Monday, October 23, 2006

Linux software naming is getting out of hand

I' ve been using computers since I have memory. It all started with a TRS-80 Mod III, so I have quite a lot of memories from every OS and software configuration, from CP/M, Commodore's Basic, AmigaDOS, Workbench, DR-DOS, Windows 3.1, OS/2, the Workplace Shell, Linux 2.2, Windows 98, Windows NT 4.0, Win2k, WinXP, Gnome, JDS Linux, Solaris x86, etc...

So... I have little space in my brain for new stupid acronyms and silly product names. Lately, I've grown increasingly fed up with the silly 3-letter or at best 4-letter names of open source utilities, APIs and products. When they don't name something 'ufck' (I made this one up to mean 'ugly f*ck'), they make up completely bogus names just because they sound 'nice' and giving no idea of the function of the software.

Increasingly rare exceptions are 'gconf-editor' -Gnome configuration editor- or 'gpdf' -a PDF viewer-, or 'system-config-soundcard', which needs no further explanation, and are a rare pleasure.

But that's not the trend. The trend seems to be to 'never name something for the function it does'... no, some developers would never name something 'runasroot' or 'gnome-visualprompt' or 'filesystem-hook', or 'linux-hardwaredetector', no, they create things like Gksu -about whose naming I complained over here, or the Red Hat "new hardware detector", dubbed "Kudzu", the name of which I keep forgetting and just refer to as "that RedHat thing with Japanese sounding name that detects hardware changes".

And if that wasn't enough, here comes yet another Open Source piece of code with a japanese sounding name that is also similar to Kudzu, just to destroy and wreck any chances I could have of remembering which one is the one: Dazuko, the 3rd party library for file-access control.

Couldn't they just name it linux "fileaccess-control-api", "open-filecontrol", "open-file-access api", "log-filesystem-access"?? No... DAZUKO. Sheesh!

I don't know, maybe I'm 32 and getting too old to remember this craziness of Gksu, Kudzu and Dazuko...

What's next? Keiretsu for a calculator?