The tag is currently used to mean two completely different things:

  • Manipulating windows on the GUI: 1 2 3
  • Interacting with the Microsoft Windows operating system 1

Most Stack Exchange sites where the issue comes up use windows for Microsoft Windows and other tag names for the GUI concept, often window (Ask Ubuntu, Unix & Linux, Super User, Emacs, Stack Overflow). Emacs and Vi use microsoft-windows for the operating system.

What tag names should we use here?

1 Answer 1


From experience on sites with both window and windows as tag names, there's a lot of confusion. So let's avoid this pair.

For the operating system, is the obvious, clear alternative.

For the concept, and (or ?) cover most topics (I don't expect to be a distinct thing from on this site) but I don't find these to be great tag names. doesn't look clear to me. Better suggestions are welcome (I might steal them for U&L).

Just having a tag named windows is likely to cause misuse as people meaning either the concept or the OS will use the name without checking. So I propose to avoid this name altogether. It is possible to arrange for a popup to appear if someone tries to use the tag name windows, with a message saying something like “the name windows is ambiguous, use or instead”. This needs to be set up by Stack Exchange staff.

  • +1. I'd go for management over manipulation simply for my spelling, but it's not a big difference. I've also added microsoft-windows-8.1. I'm not sure if we need versions, but Windows 8 is so different. Finally, what should windows be a synonym of? The Microsoft one or the GUI one?
    – user3
    Jul 8, 2015 at 9:40
  • @Tim I think windows should not be a synonym of either, because it has about an even chance of being the wrong one in any given instance. Please don't create version-specific tags unless there's a clear need for them, they tend to be heavily abused. A version tag should only be used on questions that don't apply to any other version, which is not the case for elementaryos.stackexchange.com/q/16 Jul 8, 2015 at 12:48
  • Okay - yeah reading it again it's a general windows question. I've pushed your edit through, and removed the versioning details from the question itself. As this site expands, would you still recommend no verioning tags, or could they be used (I'm thinking about the difference between versions with UEFI, safe boot etc).
    – user3
    Jul 8, 2015 at 12:52
  • I second this. We need to keep an eye out for these tags though.
    – RolandiXor
    Jul 10, 2015 at 18:31

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