I have troubles figuring out whether to use "render" or "rendering" in the context of drawing something on a computer screen in certain scenarios.

  1. Technologies that are used for drawing/rendering:

    render technology(-ies)
    rendering technology(-ies)

  2. The program code that performs the drawing:

    render framework/logic/loop
    rendering framework/logic/loop

  3. The use of resources:

    render performance
    rendering performance

  4. The software component:

    render frontend/backend
    rendering frontend/backend

  5. Other software-related terms:

    render context
    rendering context

When googling, I found both versions. But I'm not sure if both are actually correct, or if there are just a bunch of programmers out there who don't know the correct use either.


The ultimate aim of language is not to satisfy the rules of grammar - it is to communicate. Grammar conventions aid communication, but communication is often better served by sticking to domain-specific conventions.

Domain-specific usage like this is always driven by convention more than grammar. "Rendering" is more grammatically correct, so if both are in use within the domain, then you could use that.

However, there may be something more subtle going on: perhaps, it may be that "Rendering technology" refers to a more general thing, while "Render technology" refers to a more specific implementation. It's hard to say with domain-specific language, when one is not inside the domain.

  • I followed your suggestion and, for each case, took my time to find out which usage is more common in the industry. In cases were both versions are in use, I sticked to "rendering". So in the end, I decided to use "render" for "render loop/call/time/output" and "rendering" for "rendering technology/framework/engine/performance/backend/context/data/API/..." – maja Jul 29 '17 at 17:29
  • @maja that sounds very sensible. – Max Williams Jul 31 '17 at 7:58

Some of the phrases you extracted from google might show improper usage of "render" and / or "rendering", which we can not make sure without context.

Render is verb form, whereas rendering is present participle / noun.

On the other hand, though uncommon, in computer graphics "render" may refer to an image - an image produced by rendering a model. E.g:

A low-resolution render might look blocky.

And there is also an archaic usage of render as noun

Render (n) :a payment, usually in goods or services, as for rent in feudal times

So I would suggest sticking to usual acceptable "forms" and "senses"

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