[kde-doc-english]Re: Fwd: "filename" or "file name"

Lauri Watts lauri at kde.org
Wed Aug 13 08:56:32 BST 2003

On Wednesday 13 August 2003 08.22, Stephan Kulow wrote:
> On Tuesday 12 August 2003 21:54, Michael Dean wrote:
> > That's because you can't use spaces in the names of variables, so many
> > developers just write filename instead of file_name or fileName, but
> > according to the proper rules of the English language, it's file name.
> Can you please instead of stating that, list some references? The apple
> style guide surely wasn't made by developers that want their variable
> names stick in the GUI.
> Greetings, Stephan

The only dictionary I can find it in at all for US English states "filename"
is correct with a variant form of 'file name'  (That would be this one
http://www.bartleby.com/61/81/F0118150.html and while Bartleby may not be
familiar to many of you,  to anyone doing any writing whatsoever I do hope
the names 'Strunk and White' are, so you should already know this site.)

That means they are both correct English leaving only the decision which is
correct for usage within KDE.

As already posted, the Apple, Microsoft, and GNOME style guides all agree on
"filename".  There is no good reason to disagree with any of these.

The only people from the proofreading team who posted to this thread, prefers
"filename".  The only person posting to this thread from the documentation
team prefers "filename" (notably, Malcolm and I are both native English
speakers, and the majority of the others posting to this thread, are not.)

Google prefers "filename", and the majority of the posting developers prefer
"filename", and finally, historical usage within KDE favours "filename".

I think it's safe to say that a decision has already been made, and I will
immortalise this in the styleguide, along with the other de facto standards
we've come up with.  Something like the following:

filename: The name of a file.

I further propose we avoid the entire thing by appending to this description:

In almost all cases "filename" in documentation or dialogs is redundant
information.  Use "file" when the word is being used as a placeholder for a
real filename, and use "name" alone in most other cases.
(some examles here)

Maybe I'll add a definition for "bikeshed" [1] while I'm at it.

Lauri Watts
KDE Documentation: http://i18n.kde.org/doc/
KDE on FreeBSD: http://freebsd.kde.org/

[1] http://www.freebsd.org/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/books/faq/misc.html#BIKESHED-

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