This is a pretty silly issue really, so I'm not going to go as far as posting a retag request for it. I would like to at least gather some thoughts on the subject, though.

I had always thought that words in tag names should be separated by hyphens, but this isn't always correctly followed. I'm a bit anal about things like this when naming things I actually own so that's why this particular instance bugged me a little. The tag in question is [macosx]. Apple refer to their product as "Mac OS X", so doesn't it make sense that the tag should be [mac-os-x]?

Am I misunderstanding the naming scheme of tags on SO, or is it just that people really aren't that bothered? Currently there are 997 questions for [macosx] on Stack Overflow and only 1 [mac-os-x] because I just retagged a post with it. Super User has separate [mac] and [osx] (not [os-x]) tags, which confuses me further because you're allowed a maximum of 5 tags per question so this would take up 2 of those 5. I realize this question is more-or-less a dupe of that, with the exception that I'm really trying to find out if this bothers anyone or not.

It looks like [macosx] was merged into [osx] on Super User, so maybe this is the correct course of action. However, Jeff's answer on another question states that search terms on the broader internet are the most important factor with tag names, and he even renamed a bunch of tags on super user that didn't correctly include hyphens. With that in mind, I checked the search stats:

http://www.google.com/trends?q=mac+os+x,+mac+osx+&ctab=0 [mac os x] is the winner by a long shot. http://www.google.com/trends?q=os+x,+osx+&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all&sort=0 [os x] is the winner.

There's also a retag request here which suggests merging [macosx] into [mac-os-x], but it looks like this might have gone the other way because there aren't any [mac-os-x] questions anymore.

End of nitpick, I apologise profusely to all who felt compelled to read through that :-)

  • 1
    I agree with you, but I think this is due to historical precedent. There are statictics at meta.stackexchange.com/questions/6398/…, "Please could we combine the ‘osx’ and ‘macosx’ tags?". Commented Jul 13, 2010 at 13:50
  • 1
    @Peter Mortensen: yeah. It's those statistics vs Google Trend's statistics. The difference is that a lot of users will use the auto complete tag drop down to choose a tag already in use. You could use the same argument for the Google search terms, except that Google's autocomplete was opt-in until about a year ago.
    – Andy E
    Commented Jul 13, 2010 at 14:02
  • meta.stackexchange.com/questions/41365/…
    – Jon Seigel
    Commented Jul 13, 2010 at 17:07
  • 3
    Never have liked the mushedtogetherspelling. Commented Jul 14, 2010 at 2:54
  • FWIW on Super User, mac is supposed to refer to hardware. osx to Mac OS X itself.
    – Chealion
    Commented Aug 17, 2010 at 5:10
  • I don't like using hyphens for spaces here. I understand its necessity, and prefer it to underscores, but if it's reasonable and understandable to mush words together I'd rather do it. Also, I write MacOSX normally anyway. Commented Aug 17, 2010 at 14:33
  • @David: I can understand that, but I don't think it looks as "good" when you can't write it with camel casing - "macosx". It also raises the issue of distinguishing the individual words, e.g. expertsexchange vs experts-exchange.
    – Andy E
    Commented Aug 17, 2010 at 15:46


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