[SciPy-User] Naming Conventions

Thomas Kluyver takowl@gmail....
Wed Sep 5 17:53:17 CDT 2012


On 5 September 2012 22:41, The Helmbolds <helmrp@yahoo.com> wrote:
> 1.4. Informative. Clearly indicates what the name refers to.

I'd definitely disagree with this: too many bland, uninspiring names
come from attempts to squash a description into a name. Think of the
most familiar or popular brands: it's hardly ever possible to relate
the name to what they do. Python, Linux, Google, Apple, McDonalds...
There are occasional counterexamples, like Microsoft or KFC, but a
name certainly doesn't need to be descriptive.

> 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”).

There were quite a few jokes about feminine hygiene products when
Apple announced the iPad. I think the product matters more than the
humour value of the name. And parody isn't necessarily a bad thing:
witness all the free publicity Mastercard has got from parodies of the
'priceless' ads. Although there are names that it's worth avoiding -
I've heard rumours that an obstacle for the GIMP is that it's awkward
to discuss it in formal contexts.

> 2.6. PyLab. Not unique. Well-known conflicts. (But one writer has suggested these might be resolvable!?)

Its existing uses are somewhat similar to the new proposal, and it's a
name that this community already 'owns', in that the most familiar
uses of it relate to our software. So we could repurpose it a bit.
Inevitably there would be some confusion, but it could also work to
our advantage - we don't need to get everyone used to a new name.

> 2.15.3. It’s attractive. [SciPyPlus]

I don't think attractiveness is something one person can definitively
decide. I don't much care for that name, for instance.

SciPyPlus sounds like a fork of scipy, and even past that it invites
confusion ("SciPyPlus? I don't think I need anything complicated,
maybe I should go and look for SciPy, that ought to be simpler while I
get started. I'll look at the 'Plus' bits later." - user returns to
all the complexity we were trying to save her from).

Thanks,
Thomas


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