Right now we have a SHA2 and a SHA-3 tag. When I type in "SHA" SHA-3 doesn't appear unless I type the hyphen as well.

For consistency, and the ability to get autocomplete to work perhaps we should rename the SHA-3 questions to SHA3.

Also tagging this question as support since there is a blank spot in the autocomplete when I type in SHA, and SHA-* should populate

  • Note that there is a meta thread covering all the tag cleanup here: meta.security.stackexchange.com/q/1715/33
    – AviD Mod
    Commented Apr 19, 2015 at 9:07
  • 1
    I would also take the question back a step and ask, do we really need individual tags for each version of SHA? As of now we have sha (89 q's), sha2(19), sha256 (42) and sha-3(4 q's). Flipping through them, it looks like the vast majority could just as well be tagged SHA, without the specificity. The few that MIGHT need to be more specific actually belong more on crypto.SE anyway.
    – AviD Mod
    Commented Apr 19, 2015 at 9:10
  • I am even close to noting that even "SHA" is overly specific, and MOST of the questions in any of those tags are not even about SHA, but about hashing in general!
    – AviD Mod
    Commented Apr 19, 2015 at 9:13
  • @AviD I'd say it's the contrary: sha is useless, but some of the questions about SHA-1 should be tagged sha-1, because they're about the abandonment of SHA-1 and not about hashes in general. All of the questions currently tagged sha-3 are about the adoption of SHA-3 and so should be tagged sha-3. Commented Apr 19, 2015 at 13:55
  • @Gilles That is an interesting point, and indeed would make the use of those tags relevant. as I said, I didn't look closely at all of them, just looked like most of the q's were asking about how to use SHA (or hash in general) and questions around that. So I would also suggest renaming those tags to be more specific, e.g. "sha-1-abandonment" or "sha-3-adoption" or the like - just so they don't get misused anytime I happen to have sha-1 support in my system.
    – AviD Mod
    Commented Apr 22, 2015 at 9:31

1 Answer 1


The reason doesn't appear when you type sha is not because it contains a hyphen, but because there are 6 tags that contain sha and that are more popular. Renaming the tag to would be typographically incorrect (it's “SHA-3”, not “SHA3”) and would not help you.

There is the question of to what extent we want tags for specific hash functions. A majority of questions on this site (unlike Cryptography) involving hashes are about using a cryptographic hash to ensure the integrity of some data and not about a specific hash function. However, there are questions where the specific hash function is relevant, so these tags are sometimes warranted, but not everywhere they're currently used.

There are currently 4 questions tagged . They're about moving to SHA-3 from SHA-2, so the tag is relevant.

There are currently 102 questions tagged (which is the proper spelling). Some of these are about the known security problems with MD5 and whether they affect a system using them (example); the tag is very much warranted there. Others are about hashes in general (example) and should not have a tag for a specific hash.

(which should be ) is currently synonymized to . This makes some sense, though I suspect a few of these should really be tagged as they're about the abandonment of SHA-1.

(which should be ) is a separate tag, as is (which should be or ). As SHA-2 is the “default” hash family these days, most of these questions should really just be tagged .

There's even a tag with 89 questions. At a glance I only see questions about hashes in general (it just happens that the most popular hashes are of the SHA family), in which case should be used instead, or occasionally about a specific member of the family, in which case should be replaced by e.g. .

My proposal:

  1. Merge , and into . (Moderator action.)
  2. Remove the , and synonyms. (Moderator action.)
  3. Manually retag questions that are specifically about SHA-1 to use . (Community action.)
  4. Retag the questions currently tagged but not specifically about MD5 to . (Community action, can be done in parallel with the above.)

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