It was suggested that I suggest this suggestion. Suggestively.

We've had two cases now where retaggers got confused because they tried to change a new tag to a more common tag and nothing happened. It turned out tag synonyms were silently renaming them. I think silent renaming makes sense for an initial question post (the user probably won't even notice the tag changed), but for an edit that retags a question it seems to the user like something went wrong and the edit didn't go through. Should there be a warning that a tag was remapped, but only for retagging edits?

  • Yes! (I told you I'd upvote it.) Commented Jul 26, 2010 at 17:29
  • @Ladybug I generally feel bad suggesting things for tag synonyms since they're not finished doing the first implementation, but on the other hand it's their fault for letting us get our hands on something that isn't finished Commented Jul 26, 2010 at 17:37
  • As I said in the other question, I think the system should notify the user any time a replacement is made, but +1 because this is a step in the right direction, IMO.
    – Jon Seigel
    Commented Jul 26, 2010 at 22:04
  • meh ... bit-fields and c#-3.0 issues where due to a bodge synonym we introduced ... we should not have had these in the first place. the issue here is that there are synonyms that are sending more popular tags to less popular tags ... that is bad, very bad
    – waffles
    Commented Jul 27, 2010 at 13:14

3 Answers 3


First of all I'm not against this but considering:

  1. That the synonyms have "fixed" around 3000 tags on the Stack Overflow.
  2. That there are some dodge synonyms in play we need to clean up (which will be much easier once I am done with my next round)
  3. That there are lots of synonyms that are still pending a tag merge.

I would not really consider this a priority one thing.

I think any work in this area should wait on a stable set of synonyms being established and merges complete.

Once that is done ... we can revisit. But the UI for notifying users is very hairy and is big can of worms.

Of course if and when this happens the focus will be on looking at explaining stuff in the UI to confused low rep / new users.


Your tag was replaced by a synonym http://img690.imageshack.us/img690/6126/tagreplaced.png

You would only see this if you are trying to retag a question.

  • 1
    There is plenty of room without using a pop-up. Do you know the "Oops! Your edit couldn't be submitted because ..." warning? No pop-up for that. Also it would be possible to display the changed tag in a different color than the other tags. Commented Jul 26, 2010 at 17:50
  • @Lady, I think the reason there is no popup is because it brings you back to the same page, but with a warning message. This would be shown after the retag was 'successful' on the Question's page.
    – jjnguy
    Commented Jul 26, 2010 at 17:58
  • 1
    The image link is broken.
    – user259867
    Commented Mar 12, 2015 at 22:53

I think the "pending synonyms" should just be retagged to their "master tag" by a moderator. It doesn't make sense to have new posts automatically retagged while old posts keep the "wrong" tags.

Once only one tag exists for each group of synonyms, there will be no more confusion.

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