Thursday, February 28, 2008

Whinning about Microsoft's Inept Naming Schemes

While searching on O'Reilly's code search site this morning, I was reminded how Microsoft chooses unfortunate names for products. My initial problem was searching for code in C# relating to the ICollection interface. I entered the category as "C#":

cat:c# icollection

and got returned a bunch of code snippets on C, C++, and C#. What I needed to say was,

cat:csharp icollection

The problem with "C#" is that it doesn't really play well with search. I can see the cute progression of C, C++, and the the musical incrementation with C#, but it's a pain in search. I can understand a non-technical marketing person (with a degree in music) selecting the name, but a technical company? Sun did a nice job selecting "java" as the final name for the language - it's a real word, but a little obscure. Why couldn't Microsoft select something like "jasper" or some obscure tea name?

And selecting ".Net" as the name of a framework? Isn't ".net" a top level domain? And how do you search for something with a dot in front of it? Don't search engines strip out obscure characters?

And while I'm at it, what sense does it make to name your operating systems, Windows 3.1, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 2000, NT, XP, then Vista?
Please, use version numbers, or years, or code names, but don't mix them - it gives a sense of purposeless wandering.

Ok, I feel better now - back to ICollection.

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