So we've currently got tags for Windows, Windows XP, Mac, OSX, Linux & Ubuntu.

That looks like three too many to me.

I don't see why as an Android site we'd care about the difference between WinXP and the rest of the desktop Windows family in a way that needs separate tags (we do have a Windows-Mobile tag as well, but as a mobile device OS that is a a special case, so I've left it out), similarly I don't see why we'd care about differences between Ubuntu and Linux in general. As for "Mac" and "OSX" they're essentially synonyms in common usage, I'd propose combining them into a "Mac-OSX" tag to make it easier to find.

Update have proposed some of these as synonyms (ubuntu as a synonym for linux and windows-xp as a synonym for windows), vote here: https://android.stackexchange.com/tags/synonyms?filter=suggested&tab=newest

I'd suggest that "mac" and "osx" need merging and renaming to "mac-osx" but I don't have the necessary mod powers for that, could someone else help here, please.

4 Answers 4


(Building on my comment on Matthew Read's answer) Since there does seem to be some use to them I propose having tags: , , and . That way if a user does have a question like syncing, drivers or whatever that does relate - those that have experience with whichever platform can view have it as a favorite or something. That said I'm not sure how much we really need them since very few questions should apply to these tags, but if we do then those are the three we should have.

  • 1
    That's exactly my thinking, though I'd change the "mac" tag to "mac-osx" that way the tag autocomplete thing should pop it up for anyone typing either name.
    – GAThrawn
    Mar 30, 2011 at 9:24

Despite what I just said, on Matthew Read's answer, I'd support merging "Ubuntu" and "Linux" -- if we aren't going to distinguish every single operating system by version (which sounds to me like crazy talk ... every Mac OS? Every Linux distro and release? Eeek.) there's no reason to break out Ubuntu from Linux.

  • 1
    Perhaps adding "ubuntu" as a synonym for "linux" could be worthwhile as it is probably the most popular desktop Linux variant.
    – GAThrawn
    Mar 30, 2011 at 9:26

If these tags are worth keeping, then the Windows and Windows XP tags should probably be kept separate. I know there was at least one question about the Galaxy S drivers for Windows 7 x64, which are different from the 32-bit XP drivers, for example. The one question tagged Windows XP involves driver issues, which might be specific to XP. There's another question about having a PC rebroadcast WiFi for a phone, which is Windows 7 specific.

Edit: I withdraw the below.

Personally, I don't think these tags have any value. Information about what OS you're using or a problem using a device connected to an OS should be in the question and stay out of the tags. Most of the time it's incidental information not useful for classification, and the rest of the time it's a classification that I don't think is needed.

  • I'm not totally convinced that desktop OS tags don't have value. I do sometimes come look over the Ubuntu tag for questions I can answer. Questions marked "Windows" (or Windows XP or Windows 7) I'm pretty sure I can't answer. That seems useful to me.
    – Amanda
    Mar 29, 2011 at 20:42
  • I kinda agree with Amanda on this - but maybe I'm misunderstanding the real purpose of tags. However like Al Everett said in his answer on this page its very possible many of them don't even need the tag.
    – Daniel
    Mar 30, 2011 at 1:14
  • OK. If I am wrong about the usefulness of the tags I withdraw that complaint. I agree that Mac/OSX and Ubuntu/Linux should be merged, at least until we have sufficient reason to separate them. I think the distinctions I noted are sufficient to keep Windows flavors separate (though not all flavors, of course). Mar 30, 2011 at 2:07

I tend to agree.

I haven't looked, but I'll wager that a good portion of those questions don't need the tag for the desktop OS anyway.

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