So, we got two terminals emulator named "terminator":

The issue lies that I know of questions using for referring to the latter when the tag wiki/excerpt refers to the former, and there's simply no way to tell them apart other that answer them and hope that you assumed correctly which. Luckily, is only applied to 22 question, so solving the problem before there's a sudden influx of new questions due popularity of either, is relatively easy, yet I am unsure how to approach it:

  1. Create a tag, retag the ones that are about it and create their tag wiki/excerpt indicating the difference.
  2. Rename to ( is outright out, since it gives the impression that is something related to Java), create or , retag accordingly, and create a tag wiki/excerpt indicating the differences.
  3. Do nothing and wait until the bomb explodes.

Now, there are some problems with each of the approaches:

  1. People don't read tag wiki/excerpt[citation needed] and they could indistinctly use both tag to refer to any of three terminal emulators, yeah, GNOME Terminal can be confused with it.
  2. The naming scheme can be seen cluttered and give the impression to users that that's not what they are asking about, through both should appear when they type "terminator".
  3. I don't need to explain why is the worst possible solution, right?

So, I don't know if the tag tips can be of any help here, adding a warning for each tag that serves as click-trhough to try and make sure the users use the correct tag for their question, or any other approach.

  • 5
    Can someone from the future please barge into the past and make sure this problem doesn't get created in the first place?
    – Anthon
    Commented Mar 14, 2015 at 13:11
  • 1
    +1 for the title. But, actually, there were a number of different terminators. Though most of them were played by You Know Who... Commented Mar 14, 2015 at 14:51
  • 3
    How long do those terminator tools exist; is the "danger" of an influx really to expect? Or wouldn't it rather be worse to have an inflation of tags? (The latter is something I wouldn't want to see fostered!) Currently, I read, we have 22 (0.03654%) of the 60k+ questions related to those terminators; is that amount significant? And didn't anyone of those posters describe it in their questions so that it's clear what they mean? - Generally, tags should preferably be abstract ('emulator', 'terminal'), and not be describing each existing variant on the market by it's artifical name.
    – Janis
    Commented Mar 16, 2015 at 4:24
  • @Janis having a tag for two entirely separated things is never acceptable, in any circumstances, and that should be obvious to people that use the site, that tag should unambiguously form a category. In any case, the tag is being misused, since the tag wiki says that is for questions about jessies.org java-based terminator but most questions are for GNOME terminator.
    – Braiam
    Commented Mar 16, 2015 at 11:00

2 Answers 2


First of all, I have to agree that this seems more like a solution in search of a problem. We have a measly 22 (21 now) questions tagged with , I very much doubt that this will be an issue in the future and I don't see it as much of one now. Anyway, let's have a look at the questions. For each question below, "unclear" means that I couldn't figure out which of the two it refers to.

As you can see, the clear majority is about GNOME terminal. This is by far the most common of the two, is the only one that is commonly available in repositories and is the better known. We don't even have a single question that I can be sure refers to Jessie's terminator. Of those that are unclear, I'm pretty sure that most also refer to the GNOME one.

So, instead of fiddling about with the tags, I have simply changed the excerpt to refer to GNOME terminator. I think that is all that's needed. The excerpt now reads:

Questions about GNOME Terminator (http://gnometerminator.blogspot.fr/). Please only use this tag if your question is specific to this terminal emulator which is not the same as the identically named emulator found here: https://code.google.com/p/jessies/wiki/TerminatorFAQ.


The is now a synonym of and the two have been merged. New questions tagged with will now be tagged as .

  • Thank you for the analysis. It would nonetheless be a good idea to make the tag name unambiguous before the jessies implementation becomes more popular. Based on your data, I conclude that we should rename the tag to gnome-terminator. Commented Mar 17, 2015 at 21:20
  • @Gilles the only problem with that is that gnome-terminator is called terminator in the Debian and RH ecosystems' repositories. Hell, I've been using it as my default emulator for years and I didn't know it was also called gnome-terminator. I very much doubt that people would think to tag as gnome-terminator. I would be more inclined to make gnome-terminator a synonym than renaming the tag. I don't feel particularly strongly about it though.
    – terdon Mod
    Commented Mar 17, 2015 at 22:23
  • I don't see the problem. I've never thought of screen as being called gnu-screen, and I keep thinking that windows should be about windows, not about Windows, yet these aren't bad tag names. If the tag was renamed, you'd type terminator and see gnome-terminator pop up, so the tag name is trivially discoverable. Commented Mar 17, 2015 at 23:12
  • As Gilles pointed out, we should be prepared before the problem appears. "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure", it would be more of a hassle to "fix" mistagged questions instead of just doing it right from the start.
    – Braiam
    Commented Mar 18, 2015 at 1:56

So, I was plaining to retag the obvious ones as as terdon posts shows, the ones unclear I left a comment asking for clarification, which at least one ended to be , other cases would be left on hold.

But the tag was just merged as is, which surprisingly may not be wrong (checked the unclear ones and nothing pointed out to Jesiess terminator, yet there were hints to Gnome terminator), so this should be done as merged into and synonymized.

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