There is currently the tag, which is about .EXE files under Windows, which theoretically covers the DOS MZ, New Executable, and Portable Executable formats.

There are already several questions relying on this tag.

Many specially flavoured PEs have different extensions in standard: DLL, SYS, OCX, SCR, CPL...

But its tag-wiki immediately mentions PE-specific characteristics like resources, etc..

Do we want to keep a tag that will likely be mostly used for PEs while it theoretically covers 2 other formats?

  • I'm probably biased, as I'd call such files 'PE' or 'Portable Executable' myself, and not 'EXE'.
    – Ange
    Commented Apr 2, 2013 at 15:44
  • Actually, I think I've even seen a PE image named something like "tilegen.elf" used in the build process for Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup. (Presumably it was originally named by a novice *nix user, and nobody ever bothered to remove the unconventional and sometimes-incorrect extension from the relevant Makefile because it worked fine anyway.)
    – SamB
    Commented Mar 11, 2016 at 19:10

1 Answer 1


I would vote for or and abandon . In the context of this site, is likely more than sufficient, but it's fine to be verbose (i.e. ), too - and the Javascript is helpful in finding existing tags anyway.

As for the potential ambiguity, I'd rather have separate tags where necessary, such as or if we ever get to see questions about NE or questions about DOS .exe files that aren't connected to the PE superset.

Also keep in mind that exe is literally in use on other systems as well for "executable file". It's not even limited to the DOS or Windows world in that sense.

  • 1
    But less people know about pe - exe is much more recognizable as a generic name for executable files.
    – APerson
    Commented Apr 3, 2013 at 12:40
  • @APerson: then the more verbose portable-executable could be used instead. Also it appears that tags can be aliased to each other to that the JS would suggest portable-executable when you enter exe. But yes, the "problem" is that it is too generic. It applies to more than just PE files. Which was, as I understood the OP, the reason to ask.
    – 0xC0000022L Mod
    Commented Apr 3, 2013 at 12:42
  • It's too bad you can't have wikis for banned/salted tags, huh? Then we could write one up for exe listing relevant executable formats (those conventionally used with the .exe extension) and linking to the appropriate tags for each.
    – SamB
    Commented Mar 11, 2016 at 19:02

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