Author’s style guide

Author’s style guide


Free Software Magazine’s style guide

A quick list of rules to follow while writing articles for Free Software Magazine




Here is a list of points which must be followed while writing for Free Software Magazine:

The technical side

  • Hand in your article using the online interface. Don't send your article as an attachment.
  • The figures must be 9.1cm wide, and between 5cm and 10 cm high and in JPEG format. All images must be at 300 DPI. In pixels, that is 1075 x (591 - 1181).
  • Download a new, up to date article template file (XML) from the Write for us page) before writing your article.
  • Do not abuse the bold (like I just did with the not).

Words, words, words

  • Refer to the Linux kernel as Linux. Refer to GNU/Linux (as in the kernel + all the support programs and libraries) as GNU/Linux.
  • Use free software (NOT freeware) for free or open source software, shareware for shareware software, and proprietary software (NOT commercial software) for software that is not free.
  • Do not use Capital Letters at the beginning of Words unless you are typing a Proper Noun (like Linus Torvalds, Microsoft, etc.). Improper capitalisation is a real pain for editors.
  • Do capitalise acronyms (like IBM which means International business Machines, TCP which means Transport Control Protocol, and so on).
  • Spell check your article before sending it. If you are writing them 5 minutes before the deadline, jump on a time machine and re-read them 48 hours after finishing them.
  • Write the word internet with a small i. We are trying to create a new trend.
  • Do not capitalise headings (in this section I wrote Words, words, words rather than Words, Words, Words).

Style issues

  • If you are the sole author of the article, refer to yourself as I (rather than we). For example: In this article I will show how to .... If you are writing (and signing) the article with somebody else, refer to yourselves as we.
  • When addressing the readers, use you. Avoid Prince Charles’ one (one should be careful [...]).
  • Use either English spellings or American spellings, but be consistent throughout the article.
  • Separate each section of the article with a heading (like Style issues here). If you can’t, the article probably has a structural problem.
  • Write in a semi-informal way.