Jul 2014

Top 10 Greatest Names for Software Tools

Here is my annual list on the top 10 most perfectly, awesomely, aptly named software tools. Without further ado:

10. Heroku

Ok. I can hear the call-outs already. I admit I am incredibly biased on this one. But to me, it really is my Hero, and its ease of use really is poetry. I mean, does anyone deploy via ftp anymore?

9. Guard

This gem was masterfully named. I mean. I literally tell him to watch my rails app, and don't let anything happen to it. Of course, he's standing guard against me, the developer, so maybe there was room for improvement.

8. CouchDB

Who wants all the hassle of maintaining and developing a database. For me, CouchDB catches the epitome of NoSQL. I'm building something here I don't need to be slowed down with writing Schemas.


Sorry, I probably find this one just a bit too comedic. I've known YAML as hilariously acronymed 'Yet Another Markup Language' but according to Wikipedia, it gets even better. Some people decided YAML is incredibly useful in data-processing and doesn't deserve the markup stigma, so let's own it as "YAML Aint Markup Language". Either way, I like it.

6. CakePHP

When I first started with web development as a PHP developer, I was completely foreign, and probably afraid of the idea of a framework. So, when I was told it was time to start using one, based off name alone I had a craving for CakePHP. What is a Zend anyway!?

5. Cupcake

Maybe I have a sweet tooth. But, as a group, the Android OS's, named after desserts, have the greatest naming convention that I have ever heard of. I choose Cupcake because it came first and whoever had the foresight to start this convention is absolutely brilliant! Picking a favorite would be difficult, least favorite... not that hard.

4. Paperclip

To be honest, I've never actually worked with Paperclip, but when it came up as a file attachment gem, I though what is more aptly named than that. Bravo Paperclip. Staple would have been to harsh.

3. Github

Github has become the de facto option for storing source code/git repositories. Usually, I'm not a fan of nuancing names to benefit a commercial product, but this one seems pretty harmonious. In fact, as a BitBucket user, I've had nothing but wonderful experiences, and how could you not enjoy the free option to keep some code private. But Github reigns supreme, and I can't help but feel like its not at least a little due to the name.

2. Linux

I know. This is a cheesy one, but The Man, The Myth, The Legend. I think we can all agree that "Freax" would have been quite a horrid name. In fact, I think he really screwed up not naming that other tool he madeLinit.

1. Grunt

I mean, what better name for the tool that you use to do everything. Just set him to work. Build my directories, minify my files, update my path references, start my server, run my tests, and do some other stuff because I feel like it. But more than that, what I really love about the name Grunt, is that it seems to imply a head-to-the-ground work ethic, in that everything gets done, but maybe not in the best possible way. Alot of grunt seems like a bit of a hack, but thats just how awesome it is.

The poorly named

Unfortunately, some software tools are not so greatly named, and I just can't finish the post without letting em have it. Honeycomb

What a terrible Android iteration. Did not make my mouth water in the slightest. This is the only one I have a problem with, maybe its not rational.


I know a developer learns early enough to disentangle this from Java, but I've had too many talks with people who are not familiar that sparks the confusion. They usually end up with something like "Java... that's it. Or no Javascript.. I don't know. One of the two". It just seems so simple to avoid.

Of course, I apologize if I missed some great names. I probably have yet to get a chance to use them, write a scathing review and I'll be sure to include them in next year's edition.