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Is it Frontend, Front End or Front-End?

Alejandro
July 27th, 2018 · 1 min read

Language can be very tricky. Over the past week one of the members of the Pixel2HTML team came with this simple question: Is it Frontend, Front End, or Front-end?

After a couple of vague tries to apply some grammar rule about it, the conclusion was that none of us was sure about the correct form. As a son of a literature’s professor I’m very familiar with the process of digging into the forms and meaning of words: your should surpremise if I tell you about how many times etymology can offer a the answer you’re looking for.

Here’s some digging about the issue:

Google search results

After googling each term:

  • “Frontend” about 22,600,000 results
  • “Front-End” about 44,900,000 results
  • “Front End” about 44,900,000 results

Glassdoor

After some research in Glassdoor the amount of request for frontend developers was revealing.

  • “Front End” about 15,700 results
  • “Front-End” about 24,500 results
  • “Frontend” about 7,200 results

So what’s the final say about it?

There’s a spelling convention set in the GCC Coding Convention:

  • “Front end” (noun)
  • “Front-end” (adjective)
  • “front end” (noun) like in; I work in the front end. “front-end” (adjective) like in; I work as a front-end developer.

Conclusion

“Frontend” or “Backend” in this situation are technical terms, and as such I don’t think they necessary conform traditional ways of creating new words.

Most of us have settled on “email” but we split the difference on “e-commerce,” but in any case, traditional language authority didn’t move fast enough to lead this debate, but only explained or justified it after the fact.

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