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317 pointsthristian posted 2 months ago11 Comments
crucialfelix said 2 months ago:

This alone was worth opening the page:

> argonaut-* > (server-client distributed deployment infrastructure) for some of the package descriptions in the suite this name is a groan-inducingly obvious Greek-mythology pun, but others don't even mention that its message protocol is encoded in JavaScript Object Notation (JSON "Jason")

fbelzile said 2 months ago:

> mysql-* a Structured Query Language server named after the original developer's daughter "My" (cf. also mariadb)

Learned something new today... It's crazy to think how we take some of these technologies for granted while never stopping to think about the individual human beings that made it all possible to begin with.

Anyone know of a good podcast or website that does a deep dive into the history of how different computer technologies (esp open source ones) came to be the way they are?

OedipusRex said 2 months ago:

Whoever wrote this, hats off.

>chromium - web browsers on Linux spent a decade going through a cycle of slick new slimline web browsers gradually getting buried in creeping features until they were as weighed down with chrome grills and ornamental fins as a fifties US car, at which point everyone would switch to some new minimalist alternative. Meanwhile these GUI widgets came to be referred to as "chrome", which explains why Google would choose to advertise their browser as if it was manufactured entirely out of deadweight bling...

tadzik_ said 2 months ago:

One interesting bit that I found missing on that page is ncmpcpp, which is a simple one (in a way), and also contains its entire genealogy in the name.

First there was mpc, the music player (daemon) client.

Then someone made the ncurses version, so of course that was named ncmpc.

Then someone decided to add more features and rewrite it in C++, and voila.

mothsonasloth said 2 months ago:

Forgive me if this is a bit morbid, but we are lucky as computer scientists and engineers to have a largely "living history" over the last century of innovation.

Documentation is great in some respects but we should try and go out of our way to interact and cherish the pioneers of early computing more before they pass on.

What do I mean by "more"; when we have forums, mailgroups, IRC, conferences etc.?

I guess more books, more interviews and more documentation.

One thing I like to do with junior developers is when I see them using a terminal command that they just copy and pasted from stackoverflow, I try and coach them to read up about it on manpages or documentation online, so they can get a better feel of what the history was behind that tool.

eximius said 2 months ago:

Incredibly ironic that Debian is missing from this page.

nailer said 2 months ago:

Missing 'dd'

'dd' stands for copy and convert.

'cc' was taken by the C compiler.

dredmorbius said 2 months ago:


'dd' is a JCL utility from IBM mainframes. Both the Unix command name and syntax are directly lifted from the mainframe version of the ... data definition ... utility.




dfox said 2 months ago:

DD in JCL is not an utility, but keyword. Its functionality is something between shell's IO redirection and mounting volumes inside docker containers. The syntax itself is not that obscure in the context of JCL and IBM OSes.

nailer said 2 months ago:

I stand corrected (for those following, the second link above is by Dennis Ritchie himself).

abjKT26nO8 said 2 months ago:

> Apache-Licensed PINE, where pine was the old (non-DFSG-free) "Program for Internet News and E-mail" - formerly known as "Pine Is Nearly Elm", named after a yet older electronic mail program. Nowadays contains its fork realpine, which the developers insist is re-alpine (alpine development restarted, since the original team seems to not be doing much) and not real-pine…

Ok, I guess…?