[PATCH] Add long comments to shared-mime-info XML file

Dan Winship danw at novell.com
Thu Oct 13 10:02:56 PDT 2005

Steve Kelem wrote:
> I disagree.  Tellling the reader what an acronym means allows the reader 
> to look it up, even if you don't provide a pointer to where to get more 
> info.

Googling for "CSS" gives "about 236,000,000" hits. Googling for 
"Cascading Style Sheets" gives "about 10,100,000" hits. The acronym is 
20 times more commonly-used than the name. (Doing a search on Amazon 
titles, the advantage drops to a mere factor of 4.)

CSS is even a bit of an edge case here; "JPEG" gets 140 times more hits 
than "Joint Photographic Experts Group". "PCI" gets 1400 times more hits 
than "Peripheral Component Interconnect". (Raise your hand if you even 
knew what PCI stood for. Oh, hi there, you in the back. Now go back to 
writing device drivers.)

When the acronym is the standard way of referring to something, we 
should follow standard usage and just use the acronym. In most such 
cases, expanding the acronym won't actually provide the user with any 
useful information. If we want to give users more help at identifying 
mystery files, it would be more useful to provide a description ("Style 
sheet for a web page", "Format for storing photo-quality images very 
compactly") than to just expand the acronyms.

-- Dan

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