Capitalization of Matplotlib

I am in the final rounds of edits for my book and a question has come up between me and the editors. When should the matplotlib be capitalized?

  1. never

  2. mostly never (even in the beginning of a sentence), except when used in a title

  3. usually never, except at the beginning of a sentence and in titles

  4. capitalize when referring to the project, not capitalized when referring to the package

  5. usually capitalize like a proper noun except in code examples

Thoughts?

Ben Root

IMO, never.

···

On 16 February 2015 at 19:16, Benjamin Root <ben.root@...553...> wrote:

I am in the final rounds of edits for my book and a question has come up
between me and the editors. When should the matplotlib be capitalized?

1) never
2) mostly never (even in the beginning of a sentence), except when used in a
title
3) usually never, except at the beginning of a sentence and in titles
4) capitalize when referring to the project, not capitalized when referring
to the package
5) usually capitalize like a proper noun except in code examples

Thoughts?
Ben Root

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Do numpy and scipy have a consistent policy that could be used as a model? Or newer related packages? I think the trend is toward more use of capitalization to make a project name stand out.

Based on our web front page, it looks like our present policy is either 1 or 2. Failing to capitalize at the beginning of a sentence is awkward, though, so I would be inclined to change this and at least move to 3.

The SciPy front page awards us a capitalization--only pandas is all lower case there.

(In retrospect, the "mat" part of the matplotlib name is an unfortunate legacy. If we were starting afresh we might use something like "PyPlot" for the project and pyplot for the package as a whole.)

Eric

···

On 2015/02/16 8:16 AM, Benjamin Root wrote:

I am in the final rounds of edits for my book and a question has come up
between me and the editors. When should the matplotlib be capitalized?

1) never
2) mostly never (even in the beginning of a sentence), except when used
in a title
3) usually never, except at the beginning of a sentence and in titles
4) capitalize when referring to the project, not capitalized when
referring to the package
5) usually capitalize like a proper noun except in code examples

Thoughts?
Ben Root

Rationale, please?

Eric

···

On 2015/02/16 8:23 AM, Nelle Varoquaux wrote:

IMO, never.

IMO, never.

Rationale, please?

Consistency: it is never capitalized in matplotlib's documentation.

···

On 16 February 2015 at 19:36, Eric Firing <efiring@...229...> wrote:

On 2015/02/16 8:23 AM, Nelle Varoquaux wrote:

Eric

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True, and a valid point--but we could easily change that. Wouldn't it make it bit more readable if sentences always started with a capital letter? Starting with lower case just looks wrong and artificial.

Eric

···

On 2015/02/16 8:38 AM, Nelle Varoquaux wrote:

On 16 February 2015 at 19:36, Eric Firing <efiring@...229...> wrote:

On 2015/02/16 8:23 AM, Nelle Varoquaux wrote:

IMO, never.

Rationale, please?

Consistency: it is never capitalized in matplotlib's documentation.

Not that I’m aware of. I tend to write “numpy” in prose (somewhere in the 1-3 range in Ben’s terminology) because that’s what I write in code. But as I recently discovered, when writing for a general audience (e.g., “people reading your job application”) it is crucial to write NumPy so that it doesn’t look like it’s pronounced nump-ee. :slight_smile:

Matplotlib cleverly avoids that particular problem through its surfeit of stops, but if we want a general cross-project rule then it might be a hint.

-n

···

On Feb 16, 2015 10:35 AM, “Eric Firing” <efiring@…229…> wrote:

On 2015/02/16 8:16 AM, Benjamin Root wrote:

I am in the final rounds of edits for my book and a question has come up
between me and the editors. When should the matplotlib be capitalized?

  1. never
  2. mostly never (even in the beginning of a sentence), except when used
    in a title
  3. usually never, except at the beginning of a sentence and in titles
  4. capitalize when referring to the project, not capitalized when
    referring to the package
  5. usually capitalize like a proper noun except in code examples

Thoughts?
Ben Root

Do numpy and scipy have a consistent policy that could be used as a
model?

IMO, never.

Rationale, please?

Consistency: it is never capitalized in matplotlib's documentation.

True, and a valid point--but we could easily change that. Wouldn't it make
it bit more readable if sentences always started with a capital letter?
Starting with lower case just looks wrong and artificial.

I'm going to give two bad reasons to keep it this way:
1. backward compatibility :stuck_out_tongue:
2. you are used to having sentences start with capital letter, but
this is mostly cultural. German People capitalize almost all Words in
a Sentence. It just looks weird too… (There is the other extreme:
people who don't seem to know where the shift button on their keyboard
is when writing an email.)

I'm actually fine with changing it, but I think we should try as much
as possible to be consistent.
Nele

···

Eric

Hi,

IMO, never.

Rationale, please?

Consistency: it is never capitalized in matplotlib's documentation.

True, and a valid point--but we could easily change that. Wouldn't it make
it bit more readable if sentences always started with a capital letter?
Starting with lower case just looks wrong and artificial.

I'm going to give two bad reasons to keep it this way:
1. backward compatibility :stuck_out_tongue:
2. you are used to having sentences start with capital letter, but
this is mostly cultural. German People capitalize almost all Words in
a Sentence. It just looks weird too… (There is the other extreme:
people who don't seem to know where the shift button on their keyboard
is when writing an email.)

I'm actually fine with changing it, but I think we should try as much
as possible to be consistent.

I suppose everyone would agree that <pre>matplotlib</pre> should never
be capitalized. I guess also that your (Ben's) typsetters will not
often be using <pre></pre> formatted matplotlib. In that case I would
say Matplotlib is a English proper noun and standard capitalization
rules apply. It would probably be confusing to try and distinguish
between the project and the software with capitalization.

Does it matter that the book and the mpl documentation have a
different convention?

Cheers,

Matthew

···

On Mon, Feb 16, 2015 at 10:53 AM, Nelle Varoquaux <nelle.varoquaux@...149...> wrote:

FWIW, I tried naming a few small projects with all-lowercase names, and I
find it really hard to not capitalise them at the start of a sentence. It
looks far more wrong to me than capitalised Nouns in the middle of a
sentence. You may say this is specific to English, but most documentation
is going to be written in English.

My experience with IPython (aka "iPython") suggests that no-one outside the
project actually cares or even remembers how you capitalise your project
name. :wink:

Thomas

···

On 16 February 2015 at 10:53, Nelle Varoquaux <nelle.varoquaux@...149...> wrote:

2. you are used to having sentences start with capital letter, but
this is mostly cultural. German People capitalize almost all Words in
a Sentence. It just looks weird too…

Perhaps this is a bit a of tangent, but what is exactly is the distinction between the project and the software?

Is it as simple as: software = code and project = code + mailing list + documentation + managing issues on github?

···

On Mon, Feb 16, 2015 at 11:04 AM, Matthew Brett <matthew.brett@…149…> wrote:

Hi,

On Mon, Feb 16, 2015 at 10:53 AM, Nelle Varoquaux

<nelle.varoquaux@…149…> wrote:

IMO, never.

Rationale, please?

Consistency: it is never capitalized in matplotlib’s documentation.

True, and a valid point–but we could easily change that. Wouldn’t it make

it bit more readable if sentences always started with a capital letter?

Starting with lower case just looks wrong and artificial.

I’m going to give two bad reasons to keep it this way:

  1. backward compatibility :stuck_out_tongue:
  1. you are used to having sentences start with capital letter, but

this is mostly cultural. German People capitalize almost all Words in

a Sentence. It just looks weird too… (There is the other extreme:

people who don’t seem to know where the shift button on their keyboard

is when writing an email.)

I’m actually fine with changing it, but I think we should try as much

as possible to be consistent.

I suppose everyone would agree that

matplotlib
should never

be capitalized. I guess also that your (Ben’s) typsetters will not

often be using

 formatted matplotlib.  In that case I would

say Matplotlib is a English proper noun and standard capitalization

rules apply. It would probably be confusing to try and distinguish

between the project and the software with capitalization.

Does it matter that the book and the mpl documentation have a

different convention?

Cheers,

Matthew


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