Firefox Bug 705234 – Inconsistent use of “full screen” across Firefox code

by Abhishek Bhatnagar

I’ve been falling behind on documenting my activities on here, so I’m going to do a quick fast-forward catch up to them.

I’m going to start with a Firefox patch that I just submitted yesterday, one on bug 705234.

Within Firefox (and the web), there is no standard way of writing the word “Fullscreen”. In fact you might be cringing reading what I just wrote if you belong to the school of either “Full Screen”, “Full-Screen”, “fullscreen”, “full screen”, or “full-screen”. If that is the case, I apologize.

There are many reasons why such a dissonance would evolve, the broadest of which probably is lack of significance and caring. Chris Pearce, a Moz engineer and an author of the original DOM API spec added the following comment to the bug

*sigh*. Browser/F11 full-screen mode may have used “fullscreen”? Our original spec for the DOM API used “full-screen”. The editor of the W3 draft spec copied our spec but changed to using “fullscreen” without consulting us…

Matej Novak, the copywriter for the team believes that the form should be based on the context.

The key point of differentiation is the word “enter,” though even there I think using “fullscreen” would be correct. Do we do anything like that in the browser (i.e. have a word in front of “full screen” with nothing following it)?

Others believe that we should search around for the dominant form on the Internet and replicate that.

Paul O’Shannessy: Since I’m adding/changing strings in bug 714172, I’m bringing up the question of platform consistency. Apple uses “Enter Full Screen” and “Exit Full Screen” across apps on OS X Lion. The change in the bug is a departure from our current behavior of a checkbox menu item: “[] Full Screen”.

So it’s not really any one person’s fault, or even a “bug” if you will. None the less, for the sake of consistency, it is important to fix such problems. I don’t doubt that in a few years such a split would occur again, and would have to be dealt with. For the time being, the agreed upon solution was to arrive at “fullscreen” or “Full Screen” based on context.

The problem was, as you would expect, simple to fix and this was my solution:

grep -rv * obj-i686-pc-linux-gnu/ | egrep -rn ("full screen"|"full-screen") > fix_these
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