You are here: Foswiki>Tasks Web>Item10785 (22 Nov 2011, JozefMojzis)Edit Attach

Item10785: Consider standar(sz)ing s/z spelling

Priority: Low
Current State: Confirmed
Released In: n/a
Target Release: patch
Applies To: Engine
Component: Documentation
Reported By: PaulHarvey
Waiting For:
Last Change By: JozefMojzis
As a rule we don't really care too much about s/z spelling. Certainly here in Australia both are equally valid.

I think a lot of words are 's'ed when their "old world" spelling is in fact using 'z', would be nice to weed those out.

Anyway, apparently, inconsistent 's' vs 'z' spelling in our documentation can put people off Foswiki.

So far LoriC has asked we consider the following words:
  • customisation, customise
  • ... others

-- PaulHarvey - 25 May 2011

I have it on good authority from a greek/latin/english nomenclature expert at work, that it should definitely be acceptable to write customize/customization in most english using communities internationally.

There was a detailed lecture against overuse of 's' -> 'z' transformations thanks to post-WWII Australian Macquarie english, but I'll leave that out of this task... if nobody objects I guess I can do the customise -> customize fixup.

-- PaulHarvey - 25 May 2011

Okay, it seems the chat with my colleague today about the history of dictionaries and proper grammar rules for applying '-ize' vs '-ise' based on whether the word is derived from Latin, Greek or French... may have been technically correct, but apparently irrelevant.

A very brief survey on #IRC seems to indicate that most of us outside of the US have been taught to write '-ise' without consideration for the origin of the base word.

So I won't be doing a global search & replace for the sake of it, even if the Oxford dictionary is trying to encourage deprecation of '-ise'.

Amusing, from wikipedia:
Perhaps as a reaction to the ascendancy of American spelling, the -ize spelling is now rarely used in the UK mass media and newspapers, to the extent that it is often incorrectly regarded as an Americanism.

-- PaulHarvey - 25 May 2011

As one of the IRC surveyed I can confirm that I have learned to spell the UK way. Next is someone from US saying colour should be spelled color, time should be in mm/dd format, sizes in inches. Same people that think I should accept letter size as the only right default size for paper. I am not anti-american. I love American culture and American people. But I still claim the right to be a European. And I refuse to accept when someone comes and say that our way of doing things are WRONG. Foswiki is an international project. That is one of the qualities of both the project and the product. If it puts off someone that Foswiki is not pure American, then it is a thing I can live with.

The most important thing in an international world is to make sure we can communicate across cultures and borders which us why we have pushed for our default date formats to avoid the mm/dd vs dd/mm mistake. Believe me. I have seen many Europeans work towards a 4/5 delivery deadline as 4th of May. So the best compromise is to avoid both formats and use one we all understand and agree on.

And I will continue to write colour and costumise.

-- KennethLavrsen - 25 May 2011

OK, consider me officially Spanked. Personally, I don't care whether it's an s or a z, I just reported that 'traditionally' and in the international dictionaries, customize is spelled with a z.

I am a technical writer. When I find something that looks 'different' than normal I go look it up. Different isn't bad, I will be the first to say that, but, when you write for standardization, you look for certain things that do not balance. 'Traditionally' professional papers, even UK professional papers wrote customize with a z, even the International Organization for Standardization uses the z in this context. They also use a z in Standardize. But they allow both color and colour.

I also have a degree in Anthropology, so I understand the wish for FosWiki to be an International project, and also you Kenneth for wanting to preserve your Europeanism. Not saying that you shouldn't. Again, just pointing out that there was something that didn't look right, and that it should be looked at.

Don't be so vituperous (latin derivative). Save that for when you read my religious theory articles.

It's a difficult line to walk between standardization and keeping something from being boring. I pride myself on being very good at that line. I make stuff fun to read, and make it move while keeping a good form. I hope to be able, in the future, when my work is not so all consuming to assist on making this website for this product standard, active, interesting and fun. Because I like those individuals I have met and I like the concept FosWiki stands for.

Anyway, do what you want.

-- LoriC - 27 May 2011

I think the main point that is (possibly) being missed, 'customization', 'standardize' etc. are not Americanisms, however, they are certainly perceived to be.

-- PaulHarvey - 27 May 2011

For myself as hopefully a not-so-ugly-American, I do very much welcome efforts to add some spit&polish our documentation. LoriC raised a very valid point about inconsistencies, and any attempt to add a professional touch is badly needed. And reading the original request, I don't see how it was a request to use "real english" or anything so offensive. It was merely a request to be consistent. And I whole-heartedly agree.

PLEASE let's not drive away valuable contributors by "attitude". One of the many complaints on IRC are frequently that our docs or confusing, or information can't be found. I for one welcome the contributions and greatly appreciate LoriC's efforts.

-- GeorgeClark - 27 May 2011

Hm... probably about the only "advantage" of inconsistency is that if a user searches for colour or color, or other variants, they will find some hits either way. Of course they will again be inconsistent and will be missing information. So best to pick one and be consistent. A search with no results will be more obvious that the wrong spelling was used. Examples:

So yes, IMHO there is value to addressing this. And for which spellings are "right" - I don't have much of an opinion either way, Except possibly for colour, or any other term that has a standard equivalent in HTML. If one looks how to override the HTML setting of color= ... then that is most likely the spelling that would be used in a search. However, if the colour proponents can get the standards body to accept colour as an alternate spelling for the HTML attribute ... Oh - and my suggestion of using MAKETEXT on IRC was very much tongue in cheek - not in any way meant to be serious.

Or we need the SEARCH team to be more google-like and return alternate matches.

-- GeorgeClark - 27 May 2011

Making search return matches on alternate spellings is better left to full-text search engines which are designed for this, such as Solr/Lucene/Sphinx etc. none of which are light enough to add as dependencies to Foswiki core (AFAIK).

-- PaulHarvey - 27 May 2011

Well if the z form is correct also in British English I shall not put any fight against if anyone wants to change the current docs. But please don't chase me when I forget and spell with an s in some months because it is programmed into my bones to use the other forms. And I will contine to spell colour with the u. I prefer that spelling.

It was the fact it was called "misspelling" that made me answer with a bit of attitude. I am happy we all agree it is no misspelling. Just inconsistant spelling.

-- KennethLavrsen - 27 May 2011

Does anyone else out there want to contribute to the conversation?

Also, now that we are also on the subject of alternative spelling, I have two questions. 1. Is there a built in dictionary? If not, how difficult would it be to build the basics for one? I think that if the bare bones of one was made, then had the add feature (like in MS Office products) we would have a very large vocabulary very fast.

2. how hard would it to create that list of various spellings means the same word i.e. colour = color and could that be included in the search features? If everyone contributed to that list when they find a word, it could become very pumped very easily.

These two mods (gamer word for modifications/plug-ins) could increase FosWiki's desirability in the wiki market.

-- LoriC - 01 Jun 2011

We already have KinoSearchContrib and SolrPlugin which handle "fuzzy" searching (accommodating colour/color, customize/customise) quite nicely.

The core SEARCH functionality will never be as good as dedicated natural language search engines like Solr and Kino. It's a massive undertaking, especially to handle asian, right-to-left languages etc.

Further, we only have a very limited number of core developers who are confident enough to extend the core SEARCH code. I do agree it would be appreciated, and I don't pretend to plan the work of other volunteers who donate their time to developing Foswiki, but my feeling is that we have lower-hanging fruit we can improve on which would be equally (if not more) appreciated.

As for a glossary/dictionary: at edit-time we have some very easy possibilities via WYSWIYG. It's just hard to convince volunteers what they should spend their time on. Personally, my work is focused on strengthening the structured data aspect of Foswiki.

-- PaulHarvey - 01 Jun 2011

But I think we agree that we can standarise on standardize...

-- PaulHarvey - 01 Jun 2011

I received an email today that said 'waiting on feedback'. I don't know what else to say.

-- LoriC - 13 Jun 2011

Removed your name, set back to confirmed.

-- PaulHarvey - 14 Jun 2011

Here is more like s/z mapping. Would be nice have universal mapping for accented characters too (a sort of Deaccent) what should map: ö -> o, é -> e and so on... Someone may want search 'Österreich' and probably want find 'Osterreich' too...

-- JozefMojzis - 22 Nov 2011

ItemTemplate edit

Summary Consider standar(sz)ing s/z spelling
ReportedBy PaulHarvey
Codebase 1.1.3, 1.1.3 RC1, 1.1.3 beta1, 1.1.2, 1.1.0, 1.1.0 beta1, trunk
SVN Range
AppliesTo Engine
Component Documentation
Priority Low
CurrentState Confirmed
TargetRelease patch
ReleasedIn n/a
Topic revision: r16 - 22 Nov 2011, JozefMojzis
The copyright of the content on this website is held by the contributing authors, except where stated elsewhere. See Copyright Statement. Creative Commons License    Legal Imprint    Privacy Policy