[SciPy-User] Naming Conventions
Wed Sep 5 16:41:58 CDT 2012
Naming Criteria and Their Application
1. On Criteria for Names: Names are so terribly important. But just saying
you “like” a name means nothing without reasons why it’s valued more than
others. Valuing one name over another requires careful, objective, and
thoughtful weighing of the reasons one name is preferred over another. That
requires formally applying some very explicit evaluation criteria/desiderata
that are as objective as possible. Those that appear to me to be useful are
listed below. They’re not listed in any particular order and you may add your
own as you see fit. The “uniqueness” criterion is pretty objective, while the
rest are largely but not entirely objective. The criteria for names are:
1.1. Unique: Cannot use any trademarked or propriety names, and must avoid names
easily confused with similar words commonly used in a different sense.
1.2. Memorable. Short; easily pronounced; easily remembered.
1.3. Attractive. Draws the reader's eye; stimulates interest; encourages
learning more about the thing named.
1.4. Informative. Clearly indicates what the name refers to.
1.5. Positive. Has strong positive connotations. Avoid negative
connotations, as well as names easily parodied to become objects of derision
(as happened to Microsoft’s “Back Office”).
2. Application of These Criteria to Some Suggested Names:
2.1. KnowPy. Not informative. Could be a knowledge-base program or a primer
2.2. MatSysPy. Not unique enough. Conflicts with existing “Matsys
Corporation” and the “MATSYS” home design company names.
2.3. NumLab. Not unique. Conflicts with the “NumLab” scripting language.
2.4. PyCraft. Not unique. Conflicts with “Pycraft Legal Services” of St. Augustine, FL,
and with the “PyCraft open-source game engine” under development elsewhere. It’s
also not informative – could refer to arts-and-crafts stuff like needlepoint.
2.5. PyEngine. Not unique. Conflicts with Mango’s “PyEngine” and many
others.It’’s also not informative – could
refer to automotive engines.
2.6. PyLab. Not unique. Well-known conflicts. (But one writer has suggested
these might be resolvable!?)
2.7. PyScis. Not unique enough. As noted by the proposer, it can be confused
with PySCeS and PySci, two unrelated Python projects. Also has a negative
connotation if pronounced like “pisces” (suggesting that this is a either fishy,
suspect thingy or parodied as just “pieces”).
2.8. SciER. Not unique. Conflicts with “SCIER - A technological simulation
platform to managing natural resources”. May also conflict with http://www.scier.eu/. May also
connote medical science applications.
2.9. SciMatPy. Not unique enough. Numerous conflicts with “SciMat”.
2.10. SciGnosis. Not unique. Numerous conflicts, including the “SCI GNOSIS”
company in Fance.
2.11. PyGnosis. Not unique enough. Conflicts with “Psygnosis Games”. Unfortunate
parody to “pig nose”.
2.12. Sciome. Not unique. Conflicts with the “SCIOME - Enabling Science via
Analytical Informatics” company. Negative connotation and derisive parody if
pronounced “Sigh!! Oh me!!!”
2.13. ScioSphere. Not unique. Numerous conflicts with existing usages.
2.14. SciPac. Not unique. Conflicts with the “SCIPAC” chemical reagent
2.15. SciPyPlus. I’d evaluate its criteria as follows:
2.15.1. It’s unique and not likely to be confused with or conflict with other
(possibly trademarked) names.
2.15.2. It’s short, and rather easily pronounced.
2.15.3. It’s attractive. Does draw attention. Does stimulate interest.
Has the advantage of levering off SciPy’s current name and reputation.
2.15.4. It’s informative – obviously it refers to something more/better/newer/larger
than SciPy alone.
2.15.5. It does have a positive connotation – more is better!
2.16. Scipy-base. Not unique enough. Conflicts with existing numpy/base and
scipy/base module names.
2.17. SciPyLab. Not unique enough. Too easily confused with “SciLab”, an “open
source, cross-platform numerical computational package and a high-level,
numerically oriented programming language.” Not as easily pronounced as
2.18. SkeiPy. Non-informative. What this refers to is not obvious at first
glance. Possible parody as “sky-pie, pie-in-the=sky.” Possible confusion with
“Skype,” especially in oral communication.
2.19. UniPy. Not unique enough; too easily confused with various “UniPay”
financial payment services. Not informative; literally means “one Py”, whatever that might be.
3. The best out of this list seems to be SciPyPlus, firmly based on the
4. Are there better names, and how do they compare to SciPyPlus’s rating on
the same criteria/desiderata?
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