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Device Naming Conventions

Engadget recently posted its revised style guide, which piqued my interest in reevaluating our device naming convention. Historically, iFixit tried to be faithful to manufacturers’ wishes with regard to device name capitalization—we capitalized it how they capitalized it.

Most of the time device naming is not an issue, but names with no capital letters (like iPod nano, shuffle, and touch, chumby one), look goofy. Such names make our writing appear ignorant, as if we failed to capitalize the device name letters when creating the titles.

iPod Shuffle naming conventions

The other aspect of this problem are device names with camel case (iPod, iPhone, BlackBerry, PlayStation), as well as all-caps names (DROID), that manufacturers devised to make the name stand out amidst other text.

We strive to be as readable and consistent as possible, and we have been debating capitalization conventions for some time. After much thought and deliberation, we have finally decided that:

  1. All device names will begin with either the first or second letter capitalized, depending on the manufacturer’s naming convention. An iPod remains iPod, but an iPod touch becomes iPod Touch. Similarly, the chumby one becomes Chumby One.
  2. Device names that are all-caps, such as DROID, will instead have only the first letter capitalized, and the rest lower-case. Hence, we call it the Droid.
  3. We will respect camel case—with a name like iFixit, who are we to judge? BlackBerry stays BlackBerry, and iFixit stays iFixit.

We feel these three simple rules will unify the look of our repair database while still preserving the manufacturer’s intent as much as possible.