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For example:

What are the implications of network manager vs NetworkManager?

Should I bother updating the title or tags to include how the package is named in Ubuntu?

For example searching how to run the package first (NetworkManager):

vs. lower cased and spaced search phrase (network manager):

update:

It seems difficult, because there are at least 3 ways to address the same thing:

Colloquial: network manager or Network Manager (notice the spaces/capitalization)

To Run from terminal: NetworkManager

To install the package: network-manager

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I always prefer the technical correct name. Yes, someone might not know the term:

  1. he could ask in a comment
  2. I could respond
  3. the user learned something new
  4. ...
  5. Profit!

So, if the actual name of the network management framework of Ubuntu is NetworkManager, go for it.

  • Well it seems difficult. I opted to create another answer with some of the tokens that I used from my initial search. Also see the update in my question. – jmunsch Jul 7 '14 at 18:15
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I'm not sure what concequences will be of using the different ways, but I'd love to know. The site's grammar will never be perfect, because most people here aren't English experts; I'm certainly not. That said I think this might be a bit of a loaded question. To my knowledge the StackExchange Network uses English in general rather than a specific variation, and as such rules about capitalization may vary depending on which the OP is using. Personally I speak Canadian English (woo Canada!) so that's what I'll be basing my answer from.

The Rules of Capitalization in Titles:

In English titles of books, articles, periodicals, newspapers, plays, operas and long musical compositions and recordings, poems, paintings, sculptures and motion pictures, capitalize all words except articles, conjunctions of fewer than four letters, and prepositions of fewer than four letters. These exceptions are also capitalized when they immediately follow a period, colon or dash within a title and when they are the first or last word in a title
Words that are normally prepositions are capitalized when they help form another part of speech
In titles containing hyphenated compounds, always capitalize the first element. Capitalize the second element if it is a proper noun or proper adjective or if it is as important as the first element

Complicated stuff, eh? So in summary a title should be entirely capitalized unless a word meets an exception to the rule.

Exceptions:

  • Conjunctions and prepostions under 4 letters like: the, and, or of are not capitalized provided they aren't the first or last word, or followed by punctuation (eg: The Long and Unforgiving Road). A preposition is a word that links nouns (REF) . The best way to remember it being many prepostions say where something is positioned (eg: The Dog Is on the Bed). A conjunction is a linking word (REF). You use conjunctions to connect clauses (eg: The Blessed, and the Wicked).

  • A hyphenated word is normally capitalized (eg: The Politically-correct Answer), but if the second word is equally important it can be capitalized as well; this won't happen very often.

Keep in mind that some words that normally function as a preposition can also in some circumstances be used in a non-prepositional manner. In these cases the word is capitalized (eg: Having Trouble Getting By While Living on a Watch-maker's Salary ). In this case "by" is not used to mean beside, and therefore isn't a preposition so it's capitalized to distinguish it (even though it's under 4 letters).

When to Use What:

NetworkManager:

The program's name is "NetworkManager" so it should be used when referring to the program in both the post content, and the post title (REF: https://wiki.gnome.org/Projects/NetworkManager).

Network-manager/network-manager:

The package name is "network-manager" (REF: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/NetworkManager). Questions that are about the package itself should use the package name "network-manager" within the post, but "Network-manager" within the title. Titles are capitalized! I suppose if you were to wrap quotations around the word you wouldn't need to capitalize, but I'm not sure if quotes are actually allowed titles; I couldn't find any information about that. :(

Network Manager/network manager:

This is neither the name of the program, or package and therefore merely means a network manager; not the specific program NetworkManager. "Network Manager" would be for the post title, and "network manager" for within the post's content.

Application of What We've I've Learned:

It really depends on what variation of English the OP is using as to what will be correct, and I would love to see a list of the different ways as it's done.

As far as Canadian English goes, I believe "Where are the network manager logs?" should be "Where Are the NetworkManager Logs?", because it's a question about a program named NetworkManager. Of course I've never been great with grammar, and I find all the different types of words very confusing.

  • English is rife with exceptions, especially when considering local forms. The spell checker here always suggests "centre" as opposed to "center" In questions about "Ubuntu Software Center" for example. The important thing is that the question be clear, understandable and get in front of the eyes that can answer it IMHO. – Elder Geek Jul 9 '14 at 21:26
  • English is rife with exceptions ... add to that the influence of other languages - e.g. being Swedish makes that "is" and "are" might get mixed up - these are a single word in Swedish. If the Q is about a software package with a certain style in the name as in "NetworkManager" above - I believe it is important to keep it matching. I for one rely quite a bit on searching, deviating on the name will diminish its usefulness. – Hannu Jul 12 '14 at 18:08
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    @pleasedeleteme These capitalization guidelines aren't really relevant to Ask Ubuntu because we don't capitalize most words in question titles, anyway. Some recently active questions, properly titled by this community's norms, include Is there any way to kill a zombie process without reboot?, Should I use sources from diffrent ubuntu versions?, and How do I install Ubuntu Studio to its own hard drive on a UEFI system? We expect most titles to be sentences with normal sentence capitalization. – Eliah Kagan Jul 19 '14 at 10:03
  • Please don't generalize like this. Just because newspapers like to commit syntactical atrocities like capitalized titles is no reason for us to follow suit. We aren't writing newspaper articles here and there's absolutely no reason to insist on capitalizing titles. Quite the contrary in fact, the "title" is not a title as such, it is a question. And a package/command name should never be capitalized, I don't care if it's in the title or not. Those are code, and should be kept the way they're entered in a command line. – terdon Jul 20 '14 at 15:12
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As Braiam says, when there's a technically correct name that's probably best most of the time.

Like you say, here it's not really clear what's correct. Arguably, network-manager is a package name, NetworkManager is an executable name, and Network Manager is the name of the software. Arguably.

And arguably "network manager" is simply wrong, if it's referring to a specific program / part of Ubuntu. That's really the only one I'd consider changing in an edit.

When there's more than one name that's correct, there's no reason to try to police which name is used. People can use whichever one they prefer. When there's a name that's technically best but by a very narrow margin, and there's no significant possibility for confusion, I think it's effectively the same situation--it doesn't matter which name gets used and there's no need for every question to follow the same convention.

Arguably, uniformity makes for more effective searching. This is probably not a big problem when searching with Google (either the "whole" web or Ask Ubuntu itself with site:askubuntu.com). But the built-in site search does not interpret keywords as broadly. Still, I wouldn't rush to assume this is causing a problem.

When it comes to Network Manager itself, we have a tag. Questions that are enough about Network Manager that they should come up in a search for Network Manager (or NetworkManager or network-manager) should be tagged with this tag anyway. That solves the problem, and then it can be written in whatever style the post author prefers.

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