SO has currently 451 444(??) posts tagged with intellij-idea and 15 0 posts tagged with idea. The latter list used to be longer until 2 days ago, when I browsed through it, noticed that the majority of the posts were about IntelliJ IDEA anyway, and retagged the rest (AFAIR 7 posts, including for example this, this and this) to ideas or project-ideas.

I also suggested idea as a synonym for intellij-idea, but today I became a bit hesitant about this.

Obviously "idea" has a much more general meaning than IntelliJ's product. So I am afraid automatically converting idea to intellij-idea in the future may be wrong in some cases. Can we expect that users will notice and use ideas when they mean to, instead of ending up incorrectly associated with intellij-idea? Based on its actual usage, the current consensus seems to be leaning towards idea meaning intellij-idea, but still it is sort of kidnapping a word... What does the community think?


As I just realized, there are precedents to this question. And the logical consensus seems to be to separate such terms into two (or more) distinct, unambiguous tags. Which in this case are already present:

I have already done part of the renaming, and I can do the rest. Then, this answer mentions the possibility of blacklisting tags - to me this would be the best final solution in this case.


Don't make ambiguous synonyms. You should only propose a synonym where it is going to be indisputable that the person meant the parent tag. Not everyone with ideas has intellij-ideas, exactly as you say. See Synonyms mean interchangeable, not similar.

And when it comes to plurals, you can never expect that users will always be able to pick up on the right choice. That's why we get the singular/plural problem in the first place.

  • Thanks, this confirms my feeling. So idea as a synonym should be downvoted and forgotten. I have also updated my post to suggest a (hopefully) final solution to the ambiguity. – Péter Török Aug 4 '10 at 17:39

Agreed, it is now burninated.

tag burninated

You must log in to answer this question.

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