I will explain using an example of what I mean. Suppose I now start a new question on Stack Overflow and start typing in the tag editor textbox. I type "asp" and this is what I see:

Classic ASP has its place of honor, but these days it's rarely used — 130,000 is way bigger than 4500. I am subscribed to the tag and see people putting it instead of almost daily.

Having the auto complete list sorted by the tag usage will help to prevent such newbie errors plus looks more correct to me. Might need some tweaking, e.g. don't put synonyms first but I think the general idea is clear.

1 Answer 1


This is already the case. The ordering by popularity is only then broken when the tag you typed exists (i.e. it's not just a substring match). Since the tag exists (even if just as a synonym), it will jump to the front of the list when you type "asp".

Simplest example: Type a "c", and will be the first, even though and others are more popular. This is absolutely intentional; a precise match between a tag and the string you type should be prioritized.

But other than this exception, the ordering already is by popularity.

  • Thanks for explaining - but still, is it possible to make some exceptions? Commented Jul 2, 2012 at 13:56
  • What kind of exception? If you think that asp should no longer be a synonym for asp-classic, bring that up as a discussion. But I see no reason to add a "don't suggest this" metadata to a tag. If the tag exists, it should be suggested.
    – balpha StaffMod
    Commented Jul 2, 2012 at 13:59
  • Exception like showing the tag as the second in case of exact match - this way it will still be visible but the mostly used one will be first. I won't go as far as changing the synonym but like you said, it's a different matter. Commented Jul 2, 2012 at 14:06
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    I'd rather keep the exact match as first, not the most used.
    – Alenanno
    Commented Jul 2, 2012 at 14:18
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    @ShaWizDowArd With the same logic, the first suggestion would be "ruby-on-rails" when you type "ruby", or "asp.net-mvc" when you type "mvc". And don't forget that it will always be at most one tag that breaks the order-by-popularity (since there can only be one exact match). If the huge majority of people really mean ASP.NET when they type ASP, then ASP thouldn't be a synonym of classic ASP.
    – balpha StaffMod
    Commented Jul 2, 2012 at 14:18
  • 1
    Thanks, guess you are right. Will think about requesting synonym change then. :) Commented Jul 2, 2012 at 14:21
  • Well, found this now and tend to agree - ASP is classic ASP and trying to change that will be more confusing than helpful. Guess we better leave things be and correct the mistakes when they happen. Thanks again! Commented Jul 2, 2012 at 21:13

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