The tag has at least three meanings. I propose to disambiguate them and get rid of .

To add to the current confusion, there is a tag which is about the OSX virtualization software; I don't propose to change that tag, and the removal of parallel should make it stand out a bit more.


  • Instead of getting rid completely of /parallel, maybe it should be kept with an excerpt suggesting the usage of those 3 tags, so that users are not tempted by it. Aug 2, 2014 at 17:56
  • @CristianCiupitu If a tag isn't used on questions, it doesn't have an excerpt. But we can now display custom guidance on forbidden tags (it would look like this), and we'll do that if we get rid of the tag. Aug 2, 2014 at 18:00
  • That would be great. Aug 2, 2014 at 18:01

1 Answer 1


Sounds very reasonable, but I would suggest instead of . Parallelism can mean many things:

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

n. The quality or condition of being parallel; a parallel relationship.

n. Likeness, correspondence, or similarity in aspect, course, or tendency.

n. Grammar The use of identical or equivalent syntactic constructions in corresponding clauses or phrases.

n. Philosophy The doctrine that to every mental change there corresponds a concomitant but causally unconnected physical alteration.

And I have never seen it used in the context of parallel computing (which doesn't mean it isn't used of course). Parallelization, on the other hand, means:

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License2

n. The act of making things parallel.

n. The act of making operations work in parallel, particularly in, but not limited to, computing.

This NGram shows a clear spike in the usage of parallelization just when it started becoming common in the computer world:

enter image description here

Finally, the Wikipedia entry for parallelization redirects to its page on parallel computing while its page for parallelism takes you to a disambiguation entry.

  • 2
    I'm not convinced: parallelism is definitely used in the context of parallel computing. Parallelization refers specifically to the act of implementing an algorithm in a way that takes advantage of multiple processors running in parallel. Parallelism refers to the study and practice of parallel computations in general (it can also mean the presence of opportunities for parallelization). The broader sense of parallelism is the one that's meant here. Jul 24, 2014 at 0:05
  • I agree. parallelization would be perfect on StackOverflow for questions about making a program parallel, and that's what your definition from the wiktionary says. In our case, in my opinion, we should be able to use this tag even for the case of unwanted parallelism, i.e. race conditions. parallelization would definitely not work.
    – lgeorget
    Jul 24, 2014 at 9:13
  • @terdon well, that took a while. Ping received.
    – jimsug
    Dec 23, 2015 at 11:13
  • @jimsug superping deleted.
    – terdon Mod
    Dec 23, 2015 at 11:14

You must log in to answer this question.

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