Don't know whether this part of development is still on-going, but I really like the suggestion somewhere in the thread to offer an optional to choose between simple and scientific classifications.
I'd also offer perhaps an extended version of that which is a short or long form of 'everyday' or scientific. This would satisfy I think many of those posting in this thread.
For example, myself and I am sure a lot of newcomers to SE, reading something is icy
is perfectly acceptable. I don't need to know up front what type of ice that is. If I want to find out more, I can look at the detailed info. I think words which encourage further investigation are good.
I also suggest perhaps using a mouse rollover or click to show a longer more precise form of the descriptions talked about in this thread.
Really though I am a big fan of the way that Space Engine has talked about its objects. Something like 'Scorched selena
' is really evocative to me. I love reading things like that in SE. It captures my imagination. I started using selena
in conversation with people, which led to discussions about moons and so on, and often talking about the program itself. Selena has become part of my everyday language, but I know it is not useful in a scientific sense - but I'm not a scientist, I'm a writer, developer, and general creative person. Therefore having a system which is enjoyable/inspiring to read and use is more important to me than long-winded precision.
In the same sense, jovian and neptunian are better descriptors because they read well. I don't want to call something 'a jupiter planet'. (I realise I can hopefully edit the file provided, but I would be disappointed if this were in the official descriptions, I feel like SE will lose something in using that language).
Sometimes, I might want to look at the universe in a strict, precise scientific way, so I could enable the scientific approach and browse through 'cryogenic hyperbaric glacial aquarias' to my hearts content!
That would be cool, as well.