On 2006-07-21, Jeff Pritchard <jp / jeffpritchard.com> wrote:
> Is it just me, or do other Rubyists find it difficult to remember what a 
> whimsically named module or plug-in was called that they saw on this or 
> some other forum just last week.  I've only been into Ruby for a few 
> months now, and in that time I've seen probably a hundred announcements 
> for cool new code that I can drop into my projects to do cool new things 
> that otherwise would not have been worth the trouble...
>
> ..I've also, a few hundred times, seen an announcement a few days or 
> weeks later announcing the next version of something I've heard of 
> before, and had absolutely no faintest recollection of what said module 
> or plugin does.

I agree with the other posters that such naming of software packages is
fine.  A descriptive name is awkward and will tend to be too long to
be practical.  (Naming a module or a class, on the other hand, is a
completely different issue where finding a short, descriptive, accurate
name is critical.)

But there is a simple solution to the problem you point out above:
Simply establish a protocol/process in which every announcement about a
package always includes, near the beginning of the announcement, a short
description of what the package does.  This also applies to the home
page of such packages.  (Or, alternatively, there should be an obvious
"about X" link for package X.)  This is common sense and people should
be doing this anyway.  IMO, this is what you should be asking for.

I admit that I occasionally get irritated reading a post about a new
release of library FOO and have no idea what FOO is for (and don't want to
take the time to browse its web site to see what it does).  But my complaint
in these cases is not about the name, it's about the lack of common sense
of not including a short description of the package.

>
> Just to name a few in no particular order:
> Juggernaut, Capistrano, ferret, Mongoose, Curses, RMajic, Selenium, 
> BlueCloth, ozimodo, Mechanize,Korundum, Nitro, Mongrel
>
> You get the idea.  How is one supposed to remember these names long 
> enough to find a use for said jewel and become more familiar with it. 
> Instead, one finds a use for something he's seen before and finds it 
> nearly impossible to find the module again due to the cleverly disguised 
> name chosen by it's author.
>
> There are a zillion examples of things that are better named, like the 
> "acts_as_authenticated" plugin I'm looking at now.  It may not seem very 
> original, but I can sure find it when I need it.
>
> Just food for thought for the many great people cooking up the next 
> batch of great stuff to plug in to my projects...
>
> thanks for listening,
> jp
>


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