This page includes the spellings, capitalizations, and word forms that I prefer to use for various (mostly technical) terms, as well as some usage notes.

Fallback Guideline References

Anything not included here should follow the guidelines given in these references, in this order:

General Guidelines

  • Only 1 space between sentences. (Used to use 2, but HTML ignores the 2nd one anyway.) (Pro-2: distinguishes between sentence end and abbreviations.) (Pro-1: Kara Pritchard says technical publishers use 1.)
  • Prefer leaving 1 space after last sentence in a paragraph.
  • Prefer leaving 1 space after last word on a line when manually wrapping. (Makes it much easier to re-wrap, or add to the line.)
  • Proper use of dashes, hyphens, etc. (reference AListApart page).

Specific Guidelines

  • email - no dash; no capitalization (unless in title case or starting a sentence)
  • Free Software - capitalized
  • GNU/Linux - prefered form when referring to the Linux operating system; I prefer to write it this way, yet pronounce it "Linux"
  • HTML - refers to the markup language, not the transport mechanism; a markup language, not a programming language; OK to refer to XHTML as HTML
  • HTTP - refers to the transport mechanism, not the markup language
  • Internet - capitalized, despite what others may say (just like the Mississippi and the Arch are capitalized)
  • intranet - not capitalized, in contrast to Internet
  • Linux - should generally be written as GNU/Linux; OK to use Linux to express the general idea, but GNU should be mentioned as soon as possible; OK to use when refering to LUGs; when referring to the kernel, generally say "Linux kernel"
  • Mac OS - not MacOS (although I thought that was proper at one time)
  • Mac OS X - not MacOS X; pronounced "Mac O-S ten"
  • Open Source - not OpenSource
  • operating system - not capitalized
  • UNIX - all caps, although not an acronym; all caps per section 3.5 of The Open Group document on trademark usage, although there's no need to be as strict as they request on using UNIX in more general terms; general usage seems to be inconsistent
  • web - not Web (although I'm starting to change my mind on this one, since "the Web" is similar to "the Internet")
  • webmaster
  • website - not web site, nor Website
  • XHTML - OK to refer to XHTML as HTML, unless it's necessary to be specific
  • XML - a markup language, not a programming language
  • XML application - generally better to use "XML dialect" even though "XML application" is technically more accurate; too easily confused to mean "an application that can handle XML"
  • XML dialect - OK to use this term, even though technically "XML application" should be used
  • XSL - generally should not be used, as it is vague as to whether it refers to XSLT or XSL-FO.
  • XSLT - the templating/transformation language (XML dialect)