Start of a Java OSS name drought?

Marius is quite certain that his new alpha GPL project called Jini is not IRC is a good name. The fact that it has been listed as Jini on freshmeat and is packaged as jini also, make it probably not a very good name. It might be quite a good IRC client in the end, so I don't want to knock the project. But is this a sign that we are running out of OSS names?

The classic Java OSS naming conventions are getting quite well used now. I am talking about:

  • j[something]

  • [something]4j

  • Java[something]

And most meaningful words to substitute for something have been used. e.g. jLog, log4j and JavaLog.

I don't think that we will ever run out of names. And some names will eventually get re-used (Jini is in use Marius). But there may be a lack of unique representative names in some topic areas. There are a couple of ways to handle the name drought.

  1. Create an official OSS name registry, to prevent duplicates and speed up name re-use.

  2. Have a more structured naming scheme - org.java.logging.myspecialframework project

I don't actually like any of these suggestions. There are some advantages to having an official registry, things like trademarking. Project owners would be discouraged from naming projects things like 'MicrosoftWord4j' while with the help of funding protected from the reverse - commercial name hijacking. Offensive names could be weeded out too.

Sourceforge (and the osdn in general) could probably be considered as the master list of OSS projects; but there is not a 100% coverage, particularly in areas of Sun's technology and Apache's projects.

I would be interested in hearing about any suggestions for Java naming conventions for OSS projects, or any comments on the idea of a registry.


Anonymous said...

How about putting the license acronym in the name:


Anonymous said...

See http://mrfeinberg.com/blog/archives/000012.html

straun said...

j[whatever] is a start.
Don't be too hard, the Java community should never be harsh.
The balance is to encourage the rough stuff, just in case there is a diamond on the verge of being exposed.
How many times have experienced J2EE people gone, "that reminds me of" or "my tutor at uni was telling me about that".
So much is re-invented, there is not much that we can do to stop people having the revelation of a new wheel, but we can make it damn obvious that someone has "been there" and "done that".
In evidence I highlight the Ada rendezvous, exhibit ancient but still better than anything a la now.

Gaby de Wilde said...

But... but... I found this post searching for IRC. :P