Friday, March 09, 2007

Marketable language names

OK, it's Friday afternoon on a spring-like day and the Editorial Staff is in a goofy mood. In case you didn't realize, we had about a thousand visitors this week thanks to a couple of posts being picked up by reddit and dzone.

This discussion of marketable names for programming languages draws a parallel between the success of Coca Cola and its name, and the opposite effect for Slug Cola, despite the latter's being regarded as tasting better.

"A Nickel's Worth" approves of the names C, C++, FORTRAN, and Java (I would also add Ruby and perhaps Perl). He disapproves of most other names, apparently, including ERLang, Smalltalk (doesn't sit well with managers and executives), and LISP (obvious reasons?).

One of the reasons given for the approval of "Java" is "It's short, it's cryptic, it's friendly; it implies a connection with a caffeinated beverage." Other good ones that fit the same description could be Cola and Jolt. But I thought of another good one.


Stop that sniggering, and let me finish. It's Friday, remember? I gotta get home.

Darjeeling is a real place, like Java. It's associated with a caffeinated beverage. It has a great filename extension: drj. I like to think it's got a more sophisticated ring than Java, so obviously it needs to support the Thinking Programmer's language features like lambdas and sum types.

It does have some down sides. It's not short, that part is true. Nobody knows how to pronounce it. Rather than jars, people would want to know whether to ship their code in .bags or as loose leaf...

OK, so this is harder than it looked at first. You got any bright ideas?


JFKBits said...

Actually the tea theme might not be a bad source of names. Even if "Darjeeling" isn't a winner of a language name, there's always plenty of need for naming libraries, frameworks, toolkits, and other bundles of code.

That said, "Oolong" seems even more promising: it's got the Object Oriented "oo" thing going, it implies 64 bit compatibility.

Non-english words for tea "chai" (Russian) or "cha" (Mandarin Chinese) are other good possibilities, being shorter. "Cha" could be an acronym for "C-Haskell Amalgam".

Hope said...

Chai would be good. Everyone loves chai, and it has a broader ethnic appeal. It is used not only in Russian, but also Iraq (and possibly other areas of the ME as well) and Africa, and now coming into use in North America and Europe.