JDOC talk

Words to watch

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Revision as of 06:40, 20 November 2010 by Chris Davenport (Talk | contribs)

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's comments

Ron Severdia commented this opinion on the tracker

I noticed this a while back and have been standardizing on the following:




news feed

web link



O'Reilly and most publishers have settled on these forms (including the ever-erroneous "plugin," which should be "plug-in").

Chris's comments

These are all very subjective, but below are my thoughts, based on some Google searches, a search of the Oxford Dictionaries (, 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.

"dropdown" vs. "drop-down" vs. "drop down"

At the present time, "drop-down" seems to be the most accepted form and agrees with the OED.

"backend" vs. "back-end" vs. "back end"

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.

"frontend" vs. "front-end" vs. "front end"

My preference is for "front end". See argument above.

"newsfeed" vs. "news-feed" vs. "news feed"

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".

"weblink" vs. "web-link" vs. "web link"

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".

"iframe" vs. "iFrame" vs. "IFrame" vs. "Iframe"

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 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".

"html" vs. "HTML" vs. "Html"

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.

plugin vs. plug-in

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)