Consistency in naming

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This is mostly discussion from site launch. For reference purposes, see the Manual of Style.

In creating user documentation and site copy, we want to ensure that we have consistent naming, rather than calling things one thing in one place, and something else in another. Here are things that could potentially have multiple names, where we need to pick just one and stick to it.

Please add to this page with any other things you can think of where we need to stick to just one name.

See also Terminology's talk page for things that haven't been named yet but need to be, and URL renaming for page URLs that need to be renamed.

Still open for discussion

Voice Post/Phone Post

Won't be an issue when the site launches, since we won't have it (I believe), but we may as well figure out what we're going to call it when/if we do.

I vote for Phone Post, only because that then leaves open the possibility of a record-straight-to-post function in the event that technology mashes together once everybody and their dog has a mike on their computer. John 22:47, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

Voice Post. It describes the end result, and you never know what crazy ways technology is going to change in the future. --Nostariel 00:50, 17 January 2009 (UTC)


SUMMARY OF CURRENT DISCUSSION as of 19:48, 2 February 2009 (UTC):

* "user" layer needs to be renamed. Options include "wizard", "auto", "options"; I'm leaning toward wizard but am open to suggestions. --Isabeau
* "theme" layer is ok as is. --Isabeau
* "layout" possibly needs to be renamed (due to overloadedness of layer name vs entire customizations). Options include "base" (possible confusion with core? but core isn't editable anyway) and not-changing. --Isabeau


These do refer to different things, but people have a hard time keeping track.

For those who aren't aware what the terms currently mean on LJ with regards to S2: A style is composed of different layers. The most important is a "layout" layer and has the main information. A "theme" layer has minor differences, and a layout can have several different themes to choose from.

But yes, most people use the words interchangeably. I don't have any suggestions for different names, though. --Sophie 11:59, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

Unless anyone has any ideas or how to clarify these, my instinct is to just stick to the terms that people are used to on LJ. It feels to me that we're going to have confusion with overlap of terms whatever we do, so we may as well at least try to stick with what people are used to. Rho 01:11, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

ATM I'm leaning towards renaming, if only because of the trend on LJ of using "theme" only for color scheme and dumping customizations in the user layer (which, ftr, gets auto-overridden by the customization interface). I need to talk to the people who are revamping S2, but if the structure's the same I'm thinking base/theme/wizard, with "layout" for the whole thing (journal appearance), "style" for (depending on context) equivalent to layout or to base layer. Though I'm open to suggestions \o/ --Isabeau 02:43, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

+1 to renaming user layer to something else. This would have saved me a lot of confusion when I was new to S2. But the term "wizard" is probably only familiar to old-school S2 users; it's been removed from the site wording, replaced by "Customize Journal Style". Maybe something that emphasizes it's machine-generated? Afuna 03:11, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

Maybe "ui", since it's controlled through the user interface (r/th, in most cases, direct layer editing)? Definitely needs not to be "user". (Anyone who wants to provide suggestions, feel free \o/) --Isabeau 19:12, 31 January 2009 (UTC)
I don't feel that "ui" is very transparent, personally. I prefer "wizard". Even though it's not used in the site anymore, it's still used about everywhere so people should have little difficulties in understanding it. Or what about something like "automated changes"? --Snakeling 19:17, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

Archived old discussions


Wasn't this issue resolved in favor of Administrator on [info]dw-docs? Unfortunately, the site's down for a server move, or I'd look it up. --Zvi-likes-tv 03:44, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

Different things, but the words are often used interchangeably.

I think this terminology will also depend on whether we add an additonal control layer to communities, which was being talked about some time ago. John 22:47, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

Based on popular usage ("mods" as leaders of community), we may want to swap the two around: Mods are community owners, Maintainers (or some other name) are people who have limited maintenance control. (It'll confuse the heck out of LJ Support and Userdoc people, but in-the-wild usage might be saner.) --Isabeau 00:05, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

Except when you look at the actual meaning of "moderator" (somebody who moderates the content), it's a bit more limited in scope than what we mean when we say mod, especially since there is a moderation queue. I think there should be community administrators (admins), and then maintainers and moderators would be people who aren't admins but have limited control over things. Admins have complete control over the community, ie ownership, and then they can dole out moderator/maintainer duties as they like (tags, moderation queue, comment freezing, banning, style editing, etc). This has the added advantage of NOT having to trust the people you give these duties to to boot you out of your adminship and take over the community. --Foxfirefey 00:26, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

Aren't we going to have fine-grained means of doing this later on after launch? It may be necessary to name with this in mind. I'd suggest "community admin" for now for what is currently a 'maintainer', though I don't have any ideas for 'moderator'. --Sophie 00:58, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

The terminology 'owner' (as in 'community owner') is also one I've heard in use. I guess it parallels journal owners? Certainly the most common one I've seen in use in both disability and fandom communities is 'mod(s)'. I think 'community admin' is a great term but it's too long - people won't use something six syllables long, if the abbreviation of 'admins' doesn't conflict with any other LJ role it might catch on but I think "mods" is pretty ingrained. My suggestion would be "mods" and "assistants" where the latter has a subset of the powers of the former. 13:43, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

(ooops, that was me) Rickybuchanan
I think the problem with that is that outside of LJ, moderator has a pretty limited meaning, and for people coming into DW that weren't coming from LJ (I hope there'd be some), it would make it harder to get the lingo. Admin, I think, is short and makes sense. There are Support Admins, but I don't think that's gonna clash. --Foxfirefey 00:55, 13 January 2009 (UTC)


I'm not sure which of these is in more widespread use. I think I see "icons" more, but I don't really pay much attention to the things so I'm not a good judge. What do people think?

I think that Userpics is a LJ Support-based thing. Icons, I feel, has a wider usage. John 22:47, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

I agree with John. I've only been on LJ a year, and it's hard for me to remember they're called "userpics" there when they tend to be icons across the rest of the internet. Demotu 18:57, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
Whereas on forums they tend to be called avatars. --Harold 01:42, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
...and whereas my friends list nearly-exclusively calls them 'userpics'. Perhaps it is time for a poll. --Rahaeli 05:37, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
Huh. Totally unscientific early poll results don't bear out my impression after all. Weird. I wonder why I had that impression. --Rahaeli 06:08, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
I'd guess a good stretch of time of LJ Support is responsible.. --John 22:07, 13 January 2009 (UTC).

Someone in Rahaeli's poll post called them User Icons, which I feel is nicely descriptive. There are many different kinds of icons on any given webpage, but these icons represent the user. --Nostariel 00:43, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

Syndicated accounts/feeds

I'd propose using feeds where possible, and "feed account" where we need to differentiate between the account that gets created on site, and the actual source RSS/atom feed.

+1. John 22:47, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

So, I would create a dreamwidth "feed account" to subscribe to an outside "fee", and others would watch that "feed account"? I like it. Pineapplechild 18:11, 17 January 2009 (UTC)


Calendar better describes (a) the general appearance, and (b) the function. Archive makes it sound like there's a distinction between old, archived entries, and more recent ones (or like the user has to do something to distinguish archived entries from normal entries, as though it were a 'favorites' thing). --Isabeau 23:59, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

The problem with Calendar is that it confuses people into thinking it's something like Google Calendar, ie a place where you can put appointments and such. I believe that's why the name was changed in the first place. I agree Archive is a bad alternative, though. History, maybe? --Liv 12 Jan 2009

Agreed with both points. Calendar and Archive are both bad names. History does seem to be a better fit than either of them, but I'm still not quite convinced that it's the right choice. Can't place my finger on why, though. Rho 01:15, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
Agreed also. Perhaps "Posts by Date" or "Previous posts by month"? Wordy, but more accurate. (No, I don't have the answer here either.) --John 22:07, 13 January 2009 (UTC).
Just been poking at a thesaurus. Annals? Chronicle? Time-line? Yeah, I still don't have the answer either, but maybe my thinking aloud will inspire someone else. Rho 04:39, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
I like annals, though you know that sooner or later -- and sooner rather than later -- someone is going to typo it as anals. But it describes the function really well. --Snakeling 20:13, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

Profile/User Info

I think I like profile best. --Foxfirefey 22:21, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

Ditto. If it hadn't started life as userinfo.bml then I'd never think of it as the userinfo page. John 22:47, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

Calling it profile might also make it more consistent with other blogging platforms and therefore easier to navigate? Forthwritten 23:17, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

Friends Group/Filter

I like Filter because of the WTF system - calling it a Friends Group might be confusing if you're filtering a watch list Forthwritten 23:20, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

I think we needs two types of filter - watch filters and trust filters. The two are used for different things, and it would be nice to have them be different entities. You wouldn't even need to have the 64-bit limit on watch filters since the 64-bit value only applies to trust-filtering a post. --Sophie 00:54, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

"Reading filter" and "trust group" perhaps? Going with different names might help limit possible confusion, maybe? Rho 03:19, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

I think it would make more sense the other way round, because most people use the term "filtered" to mean filtering their posts. So "Trust filter" and "reading group" might be better. --Sophie 11:55, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
'Trust' might be a bit of a loaded term. Perhaps calling it a "content filter" is more neutral? Forthwritten 13:09, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
I think 'trust' is the right term, since that's exactly what you're doing. And "content filter" brings to mind the whole "adult content" stuff. --Sophie 13:36, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
I think it depends on how you use filters. I don't want to assume that all filter groups are about trust - some are about interest and subscribed content. You're right that "content filter" reminds one of "adult content" stuff - perhaps it's better to parallel "reading filter" with "posting filter"? Forthwritten 15:57, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
I like the idea of "posting filters" and "reading groups". Rho 01:12, 13 January 2009 (UTC)


Maybe not an actual one, but "Help" links to the Support area.

I don't think there's anything necessarily wrong with that. John 22:47, 11 January 2009 (UTC)


Entry vs. post -- entry is the noun, post is the verb. Thus, should not use update. Update.bml should probably be renamed.

I agree, Update is a term that doesn't feel at all natural. Even though I can see the point about entry as a noun, I vote we get rid of the term Entry; no other blogging site uses it, so I think most people are likely to be far more familiar with the term Post. That would mean changing things like "Recent Entries" to "Recent Posts", and renaming a ton of S2 functions, which might be too much hassle. I don't think we gain much from using the term Entry, though. -- Liv 12 Jan 2009

Disagee. I don't think we lose much from using the term Entry, either. Cost/Benefit - Unless most people are being confused by the term, I'm not sure how much gain we'd see from changing it. And that becomes a lot of work for only questionable benefit. --Nostariel 01:17, 17 January 2009 (UTC)


I'm pretty much expecting to be accused of apostasy and burned at the stake for suggesting this, but I'd like to throw it out there anyway. The rest of the world calls them blogs. Should we switch over, or should we carry on calling them journals? Rho 21:58, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

I like "journal" better, because it seems more intimate/creative than "blog". The rest of the world can blog; we're here on Dreamwidth to create things, so it's the "journal".

The problem with blog is that its usage hasn't settled down yet, so it's incredibly ambiguous. Some people mean the whole set of pages belonging to a particular writer, which I think is the original meaning. Some people mean an individual post (have you seen rho's great blog about terminology yet?). Some people mean the entire site / blogging platform. Others use it primarily as a verb and call the individual examples blog sites or blog pages.
I vote we keep journal, myself. It's unambiguous, and I think LJ has a different atmosphere from most traditional blogs, with the friend system, about to become even better with WTF, it's very often more personal. Also I agree with Rah's point that we need language which clearly distinguishes the person who owns the account from the material they create. -- Liv 15 Jan 2009

Of course, as we expand and offer different types of content (photo/image hosting, et al) we might get some benefit from separating the concepts of "journal" (the things you write) and "account" (the thing that holds all the other things)... --Rahaeli 04:04, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

Also didn't we talk about one account possibly being able to host >1 journal, in one of those DW-discuss threads? It's a future thing but having the terminology in place will facilitate changes happening in the future. Rickybuchanan


Support name for it is ESN, public name is Tracking. Shall we agree to call it Tracking? -John 22:52, 13 January 2009 (UTC).

Yes. ESN is a horrible name for public use. Rho 04:40, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

Nav Strip / Control Strip

The naming in the code is inconsistent. Don't know if there is a current standardized outward name, either. --Foxfirefey 07:42, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

I would prefer Nav Strip to Control Strip, because you're not actually controlling anything from that little strip, but it does get you where you need to be. Pineapplechild 18:16, 17 January 2009 (UTC)