30 overused software naming techniques

I am gradually filling Appnews with more and more software titles. And when you see so many software titles together it can really hit you how clever (or dumb) and common (or dumb) the art of naming software had become.

So I present you my biased list of overused software naming techniques. :)

  • Free … – we have good common sense and know how to use Google.
  • i… – we like Apple OR really naive.
  • g… – Google related OR our company starts with g (and we can’t change it).
  • Y… – Yahoo uses bigger letter (and no one else uses Y).
  • [greek letter]… – it looks cool and we chuckle imaging users trying to type it.
  • Web… – doesn’t work offline.
  • Open… – we are proudly open source enthusiasts OR it opens something.
  • Vista … – we are too small for Microsoft to notice OR we had been unfortunate to name it this five years before Vista.
  • Win7 … – we are cashing on the hype.
  • Does This – it does this and we don’t care there are already five Does This software products from other companies.
  • Something Weird – we don’t care you don’t get it.
  • Our Company … – we have branded software lineup OR we got hundred (thousands) emails from users asking support for one of five others Does This products.
  • Other Compa … – someone did work for us and kindly provided API.
  • Pro – sounds cool OR does things we hacked from crippled free version.
  • Lite – less then Pro.
  • Portable – it is portable OR we heard people like portable and made something that barely works without installation.
  • U3 – we are providing version for people who bought U3 flash drive but still don’t get what portable is.
  • .NET – we hadn’t bothered to make it work without framework.
  • XP – we think it sounds cool but don’t quite get what it means.
  • 95 – we dropped it long ago.
  • 2000 – seemed cool in 2000 OR marketing had a say in 95.
  • 2015 – marketing had a say.
  • [year].[month] – we got tired of tracking builds OR hey, this works good for Ubuntu.
  • version 0.X – it will work (some day) OR we are chasing perfection (for 10 years already).
  • version 0.9X – we are afraid to commit.
  • version X – we are working on it.
  • version X.X – we are actively working on it.
  • version X.X.XXXXX.XX – we use fancy software build tracking and want world to know.
  • Alpha – we are not seriously thinking this is usable.
  • Beta – this is beta OR it’s kind cool to call it beta, we get away when users suffer data loss from bugs and it works good for Google.
  • RC – boss demanded to release final version at last.

Ouch, this looks more mean than I planned to. :)

Know a technique I missed? Share it in the comments.

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  • Alek Davis #

    Here are some more: Enterprise - ...we can charge twice the price for extra 1% of functionality. Sme mssing vwls - ...we also want to sound like Flickr. SATOWKHTD - ...some abreviation that only we know how to decipher.
  • Rarst #

    @Alek Davis Good catch with enterprise. I wanted to include web20ish naming but it was hard to generalize and fit with rest of list. Thanks for input! I am thinking should I add it to post (with full credit and link love of course), will decide later (depending how comments go). :)
  • Alek Davis #

    Feel free to add it to the post, just fix the typos ("abreviation": I noticed after hitting the Submit button). Don't worry about credit and linking.
  • Alek Davis #

    BTW, "Portable" often means: "we would've given you an installer if we know how to write one."
  • Rarst #

    @Alek Davis I am not big fan of installers. My favorite is portable executable that offers to "install" (shortcuts, placement of configuration files) on first run. It's a pity very few apps work this way.
  • Alek Davis #

    But you would still need to remove the shortcuts, configuration files, etc by hand once you "uninstall" the app. I try lots of software (most of which I end up not using), and having all of this leftover crap around my file system is a pain. I would rather have installer create shortcuts, configuration files, etc and uninstaller have them removed instead of doing this manually (and how in the world would I know where the files are, since many of them do not follow a standard convention: some create files in AppData folder, others in the program folder, etc). I wish apps offered two options (and some do): portable version and a version with installer.
  • Rarst #

    @Alek Davis As for me killing folder with portable executable and configuration files is simpler than uninstall (I do not use shortcuts). It too true about configuration files all over drive after install (and who said unsinstall would bother with them at all) that's exactly why portable rocks - it is contained. By the way portable executable with install routine I described above could easily contain uninstall routine as well. Overall I am trying to say that it is possible to make portable act as installable but impossible to make installable act as portable.
  • Alek Davis #

  • szekelya #

    NoSpacesButAllWordsCapitalized - looks trendy Randomname2 - pity you missed the first one, but this is tad better Whatever! - if yahoo got away with the exclamation mark...
  • Rarst #

    @szekelya I think no spaces is more practical than trendy. Maybe I just have more trust in filenames without spaces, looks better in download links as well. Randomname2 - you mean some that start from versioninng from two? :) Yeah, that is so weird. I considered exclamation mark but luckily it is quite rare. On other hand also quite lame. Thanks for your input and glad to see you commenting again. :)
  • szekelya #

    I mean if the binary is called MyApplicationSolvingAllYourComputingNeeds.exe without spaces, that's fine. Could be even better with lowercase characters. But I'm not sure I'm happy with "MyPhoneExplorer" or "InfraRecorder" in my startmenu without the spaces. (The applications themselves are terrific.) Either without capitalization or with spaces between the words, while their exe can be without spaces.
  • Rarst #

    @szekelya I have noticed that if official name has spaces but official download doesn't - it confuses people all the time. Instead of single consistent naming there is suddenly - with-spaces - without-spaces - based-on-without-spaces-with-creatively-added-spaces I guess it's more about sticking with single variant than about spaces. And again - I don't use shortcuts or start menu, more of executables person. :)
  • Rick #

    Rarst, Very nice article... Took some time to put that list together and "how true this is"... Great Post! Rick
  • Rarst #

    @Rick Thanks. :) Actually I intended to do short one like ~10 but once I started typing them out it escalated. I do not do humor posts often so they are nice change of pace, heh.
  • Panos #

    I believe you should reconsider your RC definition as OpenOffice set a new record here -- RC10 and going. I wonder if they'll go for a Guinness.
  • Rarst #

    @Panos OpenOffice seems to be in tough spot at moment with LibreOffice appealing against "big evil Oracle". I wonder how will it play out over next couple of years.