Skip to main content

Naming project releases

Posted by kirillcool on August 29, 2006 at 4:26 PM PDT

I don't know about you, but i was saddened by the decision to drop internal names for JDK 6.0 and 7.0. Some time ago i even speculated on the possible names for 8.0 (which sparked quite a lively discussion on TSS). It could've been nice to have correctly predicted a name in advance...

Which brings me to the main topic - giving internal names for releases is fun. Especially when you get to choose the name. Last year one of my colleagues (long time no see, Yaniv) has objected to using internal names because they don't convey the release sequence. With numbering you know that 9.0 comes after 8.5.3 that comes after 8.4. But with names such as Cheetah, Puma, Jaguar or Leopard, there is no real way for an outsider to know the sequence. But it doesn't have to be this way...

The first Substance release to have an internal name (which is pretty funny definition, since i'm the only developer, so it's between me, myself and the guy i have to see every morning in the mirror) was the release 2.0. I decided to code-name it Dakota since it's a nice, short and not complicated name (unlike some of the names picked for JXTA. Come on guys, do you seriously expect people to use it?) When the time came for the next release and i started looking for a name, i remembered what Yaniv told me and then i suddenly realized (OK, too much second-hand watching the "Sex and the City" which is the must-see of my lovely wife) - Dakota starts with the fourth letter in English alphabet, and release 2.0 was the fourth release (after 1.0, 1.1 and 1.2). And so the dynasty was born :)

The next releases were named El Paso, Firenze, Grenada and Honolulu with Iowa, Japan and Kentucky planned in the future. This way, the releases are named consistently (geographic places i've never been to... Damn, i was in Firenze :), but still preserving the release sequence. For flamingo components i use Irish female names, with Aoife and Briana for existing versions and Caireann, Deirdre and Eilinora planned for the future (i know, JXTA guys, they're quite a mouthful as well). For laf-widget layer i use flower names, with Amaranth and Bluebottle for existing releases and Camellia, Daffodil and Eglantine planned for the future.

So, how do you choose the internal names for your releases?