CamelCase (also "camel case" or "dromedary case") is a naming convention in which the first letter of each word in a compound word is capitalized. Examples include the video game "StarCraft," the band "FireHouse," and the company "MasterCard." The term "CamelCase" itself incorporates the CamelCase naming convention. While CamelCase has many applications, in computing, it is most often used in programming languages and website names.
Most programming languages do not allow the use of spaces in the names of functions, variables, or other entities. Therefore, programmers often use CamelCase to define objects within the source code. For example, related variables within a C++ program might be might have the following "lowerCamelCase" names: employeeID, employeeFirstName, employeeLastName, and employeeAddress. The capital letters make the names of each variable more readable.
While most programming languages do not require CamelCase, certain programming languages use CamelCase as a standard naming convention. For example, in Java, all classes should be named using UpperCamelCase, while methods and variables should have lowerCamelCase names. The most common alternative to CamelCase is to use underscores (_) to separate lowercase words.
Since domain names cannot include spaces, many web-based companies use CamelCase in their brand names rather than separating the words. This provides better cohesion between the company name and the web address. Common examples include YouTube, LinkedIn, and WordPress. Some websites also include the domain suffix in their name, such as LiveJournal.com, DomainTools.com, and this website, TechTerms.com.
Updated: March 19, 2013