As mentioned in Tags [httpd] and [apache]: synonym candidates? I believe this warrants its own question.

If you look at , it is being used for several different things. Of the newest 50 questions:

... and somehow that didn't total to 50, because I apparently can't count or add. Bravely ignoring that, the Apache HTTP Server clearly is the most frequent use of the tag.

2 Answers 2


I suggest first that historically, "Apache" when used alone refers to the web server, and indeed still does. Consider the release announcement for 2.4.9 currently on the project's home page at http://httpd.apache.org/: (Other release announcements on the page call it "httpd" for short.)

The Apache Software Foundation and the Apache HTTP Server Project are pleased to announce the release of version 2.4.9 of the Apache HTTP Server ("Apache"). This version of Apache is our latest GA release of the new generation 2.4.x branch of Apache HTTPD and represents fifteen years of innovation by the project, and is recommended over all previous releases. This version of Apache is principally a security and bug fix release.

This usage is probably because Apache (the web server) has been the most popular web server on the Internet since before the Apache Software Foundation existed.

I think that means it'd be hard to make mean anything but the web server; it'd be a constant battle against new mistagged questions.

Also, most of the questions people would probably have about the Apache Software Foundation (how does my project join, how do I join an ASF project, etc.) are off-topic here. The relationship between Apache projects is non-technical as well. Just because you're an expert with Ant, doesn't mean you have a clue about OpenOffice. It's no more a useful tag than, say, "microsoft" would be. If there are on-topic questions about the ASF, then it seems or even would be fine.

So, in summary:

  1. Tomcat should probably be , probably with a synonym from . Or maybe the other way around; only the latter actually has questions.
  2. Ant should probably be . There aren't any questions tagged , so I see no need for a synonym there.
  3. If we do decide to retag the web server to then we need to get rid of entirely. Otherwise, we'll have to be constantly retagging. Wouldn't be surprised if we even need it blacklisted.
  4. We can use or if we find any on-topic questions actually about the ASF. (I have no idea if the ASF would accept a project named "Foundation". If they did, then the latter tag would be confused again.)
  5. I don't see any reason to tag a question ASF just because it talks about an ASF project, any more than I think it'd make since to tag one Microsoft (more on Stack Overflow or Super User, of course).

I don't think a second thread is needed, but whatever.

is almost exclusively used to mean the Apache web server, with the occasional use for other Apache project. So we should rename the tag to and keep as a synonym. That way, if someone types apache, they get the appropriate tag for the web server; in the rare case where that isn't what they meant, they'll see the tag being rewritten. The synonym is also useful in case of incoming migrations from Stack Overflow; an apache-2.2 synonym would be useful for migrations from Server Fault. (I don't think we need to distinguish between Apache versions on U&L.)

That's assuming we don't keep to mean what “Apache” usually means. I favor the longer tag only because it has the shorter name as a substring.

Tomcat is rarely called “Apache Tomcat”, so is enough.

There are a few questions about Ant but no tag; I think either or would do, with a preference to like on SO (and either way, a synonym).

  • +1; I tried to suggest an "apche-ant" synonym for "ant" but I didn't have enough rep (0) in the [ant] tag to do so.
    – Jeff Schaller Mod
    May 16, 2016 at 2:03

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