Software Namings

Have you ever searched for „Elephant“ in Google? Well, if you do so, you will maybe find a lot of films and articles about the well-known animal we call „Elephant“. So if somebody told you about a Software called „Elephant“, well, you would have to add a lot of additional descriptions or you would have no real chance to find it. Besides maybe other projects, there is this Persistence-Library for Common Lisp called „Elephant“. Well, I heard of this library the first time when reading the Reddit-Entry „Comparison of CL-SQL and Elephant„, and actually, this title pretty much shows the problem with softare namings – it simply sounds stupid!

Now search for „Python“. Yeah, the Python programming language is more common than the animal – you will find a lot of stuff for both.

I can remember a lecturer telling about a project named „ant“. Of course, ants are insects. And ANT is a compiling infrastructure for Java. He meant an example of an Agent-Oriented Programming-Language. Calling it Ant may fit to agent-oriented programming, but since this is so generic, in almost every website about agent-oriented programming, you will find the word „ant“ mentioned – even without any reference to this system.

Seems like generally animal names (Elephant, Python, Ant) are liked by people writing software. But of course, its not limited to animal names. Generally, ambiguous names seem to magically attract people.

At least Pidgin – which is named after pigeons –  names itself after the language. Before that, it was called GAIM. And the library behind it was called libgaim. Ok, they had to change the name for licensing resons. But did they really have to call it pidgin? A name which has almost nothing to do with IM? But ok – they called it pidgin. Lets accept that. So the backend-library could have been called libpidgin, and everybody would be happy. But no, the backend is called libpurple now – such that it is nearly impossible to find that name if you dont know it already. Great!

Calling an operating system Windows already made some people forget what „Windows“ are.

Does anybody recognize, what an „Apache“ originally was? Well, at least the inventors of the Cherokee Webserver obviously did …

In the Lisp-World, words sounding like „Closure“ seem to be liked. There is the Closure Webbrowser, the Common Lisp compiler named Clozure, and – of course – Clojure. Why not starting more projects like this.

How about Closhure? Or Clochure? Or Closchure? Or Cloyure? Or Cloşure? Or Cloжure? Or Clošure? Or Cloʃure? Or Cloש‎ure? Or Cloシュre?

Nevermind. Since I was very nerved by the situation of fastcgi and clos-streams under common lisp about two years ago, I began to write a library for fastcgi which should not depend on any implementation-specific features (except for a simple socket-binding) and had the problem that this is complicated without having clos-streams, so I began to try to write something portable for this (well, today I think differently, but in those days I was still a beginner – and doing experiments is a good thing). I called it „Fastcgi Usable in Common-lisp Kits Yachting through the Oceans of Unportability“ (which is – of course – mostly shortened to an acronym), and the stream-library was called „Commonlisp User Mode Binary ALLpurpose Streams“ (which is also shortend to an acronym). A pity that I havent released it – maybe reddit would have a title „comparison between clos-streams and …“ now.


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