Related to my previous question on this subject, it seems we have another synonym of and : . These tags are evidently being used for the same thing: the most recent question on is "How to fix a TI99/4a membrane keyboard?" and the most recent question on is "How do I replace a ZX Spectrum 48k keyboard membrane?".

I propose that be made a synonym of .

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    The only difference that I can see between them is that restoration implies that there hasn't been maintenance for a while, whereas maintenance is more general. However, they are being used interchangeably.
    – wizzwizz4 Mod
    Sep 10, 2016 at 17:32

3 Answers 3


I agree with your comment that restoration of derelict equipment is different to maintenance of running equipment.

I suggest making that clearer in the tag wikis and keeping an eye on it for a while.

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    Are there any restoration questions that should be re-tagged? I'd like a second opinion before I mass-edit questions.
    – wizzwizz4 Mod
    Sep 11, 2016 at 8:13
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    Ok. I'll re-visit this in a few months to see if the ambiguity becomes more than 1 question in size.
    – wizzwizz4 Mod
    Sep 11, 2016 at 18:03
  • The ambiguity is now larger (search query) although probably not significant enough to call for a synonymisation.
    – wizzwizz4 Mod
    Jan 4, 2017 at 19:00
  • IMHO the naming reflects a POV, i.e. how one sees the task at hand, not what the task is about/how it is performed. The very same operation can be seen under any of these names. For RC.SE, I would prefer to orient on what has to be done, as only that contains knowledge others can use as well.
    – Raffzahn
    Mar 8, 2021 at 18:40

There are two dimensions to be considered here. One is cosmetic-versus-functional and the other is working-versus-not-working. Cosmetic would be things like retrobriting yellowed plastic, cleaning cases, replacing broken keycaps, fixing squeaking mechanical parts; functional would be changing batteries, cleaning up after capacitor leaks, re-soldering circuits (i.e. working directly on those parts that actually do the ‘computing’). The other dimension is obvious, I think. Both dimensions are continua rather than binary of course. (Feel free to make a political compass/alignment chart meme out of this.)

I read the current tags as:

  • : leaning towards functional on the first scale, not-working on the second
  • : ambiguous on both scales, slightly leaning towards not-working
  • : ambiguous on the first scale, on the second strongly leaning towards working

I don’t have proposal yet how to define those tags better (or whether to create new ones), but perhaps the above categorisation will help in creating one.


Not sure if this can really be seen as a two-dimensional issue like user3840170 puts it (upvoted). Although, I so see that all three are different aspects of servicing hardware. Different by the way one sees the job to be done, but not different in what to do. Take any example, even massive ones like replacing a disk drive, and I say it might fit rather well under all three. For RC.SE, I would prefer to categorize on what has to be done, as only that contains knowledge others can use later on as well.

Bottom line, I would like to see them unified. Either

  • under any one of the three or
  • under 'Service' as common name.

At least that's what we called professional fiddling with Hardware back then ... and we got payed :))

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