Right now there are 3 tags for php: php (52,704), php5 (2,477), and php4 (170). However if you look at the state of php5, it seems most questions are tagged blindly with php5, even though it applys to PHP in general.
Should we distinguish languages based solely on versions? Right now in order to effectively follow PHP you need to follow all the tags (some questions only include php5). This also makes it a mess to search for anything.
I think that a language version tag should only be used in very special cases, and the more general tag is for the current version of the language. In Javaland, I don't tag my questions java-1.6; it is assumed you mean that. If for some reason you are developing pre-generics, then and only then would you specify, for example, java-1.1. For most of the other languages I see, this is what's normally followed.
Need some examples of the PHP != PHP5 problem?
- $_POST was in PHP4
- Pretty sure arrays were in PHP4
- For loops have been in PHP since forever (and its only tagged
- Another example where PHP5 changed nothing in the implementation
- Password protected site is NOT new in PHP5
issetis not new in PHP5
- Another retarded user thinking URL rewriting has anything to do with PHP5 (another only tagged
Thats just the top few. I could go on and on about the state of the
[php5] tag. Waflles says tag synonyms weren't meant for this, but I say tagging wasn't meant to be useless. This is clearly not what the system was designed for.
Mass retagging isn't going to help either, as many people would still tag generic PHP questions
[php5]. We just need a synonym. Until then PHP tagging will continue to go down the drain.