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Michael Currin
Michael Currin

Posted on • Updated on

Rant on JS naming

What bothers me about JS is the way packages and tools are named.

This post is inspired by this post.

I don't like the naming with an extension.

Like "Node.js".

It is not the name of a file.

Similally, react.js, vue.js, next.js... are not the names of files. Well maybe sometimes, as a compiled result, but not in the source code and it usually it is vue-1.2.3-esm.js or whatever as a long name anyway.

So why add extension? And not use it consistently?

You don't have to tell people the name of your language in your runtime or package name. Who doesn't know what Node or React are in JS or might confuse them with something else of JS if ".js" was omitted?

We don't call it "", "", "grails.jar" or "jekyll.rb" or "rails.rb" in other languages. Yes, Python packages have Py names sometimes like Pygame or Numpy, but that is fun and artistic and doesn't go to extension level convention.

And Node and Node.js and NodeJS are all (sort of) correct spellings. Things diverge in the JS community, rather than converge
ECMAScript and ES. And ES6 and ES2015.

And some say "Node dot JS" aloud, which is annoying. It sounded so verbose on NextConf for the presenters to say Next dot JS all the time when it is clear from the context and "Next" would be fine.

Typing "next.js" is the most common way for packages while "DocsifyJS" is the preferred way of some packages like in Docsify docs.

Anyway, that has been bothering me a while and wanted to vent about inconsistencies in the language we love to hate but can't do without (yet).

Top comments (5)

lionelrowe profile image
lionel-rowe • Edited

Better searchability, for one thing. Google next, and the first result is a clothing brand (for me at least, will depend on your location, search history, etc). But Google next.js, and you get what you were looking for.

Beyond that... it's just language. Different people will have different preferences for how to pronounce or format things. Brands try to get people to use the "one true pronunciation", "one true format" (with/without dots, spaces, capitalization, etc.), or even "one true usage"... but ultimately, people will ignore them if they feel like it.

Here's the official Deno Twitter account saying that its own creator was mispronouncing its name:

Here's Adobe complaining about "photoshopping" being a verb:

(They should really calm down and stop adobeing about it 😆)

michaelcurrin profile image
Michael Currin

Oh yeah searchability definitely a strong point.

Oh how often some Jekyll Island resort comes up when I search for Jekyll, around Ruby.

Oh thanks, yeah my colleagues say den no and I see dee no. So glad the official word is what I say and is closer to dinosaur.

Oh Dino in Flintstones. Wonder if that was the inspiration.

Or Ryan just did an anagram of Node.

marzelin profile image
Marc Ziel

A proper name for rails is Ruby on Rails and I never heard of EMScript.

People like to make up names for things that they interact with often to spice out their daily routine.

And if something is called just like a commonly used noun or verb, like 'next', 'node', it's better to add 'js' to avoid ambiguity. There aren't much pandas in IT but there's a lot of all kind of nodes in networking and programming.

Besides, "JS" is just trendy.

michaelcurrin profile image
Michael Currin

Oh sorry EMScript is something unrelated so i was wrong there.

michaelcurrin profile image
Michael Currin

I see creator named it Ruby on Rails originally

Thought it doesn't work elsewhere. How about some Flask on Python or Next on JS?

Maybe Rails was a bad example but others like Jekyll aren't called JekyllRB. Though for clarity the website is which is fine so awkward to read