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Google Under Fire For Calling Their Language "Go"

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the rename-it-to-proceed-with-caution dept.

Google 512

Norsefire writes "Since releasing the 'Go' programming language on Tuesday, Google has been under fire for using the same name as another programming language that was first publicly documented in 2003. 'Go!' was created by Francis McCabe and Keith Clark. McCabe published a book about the language in 2007, and he is not happy. He told InformationWeek in an email: 'I do not have a trademark on my language. It was intended as a somewhat non-commercial language in the tradition of logic programming languages. It is in the tradition of languages like Prolog. In particular, my motivation was bringing some of the discipline of software engineering to logic programming.'"

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Go! (4, Informative)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30071650)

It's actually pretty funny Google itself didn't see this coming. Results in Google for go programming language [google.com] are about the existing Go! language and the main developers book about it.

In this case Google should really change the name since its been used in an existing programming language for years. But maybe they are:

"We recently became aware of the Go! issue and are now looking into the matter further," a company spokesperson said in an e-mail.

Re:Go! (5, Funny)

msh104 (620136) | more than 4 years ago | (#30071680)

Even more funny is the fact that they hosting their language on code.google.com
Perhaps we shouldn't worry that much about them harvesting our data after all?

Re:Go! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30071682)

No one saw it coming. Including you reading this. Even the wikipedia article was created just yesterday.

The fact I toiled in my basement crafting a virtual machine language 20 years ago, glanced at my cup, and decided to call it java, doesn't me Sun should even give a damn my ego was bruised.

Re:Go! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30071728)

No one saw it coming. Including you reading this. Even the wikipedia article was created just yesterday.

Yeah its not like it happened with Gmail or anything.

Re:Go! (1)

pnblake (1677170) | more than 4 years ago | (#30071700)

What are the chances that they change the name?

Re:Go! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30071824)

I'd say pretty good.

Who would want their language associated with something that seems to combine the worst syntax annoyances of C with the ungodly mess that Perl can sometimes be..

Re:Go! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30071836)

they shoulda just called it 'gog'
at least it'd have been different
a buzzword capable simply spelt name
that only takes 3 characters

*facepalm*

-D

Re:Go! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30072118)

They should call it "Go: Advanced Technology (Second Edition)".

Re:Go! (5, Funny)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 4 years ago | (#30071884)

from the article:

There once was a language named "Go"
By Google it's made to help the Pro
But there's a claim the name
it sounds quite the same
as another fellow's lingo

This other lingo named "Go!"
"It was earlier" it's inventor says so.
"Why didn't you look
on a webpage or in my book,
it's even google search result two!"

"So Google, rename your thing!
Or in front of a judge you i bring!
Lots of users agree
it was disgraceful by thee
just be sorry and give me a ring!"

So the question arise
allthough google might despise
"what new name shall we be giving
to the lingo that's not yet living
and has not yet seen this world with it's own eyes?"

One fella proposed the name "Goo"
Which is similar to pythons clone "Boo"
But also this name is taken
and not yet forsaken
and honestly sounds close to "Poo".

Another said "Lango" is cool,
He would take such thing as a tool.
But a lingo named "Lango"
Only rhymes "Jango" or "Tango"
This is real, not Star Wars, you fool!

Lots of other names were called
some were boring, some others were bold
The question still remain
Will google act or refrain
from renaming it's lingo as told?

The remainder of my little piece
Is the ironic issue of this
Why did you, google miss
to google "go" before release
You would have known it's not your name, but his'!

Re:Go! (0)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 4 years ago | (#30071902)

Everything I see as a result for that langauge is for Google for the first several pages. It was probably different a few week, but it's silly to link to it now.

Really though, someone has probably created a language named everything you can think of. Sorry some language no one has ever heard of shares the name of a new language created by GOogle. I'm sure someone will tell us about how they've been using it for years, but I'm sorry, there have been more people using googles In the last 24 hours than every used the other has every dreamed of.

Don't use a two letter word for the name, there are a rather limited number of combinations.

Re:Go! (2, Interesting)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072110)

It's actually pretty funny Google itself didn't see this coming. Results in Google for go programming language [google.com] are about the existing Go! language and the main developers book about it.

In this case Google should really change the name since its been used in an existing programming language for years. But maybe they are:

"We recently became aware of the Go! issue and are now looking into the matter further," a company spokesperson said in an e-mail.

I don't know what they need to look into. There are only two real aspects to look at here. First, from a technical standpoint, it could confuse people want to learn Google's Go and end up learning the other Go. From a legal standpoint, if the guy didn't trademark the name, who cares? He doesn't really have a case. But it does kind of fly in the face of the "Don't be evil" slogan.

If they want to be nice, they could just rename it to something like Go++ or Go2.

I said it yesterday, but... (5, Funny)

LaminatorX (410794) | more than 4 years ago | (#30071702)

Two "Go"'s considered harmful.

Re:I said it yesterday, but... (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#30071820)

Do not pass Go! Do not collect £200

Re:I said it yesterday, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30071924)

What's that funny looking thing in front of 200? Isn't that the symbol we put on Voyager's golden record?

Re:I said it yesterday, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30071996)

He meant $331.48. Funny, when we pass Go in the US we only get $200. In the UK everything costs more - even monopoly houses apparently...

Re:I said it yesterday, but... (1)

Barefoot Monkey (1657313) | more than 4 years ago | (#30071826)

Now that you mention it... since it's not the first language to be called Go perhaps they should call it Go2.

Re:I said it yesterday, but... (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072082)

Goto considered harmful. Just name it Goo.

(Why did they name it Go? According to the FAQ, they thought "Go Ogle" would be a great name for the debugger. "Goo Ogle" would be just as gooooood.)

Perfect example (1, Funny)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 4 years ago | (#30071708)

Here's a perfect example of why we need IP laws.

Re:Perfect example (1)

pipboy9999 (1088005) | more than 4 years ago | (#30071780)

I think the issue here is more akin to trademarks rather than IP. It sounds to me like the inventors of Go! are not claiming that Google just ripped off their language, but are upset that the new Google language was named in a confusingly similar manner to theirs. This can then confuse people generally looking for Go! rather than Go.

Re:Perfect example (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#30071848)

I think the issue here is more akin to trademarks rather than IP.

I think your post is more an issue of words than of text. Intellectual Property is an umbrella term combining trademarks, copyright, and patents. Even without a registered trademark, I think they'd have a good case that Google is trying to pass off their new language as the original Go.

Re:Perfect example (2, Informative)

Rary (566291) | more than 4 years ago | (#30071944)

Even without a registered trademark, I think they'd have a good case that Google is trying to pass off their new language as the original Go.

Actually, unregistered trademarks are valid, too. In North America, the trademark system is a "first to use" system, not a "first to file".

However, the original Go is not a commercial product, so there is no trademark issue. Google will likely consider changing the name just because it's stupid to create a new programming language and give it the same name as an existing one, but trademark won't enter into the discussion.

Re:Perfect example (3, Insightful)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 4 years ago | (#30071834)

There's no IP.

There is copyright, patents and trademarks. This sounds like a trademark thing, so no need to confuse the issue.

No. (1)

gbutler69 (910166) | more than 4 years ago | (#30071948)

No, it isn't even a "Trademark Thing®" The Author of "Go!" does not have a trademark on "Go!". He never applied for one.

Is Go! alive? (1)

nkh (750837) | more than 4 years ago | (#30071722)

From the Wikipedia page about Go! [wikipedia.org] , you can download its source code here [mac.com] . Is this language really serious? No docs, just one book with a typo on its front?

Re:Is Go! alive? (1)

bsane (148894) | more than 4 years ago | (#30071874)

And as far as I can tell, the wiki entry was created yesterday.

(I'm wiki challenged, so I may be wrong)

Re:Is Go! alive? (1)

EyelessFade (618151) | more than 4 years ago | (#30071968)

The article was created November 11 2009 also.

Re:Is Go! alive? (1)

mverrilli (147811) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072102)

Exactly! Developers of some obscure language that practically no one uses or has heard of rushes out to make their name known once they hear about Google's Go. Boo hoo, no news here, move along.

Non-issue (1)

smitty777 (1612557) | more than 4 years ago | (#30071746)

How is this news? Google was unaware that the name was taken. I do think they'd be stupid to keep it, though.

Re:Non-issue (2, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#30071866)

Given that it's the top hit for 'go programming language' on Google, if Google are unaware that it exists then it shows quite how insular they have become - obviously they didn't even think of checking whether anyone else had used the name.

Re:Non-issue (1)

smitty777 (1612557) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072026)

Pretty ironic. I don't think Go (...er..the old Go) was all that popular, though. Has anyone out there ever used it?

Hmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30071748)

Perhaps Mr. McCabe should have trademarked the name???

Re:Hmmm... (1)

ircmaxell (1117387) | more than 4 years ago | (#30071882)

Well, releasing a book, without a trademark on the name that you used in the title of the book? Maybe I'm misunderstanding here, but I thought the publisher would at least want a TM on the name if it's used in the title of the book (to prevent any issues down the road)...

Re:Hmmm... (3, Interesting)

Rary (566291) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072036)

Perhaps Mr. McCabe should have trademarked the name???

Simply using the name in a commercial capacity is enough to get an unregistered trademark. However, the problem is that he is not selling the Go! programming language. If it's not a commercial entity, then trademark doesn't apply.

Someone is getting fired... (2, Funny)

woolio (927141) | more than 4 years ago | (#30071752)

I bet someone at Google will get fired soon...

Either 1 of 2 things may have happened:

1) They used Microsoft Bing to search for potential trademark violations
2) They were too lazy and didn't check at all.

Normal for this crew (1)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 4 years ago | (#30071910)

If Ken Thompson and Rob Pike were designing it, they probably didn't care about getting fired / marketing implications / public backlash etc. They have a history of choosing provocative names, just look at the plan9 stuff.

time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30071762)

to call a stop. Or a stop!

Re:time (2, Funny)

russlar (1122455) | more than 4 years ago | (#30071778)

to call a stop. Or a stop!

while $STOP; HAMMERTIME; end

Re:time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30072048)

if(this.can_touch?(self)){ /*never reached*/ }

So? (2, Insightful)

kbmxpxfan (1251818) | more than 4 years ago | (#30071768)

No TM, no copy right? Why is this guy complaining?

Re:So? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30071846)

The way I see it, TM or copyright are really useful so you don't have to demonstrate that you were using that name before... he doesn't have it, so he has to show that he had a book, that the language was published in 2003 with that name, etc.

Re:So? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30071880)

Some things are ethically questionable even when there is no legal problem involved. A concept often forgotten in the corporate world.

Re:So? (0, Troll)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072064)

Like reusing the name of an obscure project that seemingly died years ago and nobody here has even heard of?

Sorry, but that's one of those cases where ETHICALLY I wouldn't even care if he did have a trademark - that project is long dead and forgotten. The only barrier then is legal, and as such if there are no legal problems then I say full steam ahead.

Re:So? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30072006)

Ah, I see you are an American. Arrogant as usual.

I know how to fix it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30071794)

Let's change Google's to Goo.

Goo (2, Funny)

ei4anb (625481) | more than 4 years ago | (#30071804)

Google should rename it Goo, or if that's taken then Gooo or Goooooooooo...

Re:Goo (1)

the-bobcat (1360969) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072008)

Oh yes, this will be the beginning of the end. Google Goo. Come next generation of kids it'll have shortened to Googoo and with the different language offsprings there will also be Gaagaa. Google, holding your hand like the baby you are.

Re:Goo (2)

Misagon (1135) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072042)

"Goo" is a dialect of Lisp, so "Gooo" it is!

Personally, I think Google should rename it "Giggity"..

Re:Goo (1)

db32 (862117) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072194)

What about "goog"? Then they could allow variable declarations/functions/etc to be written forward or backwards. Of course, then they would be competing with perl on difficult to read programs.

"Under fire"? (1)

goodmanj (234846) | more than 4 years ago | (#30071830)

Tag this one !news.

Since when is a gazillion-dollar company considered "under fire" because one dude with no legal status is annoyed at them?

By that logic, "McDonald's has come under fire this week for serving goodmanj a batch of stale fries last time he went there."

"I don't have a trademark" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30071952)

Enough said, really.

Google should rename Go to Issue 9 (5, Interesting)

Procasinator (1173621) | more than 4 years ago | (#30071840)

This was reported by the author in Issue 9 [google.com] . There have been suggestions to rename the language to Issue 9 - I like it.

Re:Google should rename Go to Issue 9 (1)

MORB (793798) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072096)

Issue 9 is kind of a mouthful to pronounce, plus it might be weird in some other languages (like in french where issue means exit)

That said I agree that another name than go could be good if only to make it easier to google.

Re:Google should rename Go to Issue 9 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30072138)

like in french where sortie means exit

Easily avoidable (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 4 years ago | (#30071898)

Couldn't they have googled the name first? You'd kind of expect at least that from them..

Not like Go is such a great name anyway. They should run a poll to decide the name. With enough luck it'll get called Marblecake or Colbert++.

They should plan better (2, Insightful)

Moas (1667191) | more than 4 years ago | (#30071906)

If Francis McCabe wanted to protect his work he had 6 years in which to do it. Either he's trying to close the barn door after the horses are gone or he's looking to try to get some sales for his book. They should have planned better.

Re:They should plan better (5, Insightful)

xophos (517934) | more than 4 years ago | (#30071992)

As someone stated before, this is not a legal issue. It's just about basic politeness.

Google simply does not care. (1, Insightful)

yogibaer (757010) | more than 4 years ago | (#30071916)

Google does whatever it damn pleases. The "do no evil" slogan has lost its meaning because Google is convinced that it simply cannot do evil and everything it does is for the good of mankind and everybody else is a heretic anyway.

Re:Google simply does not care. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30072028)

I thought this was the new universal convention in modern politics?

Call it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30071920)

Call it Goo. Then you can make GUI's with it. GooGUIKit Say that then times fast

Re:Call it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30072014)

Or add another "Go" plus "(foo)Bar" and let's have a "Go Go (Foo)Bar" programming language.

People! Punctuation is IMPORTANT! (2, Interesting)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 4 years ago | (#30071926)

Google's language is called Go! (with an exclamation mark.) The preexisting language whose existence has been suddenly and rudely revealed is called Go without the exclamation mark. Since ! is the negation operator, the Google's language is Go (Not). People don't seem to realize the full implications of the name.

It originates from the paper by Dijkstra [arizona.edu] where he argued GoTo statements should be banned. That resulted in many structured programming languages main stream computer science. But what is not known is that the same paper spawned a new set of less well known languages based on "COME FROM" statement to avoid the "GO TO" statement. The Go! (pronounced Go-Not) language belongs to this little known branch. It is completely and entirely different from the plain old Go language.

Dont get me started on the Japanese chess game Go.

Re:People! Punctuation is IMPORTANT! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30072000)

Google's language is called Go! (with an exclamation mark.) The preexisting language whose existence has been suddenly and rudely revealed is called Go without the exclamation mark.

Other way around. Google's language is "Go". McCabe's language is "Go!".

Re:People! Punctuation is IMPORTANT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30072018)

McCabe's is "Go!" and Google's is "Go".

Really though, if someone can't tell the difference between a word with a ! at the end and a word without it then they probably don't care about programming languages anyway.

Re:People! Punctuation is IMPORTANT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30072072)

Google's language is called Go! (with an exclamation mark.) The preexisting language whose existence has been suddenly and rudely revealed is called Go without the exclamation mark.

It appears you have Got! things round the wrong way.

Re:People! Punctuation is IMPORTANT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30072092)

Opposite! Google's language is called "go", and McCabe's is called "Go!".

I'm confident the parent was trying to be funny. Mode him "funny", not "interesting". Still, is it too much to expect people to know what the heck they are talking about before they post? Oh what... Slashdot....

Re:People! Punctuation is IMPORTANT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30072098)

ROFLMAO. Awesome

Re:People! Punctuation is IMPORTANT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30072120)

People will search on "go", not "go"bang. Google will change their language's name soon enough.

Re:People! Punctuation is IMPORTANT! (5, Informative)

Thornburg (264444) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072184)

Dont get me started on the Japanese chess game Go.

I don't know if your post was supposed to be either sarcastic or funny, but Go [wikipedia.org] is neither Japanese nor chess.

It's Chinese, and it's older than chess.

The game commonly referred to as "Japanese chess" is Shogi [wikipedia.org] .

Re:People! Punctuation is IMPORTANT! (1)

fgb (62123) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072192)

I thought it was pronounced Go Factorial since after "Hello World", the second program written in a new language is usually a factorial calculator.

Re:People! Punctuation is IMPORTANT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30072198)

Fascinating observation.

Only one problem. Google's Go is the one without the exclamation mark:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Go
golang.org

So uhhh... therefore I should always use gotos?....

Re:People! Punctuation is IMPORTANT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30072250)

Err, wrong way round. Google language is called "Go" and the existing langage is called "Go!"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Go!_%28programming_language%29

Goop? (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 4 years ago | (#30071932)

I think they should call it Goop. So much code produced by humans has looked like a blob from a bad sci-fi movie that it seems fitting.

Re:Goop? (1)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072108)

Or how about just 'G'? I mean it's not already taken, it rhymes with the the incredibly successful 'C' and it is still easily associated with Google (or Good.)

So the problem is what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30071960)

What is the problem?

Go as the name of a language isn't copyrightable.

The person who isn't happy hasn't trademarked "go" as a computer language.

Google isn't saying they'll force him to stop calling his language Go because of their calling their program "go".

So what's the problem?

I'm not happy Sam Fox hasn't rubbed her jubblies in my face. Doesn't mean she has to get 'em out.

Re:So the problem is what? (1)

nkh (750837) | more than 4 years ago | (#30071984)

I'm not happy Sam Fox hasn't rubbed her jubblies in my face. Doesn't mean she has to get 'em out.

Maybe it's time for tougher IP laws where such things would be possible! At least I would if I were into politics...

They should add monads (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30072076)

If they only added monads [wikipedia.org] to their language, they could call it Gonads!

dom

Call it ten duotrigintillion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30072128)

Same number of zeroes, more unique name.

To be honest, i can see the confusion... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30072140)

How would Google even know that a language called "Go" exists?

They would have to have some mechanism for searching the internet to do that.

McGabe's whining about common things (0, Troll)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072150)

Multiple incompatible languages winding up with the same name is par for the course in the compiler industry.

You have any idea how many different compiler vendors call completely different languages BASIC ?

How many different incompatible implementations of C there were (before ISO standardization)?

If something's not widely commercialized with name rights locked up tight, or ANSI/ISO standardized, then you are asking for incompatible competing implementations, or even totally different languages, all going by the same name, unless you secure rights to the name.

Also, Go! is such a short and generic title for a programming language, that noone should get to use it unless they can make a famous name out of it.

In fact, other languages use GO as a statement or keyword in the language, from before 2003. E.g. T-SQL. And in fact the word go is iconic and well recognized by programmers all over the world already.

But Google actually makes the name non-generic by adding a ! to the end. So it's not just Go but Go bang. See, this implies a sexual innuendo, which is certainly more interesting than just Go... which could imply Go away, Go eat a cactus, etc...

In any event, so McCabe is not the first to use the name in the field of programming languages.

New name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30072174)

Go, find a new name :-)

Perhaps the new InternetGlue should be "Goo"? (1)

aGuyNamedJoe (317081) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072208)

Given it's purpose, to be the glue that fastens functionality to web pages, it should be called "Goo"...

Of course, the makers of ShoeGoo may think people will be confused, and those who clean their hands with Goop may also have some difficulty being clear, if it should stick to their fingers...

joe

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