[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

bug#10421: Don't use the abbreviation "win" to refer to Windows.

From: Drew Adams
Subject: bug#10421: Don't use the abbreviation "win" to refer to Windows.
Date: Mon, 2 Jan 2012 09:55:24 -0800

> > Out of curiosity, why is this important?

Oooo.  You are a daring lad, Deniz.  This is to inform you that this
interrogation of yours has been duly noted in your file.

> We don't want GNU code to be praising Microsoft Windows.
> This is part of the GNU coding standards
> <http://www.gnu.org/prep/standards/html_node/Trademarks.html>.

Yes, and please also avoid using the words "soft" and "micro", as these too can
lead to confusion.

Many people think positively of things that are soft or cuddly, and this misuse
can mislead by association.  And of course "micro" is associated with
"microcomputer" and "microprocessor", and we do certainly not want to lose all
association of microcomputing to Those On the Dark Side (TODS).

Similarly, please avoid "mac" because of its global and popular association with
big macs, and "OS" because people might think you mean "open source" (shudder).

Just kidding, folks.  (I use W32 on my bike chain - much better than WD40.)

Oh, and BTW, AFAIK "win" is _not_ a trademark - at least not a trademark of MS.
This anti-win injunction does not belong on a page purportedly about trademarks,

address@hidden: `"Windows API" avoids the problem of the "win" acronym.'  This 
hits 42
on the Seismic Silliness Scale.  The "problem" of the "win" acronym?  (Not to
mention that it's not an acronym - at least not for "Windows".)]



When referring to MS Windows I try to use "MS Windows" in place of just
"Windows" or "windows" - especially when talking about Emacs, which happily uses
windows on every platform.  I seldom see others doing that (witness this
thread).  People seem to have no problem referring to "Windows" even as they
double over backwards to avoid even whispering "win".  MS Windows does not mean
windows, and vice versa.

It is MS that would like everyone to treat the word "Windows" as MS only (yes,
it is an MS trademark).  I think it is a bad idea to refer to just "Windows" in
the GNU docs and code when we really mean the more restrictive "MS Windows".
Misusing "windows" that way gives all windows over to TODS - much worse than
giving them a "win" here and there.

Yes, the Emacs docs generally try to use "Microsoft Windows" or "MS Windows" or
"MS-Windows".  But even in the Emacs manual's main menu (TOC) you will also find
many mentions of just "Windows" - e.g., "Windows Misc -- Miscellaneous Windows
features"; "Windows HOME -- Where Emacs looks for your `.emacs'"; and "Windows
Files -- File-name conventions on Windows".  Similarly, the Concepts index has
entries such as "Alt key invokes menu (Windows): Windows Keyboard";
"runemacs.exe: Windows Startup"; and "simulation of middle mouse button: Windows

IMHO, this is a bad idea, not just for political/philosophical reasons, but also
in terms of usability (e.g. search, index lookup).  Users should be able to
easily distinguish searching for "Windows" from searching from "MS Windows"
(especially if they have a search function with the ability to exclude
patterns).  I would suggest that _every_ time we mean "MS Windows" we use
exactly that text, never just "Windows".  It costs only 3 chars, and it can
forestall a lot of confusion when looking for information.

We already go to the trouble to write "MS-DOS" instead of just "DOS", even
though "dos" is not an ordinary word.  A fortiori, we should do the same thing
wrt "Windows".  "Windows" is not only an ordinary word; it also has a different
and very important meaning for Emacs.  Putting just "Windows" in a node title or
a menu item name is not helpful when it really refers to MS Windows.

Just one IANAL opinion, of course.

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]