Zoran Luledzija
Zoran Luledzija
April 27, 2023
7 min read
April 27, 2023
7 min read

Software development abbreviations: Exploring the world of numeronyms and their applications

Software development abbreviations: Exploring the world of numeronyms and their applications

In the fast-paced world of software development, effective communication is crucial. Developers often use software acronyms and IT abbreviations, like numeronyms, to simplify their language. You may have encountered terms like "i18n" (i18n meaning internationalization) or "l10n" (l10n meaning localization) and wondered about their meanings, particularly in software localization.

This post offers a concise introduction to numeronyms, software abbreviations, and software acronyms, including their applications in IT and software development, such as software localization. We'll explore the concept, benefits, and common examples of numeronyms, like "i18n", "g11n", "l10n", and "a11y". By the end, you'll understand these IT abbreviations and acronyms and be ready to use them in your software development communications.

What are numeronyms?

Numeronyms, also known as alphanumeric acronyms, alphanumeric abbreviations, or numerical contractions, are unique abbreviations formed by combining letters and numbers. In most cases, they are created by taking the first letter of a word, followed by the number of letters between the first and last letter, and ending with the last letter of the word. This structure allows for a compact and easily recognizable representation of the original term.

For example, consider the numeronym "i18n". It is derived from the word "internationalization", where "i" is the first letter, there are 18 letters between the first and last letters, and "n" is the final letter. Similarly, "l10n" stands for "localization", with "l" as the first letter, 10 letters in the middle, and "n" as the last letter.

It's important to note that while this is the most common structure, there are some exceptions where numeronyms might not strictly follow this pattern. Nevertheless, the majority of numeronyms found in various industries, including software development, adhere to this format.

While numeronyms are commonly associated with software development, they can also be used in other contexts. Their simple and efficient nature allows them to be easily adapted to a variety of industries and fields, showcasing their versatility and usefulness.

The advantages of using numeronyms in software development

Numeronyms offer several advantages in software development, making them popular and useful within the industry. One primary benefit is their space-saving nature, allowing developers to convey complex concepts in a concise and compact form. This brevity helps reduce the clutter in documentation, code comments, and communication between team members, ultimately leading to more efficient exchanges of information.

Another advantage of using numeronyms is that they facilitate quicker communication. As developers become familiar with common numeronyms, they can easily understand and interpret them without needing to spell out the entire term, thus speeding up conversations and discussions.

Ease of memorization is also an essential benefit of numeronyms. By condensing lengthy terms into a simple alphanumeric structure, developers can effortlessly recall and use these abbreviations in their daily work. This ability to remember and utilize numeronyms enhances productivity and fluency in the development process.

Lastly, the internationalization aspect of numeronyms cannot be ignored. As software development often involves collaboration among diverse, globally distributed teams, it is crucial to have a simplified and universal language that can transcend linguistic barriers. Numeronyms can serve as a common ground for communication, minimizing confusion and misinterpretations across different languages.

Common numeronyms in software development

Numeronyms play a crucial role in software development, as they allow developers to communicate complex ideas efficiently. Here is a list of popular software development numeronyms, along with their meanings, brief descriptions, and full forms:

  • a11y - Accessibility: Ensuring that software is usable by individuals with disabilities, by implementing features like screen reader compatibility and keyboard navigation.
  • c11y - Compatibility: The ability of software to work with different systems, devices, or software versions without conflicts or issues.
  • c12s - Communications: The exchange of information between software components, systems, or users, typically through various protocols or interfaces.
  • c14n - Canonicalization: The process of converting data into a standard, canonical form, often used in data processing and XML technologies.
  • d11n - Documentation: The creation and maintenance of written materials that describe and explain software features, functions, and usage.
  • g11n - Globalization: The process of developing software to cater to global markets, encompassing both internationalization and localization.
  • i11l - International: Pertaining to software that is designed to be used in multiple countries, supporting various languages and cultures.
  • i14y – Interoperability: The ability of software systems or components to work together seamlessly, exchanging information and utilizing each other's functionality.
  • i18n - Internationalization: The process of designing and adapting software to support various languages, regions, and cultures, making it globally accessible.
  • k8s – Kubernetes: An open-source container orchestration platform for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications.
  • l10n - Localization: Adapting software to meet the specific requirements of a particular language, region, or culture, including translations, date formats, and currencies.
  • l12y - Localizability: The ability of software to be easily localized by adding or modifying elements such as translations, date formats, and currencies.
  • m12n – Modularization: The design principle of breaking software into smaller, independent modules that can be developed, tested, and maintained separately.
  • m17n - Multilingualization: The process of enabling a single software application to support multiple languages simultaneously, allowing users to switch between languages as needed.
  • n11n - Normalization: The process of organizing and standardizing data or software components to reduce redundancy and improve efficiency.
  • o11y - Observability: The ability to monitor and analyze the internal state of a software system, typically through logging, metrics, and tracing.
  • p13n – Personalization: Adapting the user experience of software to meet individual users' preferences, needs, or interests, creating a more tailored and engaging experience.
  • s13n - Standardization: The development and implementation of agreed-upon norms, rules, or specifications in software design and development.
  • t9n - Translation: Converting text or software user interface elements from one language to another, making it accessible to a wider audience.
  • v12n - Virtualization: The creation of virtual versions of resources or environments, such as servers or storage devices, to improve resource utilization and flexibility in software systems.

These common numeronyms help streamline communication within the software development industry, allowing developers to convey complex concepts more efficiently and effectively.

Common numeronyms in software localization

In the realm of software localization, certain numeronyms are more commonly used and hold particular significance. Among them, t9n, l10n, i18n, and g11n stand out as key terms that are closely related, yet hold distinct meanings. Here, we'll briefly explain the differences between these numeronyms and their specific roles in software localization.

  • t9n - Translation: Translation is the process of converting text or software user interface elements from one language to another. It is a crucial step in making software accessible and understandable to users who speak different languages.

  • l10n - Localization: Localization goes beyond translation by adapting software to meet the specific requirements of a particular language, region, or culture. This includes not only translations but also adjustments to date formats, currencies, and other locale-specific elements.

  • i18n - Internationalization: Internationalization is the process of designing and adapting software to support various languages, regions, and cultures. By making software "internationalization-friendly," developers can more easily localize it for different target audiences. Essentially, internationalization sets the foundation for localization.

  • g11n - Globalization: Globalization encompasses both internationalization and localization, aiming to develop software that caters to global markets. It involves designing software with the flexibility to adapt to various languages, cultures, and regions, as well as localizing it to meet the specific needs of each target market.

Numeronyms in software localization

While these numeronyms are similar in nature and often used in the context of software localization, they represent different aspects of the process. Understanding the distinctions between them is essential for effectively communicating and executing localization tasks within the software development industry.


Numeronyms offer significant benefits in software development, such as efficient communication, easy memorization, and language versatility. Embracing these unique abbreviations can boost collaboration and productivity among diverse teams.

Incorporating numeronyms into daily communication helps developers navigate the ever-evolving landscape of technology effectively. Start using numeronyms to unlock clearer and more efficient communication in your software development work, and witness the improvements in your daily interactions and project outcomes.

In the realm of IT abbreviations and acronyms, software developers often rely on numeronyms like "i18n", "g11n", "l10n", and "a11y" to convey complex concepts quickly and efficiently. By understanding the meaning and significance of these IT abbreviations and acronyms, you can more effectively communicate with your team and leverage these tools to enhance your software development processes. Whether you're working on software localization, internationalization, or accessibility, numeronyms can provide a solid foundation for efficient communication and collaboration.

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Zoran Luledzija
Zoran Luledzija

Zoran is a Software Engineer at Localizely. His primary interest is web development, but he also has a solid background in other technologies. For the last few years, he has been involved in the development of software localization tools.

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