On the Capitalization of Project Files

Discussion in 'Ruby' started by Intransition, Apr 21, 2011.

  1. Intransition

    Intransition Guest

    I have noticed a trend with regards to the case of project files. In
    the old days these "information files" where all caps --files like
    COPYING, CHANGELOG and README. More recently, with the uptake of
    GitHub, there has been a trend to add extensions so GitHub can render
    the document accordingly, e.g. README.rdoc. Going further it seems Hoe
    has popularized the use of title case names with extensions, such as
    History.txt and License.txt (perhaps b/c it's a Mac OS thing?)

    Obviously this isn't some fundamental issue of great import. But I am
    curious as to the what and wherefores that others may have for this
    minor decision of project development.
    Intransition, Apr 21, 2011
    1. Advertisements

  2. COPYING is used for GNU things, though I don't know why.

    In case you wanted to check this important issue, the page
    http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-howto.html says "In GNU programs the
    license is usually in a file called COPYING."
    Johnny Morrice, Apr 21, 2011
    1. Advertisements

  3. Sorry I just realized that wasn't what you were asking, forgive me.
    I'm tired.
    I have no help for you :(
    Johnny Morrice, Apr 21, 2011
  4. Intransition

    jake kaiden Guest

    hi 7rans -

    purely out of curiosity, and you'll have to forgive me because i have
    no useful or relevant dialog whatsoever...

    is your name really Tom Sawyer?

    thanks, sorry -

    - j

    Posted via http://www.ruby-forum.com/.
    jake kaiden, Apr 21, 2011
  5. On Thu, Apr 21, 2011 at 04:14, Chad Perrin <> wrote:

    > I'm kinda disappointed to see stuff like License.txt, which is both:
    > * not really stand-out and standardized the way LICENSE has become

    Agreed. LICENSE was not invented here, though, so that may be a factor=E2=
    Nikolai Weibull, Apr 21, 2011
  6. Intransition

    Intransition Guest

    On Apr 20, 10:14=A0pm, Chad Perrin <> wrote:

    > For the record, I think actually putting license text in the COPYING file
    > is a bad idea, *especially* when using absurdly complex licenses like the
    > GPL. =A0The filename seems indicative of guidance for the reader, rather
    > than legal boilerplate -- a "user friendly" filename that leads the user
    > into an ambush by a wall of legal text. =A0At least when you see a filena=

    > like LICENSE you know what to expect if it contains license text. =A0This
    > is why I prefer to use COPYING to convey information in layman's terms
    > about stuff like copyrights and summarizing the general license picture
    > of the software.

    Interesting. So you advocate splitting copyright information and the
    actual license text and naming the license file so it is recognizable
    by name. I notice some doing the later with a `MIT-LICENSE` file. And
    really I've always wondered if it is really necessary to distribute
    the entire license text. Would it not be good enough to just reference
    an official online copy, and only include the minimum copyright notice
    required? In which case, wouldn't a clause in the README file be
    enough and we can just dispose of any COPYING or LICENSE files?

    Also, as to the former, for awhile I seriously considered having a
    file named `(c)2011` (or whatever year it is).

    > I'm kinda disappointed to see stuff like License.txt, which is both:
    > * not really stand-out and standardized the way LICENSE has become
    > * generically named so that you don't, for instance, know anything about
    > =A0 the license text it contains without opening it

    For a long time I didn't like the whole License.txt style either. For
    starters I find file extensions a bit archaic. I'm not sure why our
    file systems don't support file type attributes. But clearly that's
    not something that will be changing anytime soon, so I've come to
    accept the extensions b/c they are useful to document renderers such
    as GitHub. As for the letter case, I felt the same way about not
    standing out and not a common practice. More recently however I
    started to think the standing out was rather relative. When every file
    is all caps none of them standout either. So now I am thinking the
    titlecase filenames are a bit easier on the eyes.
    Intransition, Apr 21, 2011
  7. On Thu, Apr 21, 2011 at 4:44 PM, Intransition <> wrote:
    > Would it not be good enough to just reference
    > an official online copy, and only include the minimum copyright notice
    > required?

    The web is ephemeral, and so are links. Hosting disappears (or moves
    without a redirect), or gets disconnected (Hello, Amazon EC2! Are you
    up yet?), and with it the license file.

    A file that isn't very large to start with, so any savings would be
    lost. And distribution happens in a compressed form, anyway (well,
    most of the time).

    Also: I doubt that lawyers agree with retroactive licensing, too, as
    an easily updated license is the only benefit I can see from hosting
    the license purely online.

    Phillip Gawlowski

    Though the folk I have met,
    (Ah, how soon!) they forget
    When I've moved on to some other place,
    There may be one or two,
    When I've played and passed through,
    Who'll remember my song or my face.
    Phillip Gawlowski, Apr 21, 2011
    1. Advertisements

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

It takes just 2 minutes to sign up (and it's free!). Just click the sign up button to choose a username and then you can ask your own questions on the forum.
Similar Threads
  1. Bruce W.1

    Capitalization and case of html tags?

    Bruce W.1, Dec 17, 2003, in forum: ASP .Net
    Joe Molloy
    Dec 18, 2003
  2. Replies:
    Chris Uppal
    May 4, 2006
  3. Ray
    Michael Hudson
    Aug 15, 2005
  4. Replies:
    Gabriel Genellina
    May 12, 2007
  5. Jim Freeze

    Instance variable capitalization

    Jim Freeze, Feb 20, 2004, in forum: Ruby
    Robert Klemme
    Feb 23, 2004
  6. Jason  Vogel


    Jason Vogel, Dec 8, 2006, in forum: Ruby
    Jason Vogel
    Dec 13, 2006
  7. Chris Angelico
    Steven D'Aprano
    Sep 23, 2012
  8. Logan Owen
    Logan Owen
    Nov 18, 2013