Cheese Shop -> BSOL?

Paul Boddie paul at boddie.org.uk
Sat Mar 11 12:22:42 CET 2006


Tim Churches wrote:
> Would it be possible to rename "Cheese Shop" as "Bright Side of Life"?

Well, you could replay the conversation I gave as an example elsewhere
to see if it sounds ridiculous or not, but what we've encountered here
is the problem of whether something should be given a distinctive
identity or a derivative identity. A long time ago, and possibly
continuing to this day, people complained about how nearly every Python
package, module or program had names starting or ending with "Py" -
announcing a module in a Python newsgroup and giving it a name starting
with "Py" seemed somewhat redundant, and there was always the issue of
not being able to scan long lists of packages comfortably, just like
with all the KDE application names that start with the letter K.

But even without "the curse of Py", many people don't just choose
arbitrary names for their packages: it often makes sense to include
related technologies in the name (eg. XML, XSLT, ado, dav), or to use a
descriptive component, possibly in shortened form (eg. auth, bayes,
bio, Cal). Yes, a search will often bring forth the right resource
regardless of what it's called, but many people underestimate their own
searching skills and overestimate what other people can find via things
like Google.

Of course, programs may downplay Python as the implementation
technology because the underlying technical details are mostly
irrelevant to end-users (eg. BitTorrent, b3, Eric, Glarf), but if we
look at distinctively named packages, we can see that they often
attempt to define their own identity distinct from Python (eg.
BeautifulSoup, Dabo, DejaVu, Django, Twisted, Zope), frequently because
they seek to be the primary point of reference for developers -
developing in Twisted or Zope is more specialised than just developing
things in Python. Some of the distinctively named package names employ
metaphors and/or cultural references that possibly make them more
memorable, but they don't necessarily make the names easy to guess.

So should a service for finding Python packages have a distinct
identity? It is possible that a package index could be someone's
principal view of the Python world ("I go to Camelot to get... what is
it I get there?"), but the things that emerge from such a service
aren't just downloads that have little in common with each other.
Consequently, I don't think a descriptive name, derived from the name
of the technology, is sensibly avoided in this case.

Paul




More information about the Python-list mailing list