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hint for best practices related to the web app manifest's name and short_name members




Manifest has name (manifest-app-name)

manifest-app-name checks if the name of the web application is specified within the manifest file.

Why is this important?

Browsers that support the web app manifest file will use the value of the name property (or short_name's value, when there is insufficient space) to display the name of the app in various places across the OS such as the list of apps installed, an app icon label etc.

If these properties are not defined, browsers will try to get the name from other sources such as the value of the application-name meta tag, <title>, or default to a specific value (e.g.: Untitled). This can lead to a bad user experience, as the app name may be truncated or wrong.

So, to reduce the risk of having the app name truncated, it's recommended to define the name property and keep its value under 30 characters, and if it’s over 12 characters, include a short_name property that is at most 12 characters.


  • If the name property value is under or 12 characters, there is no need to provide the short_name property as browsers can use the value of name.

  • The 12-character limit is used to ensure that for most cases the value won’t be truncated. However, depending on other things, such as:

    • what font the user is using
    • what characters the web site/app name includes (e.g. i occupies less space than W)

    the text may still be truncated even if it’s under 12 characters.

  • The above recommended limits are set to be consistent with the native OSes and/or store limits/recommendations, e.g.:

What does the hint check?

The hint checks if a non-empty name member was specified and its value is under 30 characters.

If the name member is over 12 characters, or short_name is specified, the hint will also check if short_name has a non-empty value that is under 12 characters.

Examples that trigger the hint

Manifest is specified without name and short_name:


Manifest is specified with a name longer than 12 characters and no short_name:

    "name": "Baldwin Museum of Science",

Manifest is specified with a name longer than 30 characters:

    "name": "Baldwin Museum of Science - visit today!",
    "short_name": "Baldwin"

Manifest is specified with short_name longer than 12 characters:

    "name": "Baldwin Museum of Science",
    "short_name": "Baldwin Museum"

Examples that pass the hint

Manifest is specified with a name shorter than 30 characters and a short_name shorter than 12 characters:

    "name": "Baldwin Museum of Science",
    "short_name": "Baldwin"

Note: Not specifying a manifest file or having an invalid one are covered by other hints, so those cases won’t make this hint fail.

How to use this hint?

This package is installed automatically by webhint:

npm install hint --save-dev

To use it, activate it via the .hintrc configuration file:

    "connector": {...},
    "formatters": [...],
    "hints": {
        "manifest-app-name": "error",
    "parsers": [...],

Note: The recommended way of running webhint is as a devDependency of your project.

Further Reading