Some words in Joomla 1.6 beta that need a decision on a final spelling
dropdown or drop-down
backend or back-end or back end
frontend or front-end or front end
newsfeed or news feed
weblink or web link
iframe or Iframe or IFrame or iFrame
html or HTML
Ron Severdia commented this opinion on the tracker
I noticed this a while back and have been standardizing on the following:
O'Reilly and most publishers have settled on these forms (including the ever-erroneous "plugin," which should be "plug-in").
These are all very subjective, but below are my thoughts, based on some Google searches, a search of the Oxford Dictionaries (http://oxforddictionaries.com/), which is referred to below as the OED, and of course, my personal preferences. I haven't attempted to research American spellings (eg. on Webster) although Google search results will tend to give a US bias anyway.
At the present time, "drop-down" seems to be the most accepted form and agrees with the OED.
All three forms are in common use (well, common in computer circles anyway). My feeling is that this term is quite technical in nature and it should only be used with great care in the user interface. The average user is simply not going to know what a "back end" is. Merging the two words into "backend" just makes it even less likely that understanding will follow. My preference would be for "back end" since even hyphenation might cause puzzlement and it agrees with the OED.
My preference is for "front end". See argument above.
Interestingly, the hyphenated form is almost never used. Even more interestingly, the OED lists "newsfeed" (along with "newsgroup") as a valid word. Indeed, "newsfeed" seems to be more commonly used than "news feed". Maybe the term was in use before the internet came along? My preference goes to "newsfeed".
The OED lists "weblink" as "another term for HYPERLINK". The hyphenated form is used occasionally. Personally, I don't see any great need to merge the two words into one as it is more likely to confuse newbies and so my (slight) preference is for "web link".
Capitals in the middle of words are not acceptable in English unless it's a proper noun for a company product and that is the way it is spellt by its producer/manufacturer. It is not a valid English word at all, but an HTML tag (see http://www.w3schools.com/tags/tag_iframe.asp). Anyone using "iFrame" is spending too much time around Apple products. This is another one of those technical terms that should only be used in the user interface with great care and backed up with more detailed explanation. So, it should be "iframe".
This is an initialism so it should always be "HTML". Okay, okay, camel-case conventions mean that Joomla has a class called "JHtml" in the code, instead of "JHTML", but Joomla classes are not literary works.
Whilst "plug-in" would be the correct form when the expression was first introduced, a quick search on Google suggests that "plugin" is now well-embedded in colloquial English and is the more common form. The OED still uses the hyphenated form, but that's no real surprise as it takes years for them to catch up with common usage. My personal preference is for "plugin".
Chris Davenport 11:40, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
Chris I have got a handle on most of the changes that need to be made now but I would appreciate having a chat with you first. It's a lot of changes and I would prefer to only make them once.
Brian Teeman 18:27, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, Chris. I didn't see your comments until just now.
I think we need to give precedence to the Associated Press Stylebook and Chicago Manual of Style over the OED in some cases (as you said, they tend to lag behind). So I will update my earlier statement based on those and what my publisher O'Reilly uses (they're the biggest publisher of technical and Web-related books so their approach is in wide usage).
drop-down- I'll change my earlier comment since O'Reilly also uses the hyphen.
backend/frontend - This is the O'Reilly usage. Yes, there's the hurdle of understanding with new users, but I don't think the spelling or a hyphen is going to solve that.
news feed- This is the O'Reilly usage. Yes, the combined version is in wide usage and I could go either way. It probably makes the best sense to be consistent with newsgroup and merge the two.
Web link- Actually the Web should be capitalized too.
iFrame- Capitals in the middle of worlds are totally acceptable. It's called camel case or Pascal case for those old school computer programmers ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CamelCase ). You talk about spending too much time around Apple products as if it were a bad thing. :P That being said, "iframe" is used by O'Reilly so I'm willing to go with that.
HTML- Absolutely agree.
plug-in- This is the O'Reilly usage and AP uses it too. Since the OED does as well, I think it makes the best sense to go with the hyphen.
The other issue we have looking at the language files is that it appears that text that appears on screen like a label is nearly always capitalised whilst text in tooltips etc is in proper case. This capitalisation effects all the capitalisation decisions already discussed. I spoke to J-M last night on this and he said that this was a specific decision that was made. Brian Teeman 17:34, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
Bear in mind that we are talking about the en-GB usage here so the AP, Chicago and O'Reilly manuals are considerably less relevant. The en-US translation is another matter, of course.
Okay, I'm happy to go with the following...
I don't think we should capitalise "the Web" (except in Web Link Manager or World-Wide Web). It looks really uncomfortable these days.
@Brian. I don't think there should be any difference in capitalisation between labels and tool-tips. Not sure where that idea came from. It doesn't make any sense to me.
One more addition to the list: I think "user name" should always be two words, not one.
Chris Davenport 17:21, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
Chris as far as I can tell by looking (and confirmed by J-M) all the labels are capitalised.
Brian Teeman 21:34, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
Tool tips are generally sentences; labels are titles. So whatever title style you are using should apply for labels but normal grammar rules apply for tool tips. The exception would be titles for images and other true titles like that.
Web with W is indeed common among publishers although not in common use. You could ask if there is a web (as a generic term) that is not the World Wide Web (e.g. a private web) in which case the more generic lower case web would apply.
W3C uses Web site, Web link and so on but I notice that they say web-cams (http://www.iab.org/about/workshops/privacy/).
I would like to raise a Joomla! specific issue which is that we have com_weblinks, com_newsfeeds and com_plugins and I wonder if that is not the reason that we come to this confusion of usage. In our development community people are often in fact referring to weblinks as shorthand for com_weblinks. So I think we need to accept that people in daily usage when we say weblinks we really do mean weblinks and not Web links. This has penetrated into the strings because it's how we talk and write day in and day out and I doubt very much that is going to change. So in the sense that language is a living thing and we are not attempting to be prescriptive but merely internally consistent, you could certainly make the argument that when Joomla! people refer to weblinks, newsfeeds and plugins they know exactly what they are doing, and it is contextually correct.
Also I would add on frontend/backend I think it's most important to pick frontend/backend or site/administrator and be consistent. It is in fact confusing that the home link in admin is called Site in the menu when in Joomla! site refers to what we commonly call the frontend.
Elin 12:36, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
Right, I agree. But which should it be? I'm tending towards Site/Administrator (capitalised for emphasis) as those terms carry a little more meaning than frontend/backend and will probably be easier to translate. Chris Davenport 20:25, 8 December 2010 (UTC)