It might be related to the Yeoman project, or they might have adopted this from somewhere else, but it seems to be the default for all of their generators. Aside from Yeoman generators I've also noticed it in other projects that have nothing to do with Yeoman (this one for example).

Where did this convention come from, and what are the reasons for using this over a src folder, for example (which used to be more common)? Or is it just random preference?

p.s.: As far as I can tell it doesn't seem to be strictly related to it being a web-app instead of a web-site (which is rather subjective anyway).

  • It's not really a "pattern" in the sense of "software patterns." It's just the way everyone does it. It's done that way because it's familiar, not for any other compelling reason. – Robert Harvey Jun 18 '14 at 15:45
  • @RobertHarvey, Do you have any idea where it started? I'm interested in reading up on the reasons for it (however subjective or circumstantial they might be). – user73454 Jun 18 '14 at 16:10
  • The reason they use app over src seems obvious to me. Many web applications use binaries instead of source files nowadays, or a combination of the two. – Robert Harvey Jun 18 '14 at 16:31

I will not call it a "pattern" per se. It's only a convention that has stuck over the years with web developers. There is no benefit from naming a folder something else other than app, and vice versa.

I can only think back to Rails when thinking of the start of this convention.

I think it was a means to separate the app's source code from the cource code of the framework.boilerplate you use in supporting the app.

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