Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Naming Of Apps

Here's an interesting dilemma. The program '/usr/bin/pip' exists in three Debian packages: pip, python-pip, and rt-tests. What to do about it, is being discussed in this bug report. The third package has already resolved the conflict. The first which is the oldest, is written in Perl, while the second is in Python (obviously). Curiously, both are installation programs for their respective languages. I can hear Myles muttering, "Just dump the Perl one!" ^_^

It goes to show you how careful one must be when naming an application. The obvious names are all taken so it take more effort to come up with something cool. But I'm lazy, so I just started using names that start with "toms", like tomstv, even if I have no plans to release the software. It's kind of silly but I've never Googled a clash yet. Except that Google isn't much help if the pre-existing program's rating is so low, that it doesn't show up in a search. Which was exactly how the creator of Python pip, Ian Bicking, missed Perl pip when doing his research.

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