While I'm not a fan of either tag on SO as neither is used to meaningfully categorize similar questions, I definitely don't know a reason for both to exist. So, I propose that the tag be configured as a synonym for the tag, since 'app' is just used as an abbreviation for 'application'.

Is someone with sufficient permission (more than 2500 reputation and a total answer score of 5 or more on the tag) please able to suggest this synonym for others to vote on?

  • may I suggest you reverse your title, as both the answers seem to suggest the change would be more palatable in the other direction?
    – agf
    Aug 19, 2011 at 12:53

3 Answers 3


It seems to me like has a specific meaning (to me, and to @cweiske, at least) while does not. My suggestion would be either:

  1. The reverse of that in the question -- make a synonym for
  2. Remove altogether as it is not meaningful enough to be useful.

Edit: I've looked over some of the questions, and it is always either being used as a synonym for or else as a generic secondary, tertiary, or later tag to generically mean "program".

Yes, we know it's a program, it's a programming site.

Using the tag in the second way adds no additional information not already provided by the other tags an title, nor is it useful to search for or group questions.

I'd now advocate for my suggestion #2 -- remove it completely, and when someone starts to type "application" in the tag box, it will suggest "app", and they can select that if it's their intention. If they really mean "this is a program" -- well, that's every question on the site.

  • 1
    I second the follow-up thoughts. Remove application altogether and have 'app' around for discussion of app store style development projects.
    – renegade
    Aug 20, 2011 at 18:13

is indeed pretty useless without some differentiating term. It's the one that needs to go. It's approximately as bad as programming.

I think is good...or at least better than (, ). It speaks in particular to the build environment for making a console application in a way that mere would not. is a term I've always really liked (only 9 questions there, really?)

This new lingo has undeniable momentum lately. I'd still prefer it to be a shorthand which is canonized to the existing , just to make sure people know what they're talking about more explicitly.


While app is short for application, convention in the last years has been that "app" is a small (sic) application for smartphones and tablets, often available through an app store. A real application on the other side is something that runs on a PC.

If I'm not the only one with that understanding of app vs. application, we should not synomize them.

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