We have a tag and a pair of tags and . The latter two should obviously be synonyms. What about ?

In theory X.509 could be about side topics such as CSR or CRL, but would be appropriate for that anyway. In theory certificates could be encoded differently, but who does that?

In practice I don't see a usage pattern between / and . People seem to use them indifferently.

Previous related discussion: Multiple PKI tags — where we concluded that and are different from .

  • Wow, that's pretty bad. I merged the 2 x509's into x.509. I am leaving the certificates one for now, to leave open for discussion. I think a long time ago I was told off by one of our resident cryptographers that these should be kept separate, like "encryption" and "aes".
    – AviD Mod
    Sep 1 '17 at 7:33

NO! != .

Closely related, for sure, but:

  • As a follow-on, I feel that the tag wikis already make this distinction pretty clear, no? Sep 1 '17 at 15:53
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    The thing is, as used on this site, I don't see a distinction between the tags. The concepts are different, but does it matter for this site? Most askers don't know the difference and even for the minority who read the tag wiki, it is not easy to see which one(s) apply to a given question. Can we enforce the difference? If not the tags should be synonyms. Sep 1 '17 at 16:28
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    To give an example: on Unix & Linux, the tags utf-8 and unicode are synonyms. The concepts aren't synonyms, but practically nobody cares about other Unicode encodings in the Unix world. Sep 1 '17 at 16:30
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    Don't know enough about the topic to have an opinion on this case, but I would agree with @Gilles that the criteria should not be "Are they different?". It should be "Are they so different that the average user can understand when to use what?" If the distinction is only upheld in the tag wiki, but not in the questions tagged, then what is the point?
    – Anders
    Sep 7 '17 at 13:59

My personal preference is no.

My startup will soon be releasing a kind of certificate that isn't based on the x509 standard.

The whole crypto currency phenomenon has made many smart people examine and innovate on public/private key scenarios... so that might cause a new version to become popularized

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