The task is to invent names for things

Chris Angelico rosuav at
Wed Oct 27 21:20:52 EDT 2021

On Thu, Oct 28, 2021 at 11:55 AM Eli the Bearded <*> wrote:
> The choice of a non-sensical is perfectly fine _when_ it's a major
> component. Kafka, Python, Java, Rust. Those are all non-sensically named,
> in that the name doesn't fit what it is, by pun, initials, or reference.
> Someone just liked the name and applied it to thing being build. The
> designer of Kafka liked the author. Guido liked Monty Python. Java is
> named for coffee. Rust is named for a fungus.
> Those all work. But if you are writing a new web framework and you name
> your method to log stuff to a remote server "Britney" because you were
> listening the singer, that's not perfectly fine, even you want to make
> "Oops, I did it again" jokes about your logged errors.

More generally: You can pick any name you like if the identity of your
creation is, well, entirely your creation. What does "Python" mean in
terms of programming languages? It means exactly what Guido and the
subsequent developers made of it. What's LPC? Originally, "Lars Pensjo
C". But it became "this language", if that makes sense. I'm known as
"Rosuav". What does that word mean? It means me. Nothing more and
nothing less.

But when you need the name to evoke some other meaning, you need to be
as close as possible to that meaning. Obviously that's never going to
be perfect, but the closer you can come, the more useful the name will
be. The purest example would be "X meets Y" names, like a Python
interface to libcurl called.... pycurl. Nobody has any doubts or
disagreements about what that name means!


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