Monday, September 16, 2013

sTop THe MadNess - CamelCase has got to go.

Want to know how to evoke the ire of Twitter? It's easy. Just tweet the following:

The stuff vAneurysms are made of.
You'll be able to hear the vExperts collectively lose their minds*. Purists insist on accepting only the corporate-approved capitalization of company and product names. But can you blame filthy casuals regular customers for making a mistake? Even VMware can't keep it straight (at last week's MDVMUG, a few VMware guys shared some slides that contained the most common error: VMWare).

CamelCase is thriving in this 140-character age. Who wants to waste a character on a space anyway? #NotMe. Plus it looks cool, right? But for customers who care less about the vibrant, detailed-oriented virtualization community and its affinity for being technically correct, the capitalization of tech company names and their product lines is largely ignored. Their concerns lie in the functionality of the product and its ability to support their businesses. Cut them some slack if they screw it up and tell you they're using Vmware. Share the correct capitalization of the word and move on to solving problems.

On the other hand, I do find it interesting that there is rarely a problem when it comes to capitalizing names of ubiquitous devices such as iPhones and iPods. So consumers can master non-standard capitalization, as long as it's clearly delineated. Everyone gets Apple's iName. So why is there so much trouble with VMware and its products? It's a combination of two things:
  1. The CamelCase isn't consistent across products - vSphere set our expectations, but then we got dvSwitches, and now VSAN. 
  2. VMware can't even get it right - Internally-produced slides and other marketing material are (well in fairness, were; seems like they've improved lately) littered with Vmware and VMWare.
So don't let it get to you if someone has some vMware questions to ask you. Or if they need help with a vSan. Just help them out.

* If you're confused, that proposed tweet should be capitalized as follows: Loving my new VMware vSphere cluster on NetApp storage!!1