These were desynonymized due to this question:

"Desynonymize" php and php5

Clearly there isn't support for undoing that for policy reasons, so I'll try a different argument:

PHP 5 is the current version of PHP, and has been for the past 7 years. In the abstract, policy-level world, maybe php5 and php aren't synonyms. In actually curating SO content, they are.

If anyone were to go through the ~4000 posts tagged php5 and retag to php those questions which are not about anything version specific, they'd be retagging 99% of them. In the other 1%, the php5 tag doesn't add anything anyway, since PHP5 is the default PHP askers/answerers are talking about.

It's not like other languages where there is any significant number of people using a previous version and tagging with version numbers actually clarifies what you can use in your answer. Not tagging these questions as php is just throwing away value. It makes them less visible to SO users, and less likely to match Google/Bing search queries.

Optimally someone would come along and retag all those questions, but PHP users are so... special... that there are too many mistagged to clean up.

  • 2
    Well it doesn't make it harder, just use the tag php* and you will get everything php related. I don't find this pretty hard.
    – HoLyVieR
    Commented Jan 26, 2011 at 23:44
  • 1
    That is much harder, as it requires insider information. There is nothing to indicate to the average user during their use of the site that such a thing is possible. It also doesn't help when you click on tags to navigate to tag pages. Commented Jan 26, 2011 at 23:46
  • read this: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/59285/… , we have no tag hierarchy, the synonym you are suggesting makes no sense
    – waffles
    Commented Jan 27, 2011 at 0:19

1 Answer 1


You've just repeated the same weak arguments that were thoroughly rebutted in numerous past discussions on the subject. What makes you think this time is going to be different?

  • They are just as strong in the previous posts, I don't understand why they were desynonymized in the first place. Other languages don't have this problem. We don't tag every c# question with a .NET version, every Java question with a JVM version... This question is going to be re-asked by people until something sane is done. Commented Jan 26, 2011 at 23:49
  • 1
    @Dan: You don't understand because you've done zero research. That question you link to is but one small piece of the puzzle. Try reviewing other linked and related questions. Commented Jan 26, 2011 at 23:51
  • 2
    I have done the research, I disagree with the accepted answer in the previous questions. The conclusion was "PHP != PHP5", which is silly and wrong. PHP = PHP5. It is the only major deployed version, the only supported version, the only version released in the past 7 years. Commented Jan 26, 2011 at 23:53
  • 3
    @Dan: PHP = PHP5 is silly and wrong, just as .NET == .NET 4 would be silly and wrong. Other languages DO have versioned tags and they DO get used. If you think the PHP 5 tag is being overused, that's a user education problem, not a synonymization problem. Commented Jan 26, 2011 at 23:55
  • 2
    @Dan: PHP has version-specific features and backwards-incompatible changes just like every other language. There is nothing special about it. Commented Jan 26, 2011 at 23:59

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