Friday May 18, 2007

Cool Technology Names

The INQUIRER is running a list of the "top 10 greatest ever technology names". Sounds like it should be a fun little read, doesn't it?

Well, I found it disappointing. It was nice to see Sun included (#5), but overall their list seemed pretty weak. With just a couple minutes of thought, I think I have a list that beats theirs (though I won't try to order mine or give it exactly ten entries). Here goes...

  • Eclipse. Of course, I don't like to see anyone taking a slap at my employer. But if you're going to do it, you might as well be clever about it.
  • Apache. Your project starts out as a collection of patches for NCSA's HTTPD code. So you end up naming yourself Apache (as in "a patchy web server"). Not bad.
  • GlassFish. Okay, I'm part of this project and I'm biased. But I really do love the name. After years of criticism for not making the evolution and development of Java sufficiently open and visible, Sun names its open source Java EE project after an animal which is literally defined by its transparency. How cool is that?
  • Niagara. It's officially just the code name, but could there possibly be a more elegant way to describe Sun's chip multithreading processors? If you've ever been to a presentation about Niagara, you may have seen a slide which compares traditional processors and CMT processors using pictures of different waterfalls. A traditional processor is like a very fast waterfall that's only a few feet wide, whereas a CMT processor is like Niagara Falls--slower moving, but extremely wide. If you're just trying to get one or two things done (over the falls), the fast and narrow waterfall is great. But if you need to move a bunch of things at once, you want the Niagara. Like I said: elegant.
  • UNIX. It set a standard for poking fun at a predecessor (as in "one of whatever Multics was many of").
  • GNU. It may not be the catchiest name around, but you have to respect the whole recursive acronym thing. What's GNU? GNU's Not Unix. Right, but what's GNU? GNU's Not Unix. But what's GNU? ... Abbott and Costello would be proud.

Anyhow... Those are some cool names which came to mind for me. What's on your list?

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woodjr

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