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Chocolate Factory unwraps developer style guide, squibs the thorny ISO date debate

If you want to write developer documentation like a Google hotshot, you'd better kill “kill”, junk “jank” and unlearn “learnings”.

Those are just a few rules from the company's newly open-sourced (oops, two sins there, verbing and hyphenation) developer documentation guide.

Even though any Linux user knows “kill” is a command, Google would rather you not use it as a verb – “stop,” “exit,” “cancel,” or “end” are preferred. “Jank” (Wiktionary says “blocking of a software application's user interface due to slow operations or poor interface design”) should be used with care; and thankfully, “learnings” get a simple “don't use”.

And yes, what we said in the headline is correct. Google's style gurus have ridden out in a crusade against verbing the corporate noun: “Don't use as a verb or gerund. Instead, use 'search with Google'” (we consider it admirable that Mountain View expects “gerund” to get by without a developer Googling it – sorry, “searching it with Google”).

 

The guide carries plenty of evidence of a long debate about what words can be both noun and verb: “login” is a noun, with “sign in” given as the preferred verb; “backoff (noun), back off (verb), back-off (adjective)” are noted; "clickthrough/click through" are similarly stipulated; and “display” is troublesome because it's intransitive (Google it. Damn, we broke the rule again, we meant “search 'intransitive' with Google”).

“Interface” gets similar treatment: if you're reaching for a verb, the preferred list is: interact, talk, speak, or communicate.

As anyone who's tried to draft a style guide will tell you, contradictions are inevitable. So it is that “the Internet” has turned into “the internet” because other style guides (thank you very much, The Guardian) do so. However, just a couple of lines down, we find that the “internet of things” is rendered “Internet of Things” to explain why IoT is an acceptable abbreviation.

And that's just a sampling the word list. Punctuation, grammar and syntax would make pedants everywhere proud, we guess.

The Oxford Comma, controversial almost anywhere, is given Google's blessing (although not named):

Not recommended: I dedicate this book to my parents, Ayn Rand and God.

Recommended: I dedicate this book to my parents, Ayn Rand, and God

… and we learn that Google follows the usage of all civilised persons: it instructs devs not to capitalise the first word after the colon.

As an American company, Google can't risk a howl of outrage by enforcing ISO date formats over the locally-preferred Month:Day:Year. Instead, it asks me to state that this article was written on September 13, 2017.

We're sure that our readers will find many more amusements, outrages, and debates in the guide. Let us know what you find in the comments.

Source: This article was published theregister.co.uk By Richard Chirgwin

Categorized in Search Engine

You've got a headache - or a nasty cold - so what do you do?

Well, the answer for many people in the modern day era will be "Google".

The search engine, which answers all our queries day in, day out, is regularly used as a source of DIY diagnosis.

But the growing trend can be quite worrying.

Indeed, a new survey for The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) found 43 per cent of people admit to using painkillers that have been prescribed to someone else after diagnosing themselves online.

    And the RPS have issued a stark warning that self diagnosing runs the risk of taking misleading advice or missing key symptoms.

    Of course, in this age of instant access, it’s not surprising that Google is the first port of call for many people with worrying symptoms.

     

    But there’s a real danger of not receiving timely treatment for potentially serious problems or, at the other end of the scale, of becoming seriously distressed when you self-diagnose a life-threatening condition that you don’t have.

    Hay fever misery as the pollen season starts

      Among the most common symptoms typed into a search engine are nausea, chest pain and tiredness.

      Diarrhoea, child rashes, spots, sore throats and headache are also popular, along with back pain and a cough.

      Robin Berzin, MD, founder of Parsley Health, told Cosmopolitan: "Spending time furiously searching symptoms on your iPhone, then declaring you've got X, Y, or Z can be downright dangerous.

      "First off, it can keep you from getting the help you actually need."

        Highlighting the dangers, the medical expert added: "A lot of times, people read a personal story and they say, Hey, that sounds like me. That's my problem too!' and they get very worked up, and may even take a course of action that isn't actually relevant to them."

        Medical experts say you should always seek the advice of a professional - so no more DIY diagnosing, folks.

        Author:  James Rodger

        Source:  http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/

        Categorized in News & Politics

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