Software Development

What’s in a name : Reason behind naming of few great projects

Ever wondered about how the project , framework or product names are coined ? Why the particular name , what does it mean.Why name hibernate or hadoop or mule. Whenever i came across a new technology or framework , first i search the meaning of the name, sometimes, it gives a fairly good idea about what the product is about, thus giving you a better understanding about the technology, and sometimes it has some interesting and funny stories behind the naming. I have collected some famous projects and reasoning behind the names.

Why name GIT :

According to WikiPedia:

Linus Torvalds[The creator of git] has quipped about the name git, which is Irish slang for a child born out of wedlock, and British English slang for a stupid or unpleasant person. Torvalds said: ‘I’m an egotistical bastard, and I name all my projects after myself. First ‘Linux’, now ‘git’.’The man page describes git as ‘the stupid content tracker’

Why Name Android:

Meaning of Android is ‘(in science fiction) A robot with a human appearance. all the android versions[Jelly Bean,Ice Cream Sandwich,Honeycomb,Gingerbread,Froyo,Eclair,Donut] till date , are named after popular sweets.

Why Name Hibernate:

Its name seems logical because hibernate mean ‘ Remain inactive or indoors for an extended period’. Similarly the hibernate entities remains inactive for the period they are in database. There is no official reason about naming. Source

Why Name Spring :

According to Blog by Rod Johnson spring was coded with name ‘Interface21 framework’ , but later changed to spring suggested by yann . The reason was one is association to nature and two it represents a fresh start after the “winter’ of traditional J2EE.

Why Name Mule:

Mule is a popular ESB provider.Here is the quote as to why it is named as mule:

“After working on a couple of systems, I found that there was a lot of infrastructure work to be done. I regard this infrastructure work as “donkey work” as it needs doing for ev- ery project. I preferred Mule over Donkey and Ass just didn’t seem right. A Mule is also commonly referred to as a carrier of load, moving it from one place to another. The load we specialize in moving is your enterprise information.” —Ross Mason, CTO & Co-Founder, MuleSource Inc.

Why Name Hadoop:

Hadoop was created by Doug Cutting and Michael J. Cafarella.Doug, who was working at Yahoo at the time,[8] named it after his son’s toy elephant. Source

Why name Camel

Listing few reason which are there on Apache camel site :

  • A Camel can travel for great distances without water; similarly a Camel does not require bucket loads of XML
  • A Camel looks really funny when its running, like most of the team
  • Don’t get lost in a desert of XML config files, get Camel!
  • Some members of the team used to love Camel cigarettes!

Why name Tomcat

Tomcat started off as a servlet reference implementation by James Duncan Davidson.He wanted to name the project after an animal. He came up with Tomcat since he reasoned the animal represented something that could fend for itself.Catalina is Tomcat’s servlet container .Coyote is Tomcat’s HTTP Connector component.Jasper is Tomcat’s JSP Engine. Source

Why name Apache

The name ‘Apache’ was chosen from respect for the various Native American nations collectively referred to as Apache, well-known for their superior skills in warfare strategy and their inexhaustible endurance.The group of developers who released this new software soon started to call themselves the ‘Apache Group’. Source

Apart from this , various java releases project names are based on mammels and birds while minor release names are based on insects[because they are bug fixes releases ].Java 5 release was named as Tiger , Java 6 as Mustang and java 7 as Dolphin Source.

Reference: What’s in a name : Reason behind naming of few great projects from our JCG partner Abhishek Somani at the Java , J2EE , Server blog.

Abhishek Somani

Abhishek is working as a senior java developer in a product start up .He has worked on various java related enterprise applications and frameworks. He loves to explore new technologies
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