 '12 at 23:24

The tags have now been destroyed and replaced with . In fact, both of those tags should probably be blacklisted. If you see either, make the tags more meaningful.

  • You mean that you did the retag manually on all questions with the open and source tags? – Cody Gray Apr 1 '12 at 0:36
  • @TheEstablishment: Yup, with the help of... some other user, I'll find his name eventually. As far as I know there's no automatic way to do it, is there? – Ry- Apr 1 '12 at 0:37

I disagree that there should be no "compound tags" in any circumstances. While I agree that the specific example and shouldn't be allowed, it's only because neither the individual tags nor the combination are acceptable for Stack Overflow. Where one or both of the tags can stand alone, however, a compound tag may be appropriate. Here are some examples:

Note that especially in the second example, two tags can combine to form a new concept. In the case of , the compound tag is useful to clarify the topic, since the tag can hardly stand alone.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .