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Subject: Use of camel case (Naming and Design Rules specifications)

As noted in the DITA Meeting Minutes for 16-August-2005 [1],
I accepted an action item to deliver a set of references
for several NDRs (Naming and Design Rules) specifications
which contain rules for construction of XML component names
(elements, attributes, types, entities, etc).

I have created a document which provides extracts from ten
(10) different NDRs, and one excerpt from an early ebXML Technical
Architecture specification.  The document name is 'camelCase'
because that's what was on my mind; indeed, all ten
NDRs recommend/prescribe the use of camel case for closed
compounds.  See:


More specifically, the NDRs currently in use and in draft
specify UCC (upper camel case) for elements and types,
and LCC (lower camel case) for attributes.

I've also included reference to a few applications
(DocBook, TEI, Federal Enterprise Architecture Data Reference
Model), noting the naming practices adopted in each. In
the future I may add content to this "camelCase" document,
but I'm not planning to survey all ten million (now-defunct
and) current markup vocabularies.

Paul Prescod mentioned in the DITA concall that document-centric
markup applications tend(ed) to use single case (not mixed
case) for names "because SGML is was case-insensitive."
That could be true (?), but many of us -- and I'll bet
PPrescod as well :-) -- reset the SGML declaration to
"NAMECASE GENERAL NO" at the earliest opportunity so as to
support case-sensitive (mixed-case) name validation under
SGML, as was the done with TEI (Text Encoding Initiative) application
as early as P4.

The document providing extracts from the NDRs is not meant
to prejudice any discussion about what's best for DITA version
2.0 (or 1.1). However, my impression is that applications
are increasingly shifting to use of mixed-case (camelCase),
partly under the influence of Wikis and partly from the
perceived value of uniform naming practices.

Robin Cover

alias: RobinCover robinCover robin-cover robin_cover etc.

[1] Minutes Meeting Minutes -- 16 August 2005

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