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Java: What's in a name

Posted by calvinaustin on April 28, 2006 at 10:38 AM PDT

I read another blog entry complaining about the Java naming scheme. If that is the biggest issue with Java 5 today then I'm very happy. The complaint is that there are 3 names, Java 5, Java 1.5 and Tiger.

Well first let me tackle the Tiger bit. The Java codenames are all listed here. Tiger or 'Project Tiger' was the name used on a day to day basis, its a convenience instead of saying one point five point zero. The names are chosen as big animals (birds, mammals) for major releases (tiger, mustang) and little insects for maintenance releases. Graham Hamilton took this naming to heart and even launched a poll to decide on dolphin. The insects were all to be beneficial insects too, don't expect a Java roach to make an appearance any time soon.

The name mustang was initiated by a little in-joke by myself, both the product managers at the time drove a Ford Mustang. It wasn't hard to convince them that it was a good name.

The other numbering scheme was so nearly Java 2.0 for Java 1.2, Java 2000 was also on the table as it was the fad at the time. Who knows there may have been Java XP going down that road.

In all that time though the platform internal version has stayed consistent, we looked at how Solaris tackled this with SunOS versions and Solaris and decided the last people we wanted to upset were the developers who wrote code on the platform. Personally I think Java 5 as a name is at the right name at the right time.

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