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I originally posted this question on Meta Stack Overflow. However, it was suggested that I post it here as well because I have not received an answer after over two weeks.

IBM Bluemix was recently rebranded as the IBM Cloud platform in this recent official announcement. We currently have the ibm-bluemix tag that is used on most of the questions for the platform. As with any rebranding, it takes a while for everyone to get accustomed to it. We would like ibm-cloud to be the master tag and ibm-bluemix to be a synonym tag. As I understand it, if someone added the ibm-bluemix tag to a question, it would then be automatically published as ibm-cloud. However, before we make that official request, I have a few questions:

  • If the change is made, how does that affect RSS feeds? If someone is following the ibm-bluemix tag, will the ibm-cloud tagged questions be included?
  • When you use the SO API to pull tag metrics, how will the tag change affect it? If we begin querying on ibm-cloud for metrics, will the results continue to include questions tagged as ibm-bluemix?

Please help as I do want to make a change that would be detrimental to the continued use of Stack Overflow.

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If the request goes through, the tags would be synonymized and merged. What this does is two-fold:

  1. All new questions which attempt to add the [ibm-bluemix] tag will have it automatically replaced with [ibm-cloud] upon posting or editing. It would no longer be possible to add the [ibm-bluemix] tag to a question. This is the effect of creating the tag synoynm.
  2. All past questions which had the [ibm-bluemix] tag would be silently modified to replace all occurrences of it with the new [ibm-cloud] tag. This does not create a separate revision; it only replaces the tag as if the question always had it. This is the effect of completing the tag merge.

The combination of those two effects means that no questions on the site would be tagged with [ibm-bluemix] anymore. The [ibm-bluemix] tag itself would technically not even exist. All of the questions would have the [ibm-cloud] tag instead.

You would still be able to get an RSS feed for the tag [ibm-bluemix] - the system would automatically rewrite that request to search for questions tagged [ibm-cloud] instead (it doesn't update the title of the feed to reflect that change though). I'm not completely familiar with the API, but searches for [ibm-bluemix] there should also redirect to [ibm-cloud] after the change. These are both further effects of the tag synonym existing.

  • I know this comment is probably frowned upon, but thank you so much! I can work with that information. Hopefully it will help others in the same position going forward. I also upvoted the answer. – Bill Wentworth Dec 5 '17 at 19:01
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After further research now that the tag has been renamed to , we have noticed that RSS feeds are not accurate. If you have an existing feed that is looking for the tagged content, it DOES NOT include any new content that was not originally tagged as .

For example:

  • From before the rename, if you created content that was tagged and renamed by the back-end process, that content IS included in the RSS feed looking for content tagged with .
  • If you create new content using the tag, it IS NOT included in any original RSS feeds looking for the tag.

The RSS feed apparently does not adjust and look for the parent tag when is a synonym. This issue is a HUGE problem as all original RSS feeds looking for tagged content will need to be updated to look for .

I will need to file a defect against SO to see if this issue with the RSS feed can be addressed. You can see the difference here:

Update: I submitted a bug report here: RSS Feed not producing accurate results after tag renaming

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