We have a tag and a tag. They are two names for the very same thing. Thus I think that the two tags should be synonyms.

One question is: what should be the name of the tag that actually appears, i.e. which should be the main one and which should be a synonym? Personally I do not want to comment on this, so I would like to leave it to a discussion.

  • it seems the current policy of WRI indicates wstp.
    – Kuba Mod
    Commented Dec 8, 2015 at 14:19
  • 2
    @Kuba At least the marketing department does. But if you look at LibraryLink stuff, CreateLibrary still links against the ML-prefix libraries. I never tried if linking to the WS ones works at all. This whole changing an API for the sake of marketing (!) is so senseless. Mozilla didn't change their NS prefix in internal functions just because they don't use the NetScape name any more. Nor did Apple change their NS, even though it's just from OS X's NeXTSTEP legacy.
    – Szabolcs
    Commented Dec 8, 2015 at 14:33
  • 1
    @Kuba But all that is not an argument for one or the other. Our priority should be to avoid confusion and make it clear that the two are the same. Use wstp-mathlink? That doesn't really sound good, does it?
    – Szabolcs
    Commented Dec 8, 2015 at 14:35
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    Actually I think wstp-mathlink might help people realize they are the same thing. If it seems awkward to some, it might be because the renaming is awkward.
    – Michael E2
    Commented Dec 8, 2015 at 15:10
  • The naming confusion won't last forever. The best long term solution is to use wstp I think.
    – C. E.
    Commented Dec 8, 2015 at 19:34
  • @Pickett Does that mean, that wstp should be used for question using a current Mathematica version and mathlink should be kept for older questions and Mathematica version. You may want to make that an answer.
    – Karsten7
    Commented Dec 8, 2015 at 19:48
  • @Karsten7. I added an answer. I think that the wstp tag should apply to all questions regardless of age.
    – C. E.
    Commented Dec 8, 2015 at 20:06
  • I took action on this because votes indicate that the community wants some kind of merge. I ultimately made a judgement call on the new tag name, and if it proves a mistake I'll have to accept that and go from there.
    – Mr.Wizard
    Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 13:11
  • Thank you @Mr.Wizard! I think the tag name is good.
    – Szabolcs
    Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 13:48

5 Answers 5


In my opinion a new tag should be created and the current two tags and should become synonyms for .


This is a counterpoint to Pickett's answer. I actually agree with Karsten's answer, but this was the first thing that came to my mind:

Two arguments in favor of :

  • WRI can always rename MathLink/WSTP again in the future, which would require the tag to be updated again. But they cannot go back and change the past, so MathLink would be a more permanent solution. (Similarly, I don't see us deciding to rename the site to "Wolfram System.SE".)
  • For most of the history of Mathematica, it has been known as MathLink, and so it follows that more people will recognise it under this name, at least for the time being.
  • It seems that someone (although maybe not the same someone in all cases) has downvoted all the answers. Could we not do this please? The reason is that it makes it very difficult to determine what you are really in favor of if all we have is that you disagree with a given suggestion. Since nobody can tell which, if any, of the answers you upvoted at the same time, the interpretation of the downvote is very unclear. Thus, there is a strong likelihood that your downvote will simply be ignored and only the upvotes on each of the suggestions counted. Commented Dec 20, 2015 at 18:16

It's a minor difference, but I prefer to as the main tag. I think each is sufficiently clear and therefore the shorter is to be preferred.

  • 1
    Have to disagree; all existing tags have "and" or "or" where they contain two closely related or synonymous terms. For consistency I think this one should as well. Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 0:19

J.M. suggested in chat to use instead of to better communicate that the two names refer to the same thing. Vote here if you prefer this.

  • No, because presumably WSTP will get new protocol versions in the future while MathLink won't, and the two will eventually become incompatible (or MathLink will be fully renamed rather than duplicated). It makes sense for the current situation, but I think this is a temporary state of affairs. Commented Dec 14, 2015 at 17:38
  • @OleksandrR. Well, that might or might not be so. The kernel probably uses the same functions internally. Bulk-renaming those is a risk that may not yet have been taken. The LibraryLink stuff links to the ML* library by default; I haven't tested whether it works with the WS library at all.
    – Szabolcs
    Commented Dec 14, 2015 at 18:21

This answer is for those who want to be the tag that actually appears.

Two arguments that support this conclusion:

  • The confusion over the naming is temporary, long term it will be a non-issue since WRI will always refer to it as wstp in the future.
  • wstp-mathlink or wstp-and-mathlink are aesthetically displeasing.
  • 3
    I feel aesthetics should be subordinated to clarity. If wstp becomes a no-brainer we can always change the mapping. Commented Dec 8, 2015 at 21:53

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