JOHN MEANEY

15.6.11

WOT'S IN A NAME, INNIT?

Back in the day, one of my regular tasks while working for Big Software House was to accompany the salesman to potential clients for techie software products - things for which the users were software developers. The least technically interesting product was a version control system for IBM midrange kit. Nowadays, everyone uses version control software, but then, not a single company we visited had something like that in place - and I'm talking about the major retail banks!

Incidentally, when I worked for Skandia Life 30 years ago, we had version control software and code generators and lots of stuff that people take for granted now - it's just that we wrote the utilities in house.

So this wasn't all that interesting technically - it's just that whenever I set up the pilot, I'd begin by asking, "You do have source code for all your live production software, don't you?"

The answer was always yes, and I soon learned to snigger, but covertly. Not a single installation - in the banking sector - could find source code for every live program. Not one.

(They'd usually find a copy in a developer's environment that probably matched the compiled production program. But there would be some programs for which they had to create a dummy blank source file. Yikes. Your bank is running a program and they can't tell what it does... And before you say 'decompile' or 'run a trace', in that environment you couldn't: part of the proprietary security aspects of OS/400 and precursor OSs.)

Ah, the good old days...

So why the stroll down Memory Lane? I've noticed, by chance, geek wars between those who swear by a product called GIT, and those who would damn the former group to hell while pledging their allegiance to something called Subversion.

Now, I've never seen, touched or done anything else with either product. But. If you're going to flog a product in foreign markets, should you not do a little research regarding your product's name?

For non-Brits: in the UK, the word 'git' is normally preceded by the words: "You stupid..."

Ah, the weighty matters that I spend time pondering...

1 Comments:

Blogger Ramonster said...

;-) you should look up the original author of git, mr. Torvalds. I'm pretty sure he picked that name intentionally.

Ramon

July 17, 2011 at 8:41 PM  

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