main ... archive ... Scribbles ... directory ... about Last modified on 8/10/08; 5:35:16 PM Central

Steve's Scribbles...

On the Naming of Software

Are all the good names taken? In a crowded category, maybe...

Tuesday, July 14, 1998

So I've got this software I'm working on (Frontier-based, so it'll be MacOS and Windows compatible) which makes constructing complex systems of several different kinds of web forms quite a bit easier to do, with no coding required on the part of the form maker (unless they really want to). No Java, no JavaScript, just ... well ... I don't want to give it away just yet...

But I've been thinking about what I would call such a thing. My first favorite name was/is InstaForm (because though it doesn't make form construction instantaneous, once the HTML form is written it just works without all the overhead of the programming time -- much time saved), but of course someone's already got a product named that. PolyForm? Taken by Oracle. QuickForm, DiversiForm, VariForm, ManiForm, all taken (not necessarily by other computing products, but by products in other fields where you'd have to fight a copyright anyway).

So what if you put 'Form' first? Then, of course, it's too easy to bump into another software company's naming convention, i.e. FormShop, FormMaker, FormSmith, FormMill, etc. A lot of decent names are taken!

I could take a really boring name that multiple people are probably already using like FormPro, FormIt, EZForm, MakeForm, RapidForm, etc. Bleah.

I don't want to make the name too long (since the form writer will have to use it in the form a few times), so RapidDevelopmentForm is a bit much.

RapidFormDev? Ugly.

If I were to use my own naming convention for the other software I'm going to be cooking up sometime, TableFutz, this would be FormFutz. But that doesn't sound very good -- too many F's and too many consonants in the same place. Go ahead, say 'rmf' out loud. Doesn't work.

So here are the ones I've so far come up with that A) don't appear to be used, B) aren't too close to someone else's naming convention, C) sound okay as words and D) don't make me gag:

FormHand (like farmhand, see? Um...maybe not...)
and my current favorite: FormJack (as in lumberjack, steeljack, jack-of-all-trades, Jack Nicholson, and jackhammer. Not as in hijack, carjack, or jack ***t).
I could live with FormJack. But I sure did like InstaForm...

Feel free to send me your ideas too, or comment on these...

(P.S. I sent the apparent owners of the InstaForm name an e-mail inquiring about the possibility of using it for something like this. I'm not holding my breath.)

As always, for more news, pointers & commentary, see Steve Bogart's home page.

Handy Official Disclaimer: Steve's Scribbles are my own personal work and not meant to be taken as official Olin School of Business pronouncements. They are, however, © Steve Bogart (original publication date is at the top of each Scribble).
main ... archive ... Scribbles ... directory ... about
Built with BBEdit and Frontier