Friday, March 5, 2004

What's in a name?

Danny posted the following tidbit of info about some naming decisions:

From: "Danny Thorpe"
Newsgroups: borland.public.delphi.non-technical
Subject: Re: Why VCL for .NET?
Date: Thu, 4 Mar 2004 23:57:02 -0800

"USCode" wrote
> Instead they choose "Kylix" .... which makes me think maybe Borland was
> unsure internally on the success of the Kylix product and didn't want to
> tarnish the Delphi name ...

Actually, you've got it backwards. The name change was an effort to shed the weight of industry bias against the Delphi name. One of the biggest challenges with having a long-running successful product like Delphi is that people won't look at it for what it is today, they cling to their first impressions - or just hearsay - of the product 10 years ago.

We went through a similar process when transforming Turbo Pascal into what became the Delphi product. The industry didn't want to hear about anything Pascal, especially the trade press. If your audience tunes out as soon as they see the name (because they associate the name with homework 20 years earlier), the demo is over.

Kylix was a new development tool for a new and growing Linux market. The concern was that using the name of a well-known Windows development tool for a Linux product would hinder acceptance of the tool in Linux circles. The Linux world is hypersensitive to all things Windows, so a Windows tool popping up on sacred Linux ground would not be welcome. Kylix needed to stand on its own, so it got its own name.

While I understood the reasoning, I wasn't thrilled with the decision. For proof, count how many times the word "Kylix" appears in the dcc command line compiler executable. :>


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