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Why Are Operating System Version Names So Absurd?

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the bet-you-can-think-of-a-few-reasons dept.

Operating Systems 460

jfruh writes "Apple's spent more than a decade on version 10 — or, rather, X — of its flagship operating system, with .x versions named after big cats (and many of them, it turns out, after the same big cats). Ubuntu Linux is scrambling to find ever more obscure animals to alliteratively name its versions after. And let's not even talk about Windows, whose current shipping OS is sold as Windows 7 but is really Windows NT 6.1. Why is this area of software marketing so ridiculous?"

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460 comments

And what's the deal with names anyway? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41301923)

My friend Peter is not a rock, and my friend Thomas isn't even a twin.

becase FUCK YOU, that's why (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41302105)

why is Kevin Purdy [itworld.com] such a goddamned retard?

Re:And what's the deal with names anyway? (0, Offtopic)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year and a half ago | (#41302179)

What's the deal? Well - it's hard for me to understand, really. But, it's all about catchwords, buzzwords, noise and nonsense. When I was a kid, we had "sports". Kids today won't settle for mere "sports", instead opting for "extreme sports". Or, more accurately, "Xtreme Sports".

We can expect an "Xtreme Windows" soon, I guess. And, I expect that it will be extremely mundane.

MUSIC IS REVERSIBLE !! BUT TIME ISN'T !! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41301933)

So it goes, and so it shall be !!

Marketing (4, Insightful)

WillAdams (45638) | about a year and a half ago | (#41301945)

Apple never would've been able to convince the Mac faithful to purchase OPENSTEP 5.0, &c.

Re:Marketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41302037)

Probably true, but they're going downhill on the feline names already. They'll have to change base at some point.

Re:Marketing (5, Funny)

Dogtanian (588974) | about a year and a half ago | (#41302255)

Probably true, but they're going downhill on the feline names already.

I hope they don't change before we get "OS X Domestic Cat".

Re:Marketing (4, Funny)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | about a year and a half ago | (#41302291)

Probably true, but they're going downhill on the feline names already.

I hope they don't change before we get "OS X Domestic Cat".

OS X Kitty has a better ring to it.

Re:Marketing (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41302377)

OS X Kitty has a better ring to it.

How about OSX Dangerous Pussy?

Re:Marketing (-1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about a year and a half ago | (#41302271)

Yeah Apple is the ultimate source of these animal names. Linux decided somewhere around 2006 to copy the idea (just like they copy everything else..... now they're trying to copy Windows Tablet-looking OS). I suppose Apple and Steve thought calling the OS an animal name would be "cute" to go along with their cute orange and pink iMacs.

Re:Marketing (3, Informative)

Mike Buddha (10734) | about a year and a half ago | (#41302461)

Debian started using names from Toy Story (including cute animal names) in 1996. The Tux the Penguin has been around for at least as long.

Re:Marketing (4, Informative)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | about a year and a half ago | (#41302597)

Apple's animal names started as internal code names (intended to obscure what was being worked on), that leaked out. Rumor sites would talk about the upcoming project 'Puma', not really knowing much about it, and then it became apparent that this was the next version of the OS, so the same sites would continue to refer to it as 'Puma' to keep things consistent.

Repeat again with 'Jaguar', but this time Apple's marketing department noticed that people liked the name, and decided to continue using it themselves. The next code name was then chosen with marketing's involvement....

Easy (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41301947)

You cannot trademark numbers.

Also, for most non-techies, it is easier to remember "Tiger" than "10.4"

Re:Easy (5, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | about a year and a half ago | (#41302149)

You cannot trademark numbers.

Also, for most non-techies, it is easier to remember "Tiger" than "10.4"

I'd disagree on the latter. Which came first, Debian Potatoe or Debian Sarge? Damfino (well, actually I do, but,...) However every noob knows 2005 is more recent than 2000.

Where I work, internally, its all git-flow, and our releases have really boring, yet informative, names which are basically of the format:

release/`date +%Y-%M-%d`

Like today's heroic effort would be release/2012-09-11

This date structure also helps with git-flow features, obviously you can't have two "add some bs" branches but you can have "2012-06-01-add-some-bs" and "2012-08-13-add-some-bs"

If one of my coworkers gets outta whack about last monday's release I know exactly what he's talking about, that would be release/2012-08-27 Or I can even find 2012-06-18. But "Rumbly Rumpelstiltskin v2.1D" WTF is that? thats just unprofessional.

Re:Easy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41302195)

I think you're exactly right. Not that anyone has to worry about protecting "Apple OSX [anything]" in the market, but "Tiger" is a distinctive name that you can also protect.

And honestly, I think Microsoft does it best, here. They have a consistent internal version. Starting with Windows 7, and followed by Windows 8, they have a pretty straightforward public-facing version.

Ubuntu is, far and away, the worst of them. Make it as bizarre and hard to remember as possible, so long as it rhymes, and flip a coin to determine when it's referred to as the number or the stupid name. You know, just to make sure nobody knows what they're using and what they need.

Re:Easy (2)

OrangeTide (124937) | about a year and a half ago | (#41302361)

The animal names are code words for the project used while developing it, when the release date is still a ways away. The real version number is the release date, and very easy to remember and provides some relevant information about that Ubuntu version.

Honestly, I think all software that is regularly released should use the versioning scheme that Ubuntu uses. Windows is not released often enough for the scheme to be practical for them, people would see the numbers as being out of date, and the Service Pack updates wouldn't be reflected in the version number even though they are pretty significant.

Re:Easy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41302391)

Actually, Ubuntu's versions are the year and month of release (10.04 was released April of 2010.) If you're referring to the naming convention (Natty Narwhal, Oneric Ocelot, etc.) They're in alphabetical order. If they're too difficult for you, just use your version number. I've never had a problem finding information using either, personally.

Re:Easy (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about a year and a half ago | (#41302267)

Indeed. Apple has even decreased the amount of marketing in the last version or two that's focused on the .x portion of the name, instead choosing to replace references to it in a lot of their literature with the codename for the version. In fact, if you go to the OS X page [apple.com], you won't see a single mention of "10.8" anywhere, except for a footnote in one of the subsections where they specify what version of the OS they ran the SunSpider benchmark on.

Microsoft figured that out even earlier, with their shift to using years and then eventually distinct marketing names for the actual names of their products. But the important thing to remember is that there is a distinction between a marketing name and an internal version number.

I don't see what's absurd in the least of using codenames or marketing names to help reach consumers better. Looks at how well educated people are about the differences between versions of Google Chrome for how absurd using version numbers can get. Switching to marketing names alone wouldn't fix that problem, but grouping several versions under a common name might help somewhat.

Re:Easy (4, Insightful)

jythie (914043) | about a year and a half ago | (#41302283)

Non-techies?

I would wager the engineers play a big role in all these names. Just look at what happens when the are asked to start naming their servers....

Re:Easy (2)

Ghostworks (991012) | about a year and a half ago | (#41302399)

To say nothing of the fact that the version as a number doesn't matter. The purpose of the version is to distinguish between different version of the same product so you know what's compatible, what broke, where to start debugging, etc. Most major OS releases don't even come close to being "the same product" from a user perspective, and the other factors are all issues that developers care about and end users pretty much shouldn't have to.

For things like Windows and OSX, all the differentiation that matters to developers comes from long strings representing the most recent build/service pack. For customers buying software packages -- who can expect the software to work reasonably no matter when or if they got the latest upgrade to a component they've never heard of -- you only need one distinguishing name. Why _would_ you choose to use a number? Why not just a year? After all, you didn't drive to work today in your Ford Four Door Sedan v56.2.3.

Of all the axes to grind, I can't for the life of me figure out why the submitter would care about _this_.

Re:Easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41302459)

But for techies, it's a lot easier to remember which computers are running 10.4, 10.5, 10.6, etc. than it is to remember what the heck Lion, Puma, Leopard, Mountain Lion, Tiger, Panther, Snow Leopard, Smilodon, Pantera, Liger, and Garfield are. When they get to the point of naming versions Hector, Wordsworth, and Mungo, I'll probably just stop upgrading.

This might not be the place to bring this up (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41301953)

but Firefox 4 is also called Firefox 12

Solaris? (5, Insightful)

Dog-Cow (21281) | about a year and a half ago | (#41301977)

And Solaris 2.x is SunOS 5.x. There's the software version and then there's the marketing name. If you haven't noticed, Windows NT went 3.1, 3.5, 4.0, 2000, XP/2003, 7/2008, 2012, 8.

It's not really any more ridiculous than any other marketing effort.

Re:Solaris? (4, Informative)

wastedlife (1319259) | about a year and a half ago | (#41302115)

You missed a couple of NT releases, here is the complete list:

3.1, 3.5, 3.51, 4.0, 2000, XP/2003, Vista/2008, 7/2008R2, 8/2012

I can't blame you for missing 3.51, although it was a separate release from 3.5. I also can't blame you for completely dismissing the existence of Vista, I know I would like to.

Re:Solaris? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41302355)

No, not really.

Solaris is or at least was a package of software which contained SunOS, Openwindows and ONC.

You could license just the SunOS separately for an embedded devices like Fore which did ATM switches etc. did.

Huh? (4, Insightful)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about a year and a half ago | (#41301993)

Windows, whose current shipping OS is sold as Windows 7 but is really Windows NT 6.1

This is a distinction between a brand name and a kernel version number. Why is this more absurd compared to "Precise Pangolin" for instance?

Regardless, I think you'll find names of almost any product in a sufficiently crowded marketplace become absurd as they try to differentiate themselves and also avoid stepping on any trademarked names. You see this with domain names in particular.

Re:Huh? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41302089)

Furthermore, the silly codenames Ubuntu has are just that: codenames. They are for developers and testers, not end users, and certainly not "pundits".

That nothing - what about phone names? (1)

Qwavel (733416) | about a year and a half ago | (#41302003)

Personally, I'm waiting for Verizon to introduce the Droid Razr Super Maxxx HD LTE 2.

I'm a dedicated Android fan, but I'm sick of the overload of different models and ridiculous names. Some variety is great, but please....

One thing I like about the Galaxy line is that, though there are endless spin-offs, they are essentially delineated into generations I, II, III, etc.

Because Marketing != Version Control (5, Insightful)

Aquitaine (102097) | about a year and a half ago | (#41302007)

Naming a product to sell it in a commercial market has got nothing to do with internal release milestones, and you don't have to be a marketing expert to realize that 'Windows 11' doesn't sound especially cool, whereas 'X' or 'Wild Giraffe' both sound awesome.

The question is more ridiculous than the discrepancy.

Newsworthy? (3, Insightful)

kwerle (39371) | about a year and a half ago | (#41302023)

Could we have a tag: 'newsworthy' - something to identify a story as being worth paying ANY attention to?

Re:Newsworthy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41302251)

Or at least post this story as a video so we all know to ignore it.

Re:Newsworthy? (4, Funny)

Nimey (114278) | about a year and a half ago | (#41302323)

Pfft. They'd abuse it like the "story" tag that gets put onto non-stories all the time.

I'm a beefy miracle! (4, Informative)

Nushio (951488) | about a year and a half ago | (#41302029)

It helps when you're googling to know which software version you're in. Sometimes it's easier to Google for "Ubuntu Boring Beaver" than "Ubuntu 11.04" or whatever. Likewise with Windows, noone ever calls it Windows NT so noone would bother searching for Windows NT 6.1 issues.

It's all in the marketing, as many have stated.

Re:I'm a beefy miracle! (1)

trigpoint (1230530) | about a year and a half ago | (#41302389)

Beefy Miracle (Fedora 17) has to be the dumbest name ever.

Re:I'm a beefy miracle! (1)

bmo (77928) | about a year and a half ago | (#41302531)

Nah, that distinction goes to "Windows" which is so generic and "merely functional" that Microsoft nearly lost the trademark in a counterclaim by Linspire, wherupon Microsoft paid Linspire to shut up about it.

Beefy Miracle is leaps and bounds a "better" trademark.

--
BMO

Because... (3, Interesting)

ilsaloving (1534307) | about a year and a half ago | (#41302033)

Operating Systems are fundamentally boring. Once you get past the fanboi-ism, they are just software that sits there on your computer. They are there to *facilitate* your work, but they don't produce anything in and of themselves.

So you have to jazz them up as much as you can, so people will take notice.

Re:Because... (2)

preaction (1526109) | about a year and a half ago | (#41302153)

Except if the OS wasn't there, you'd have to create it. Every layer of abstraction the OS provides is another layer that app developers do not need to invent themselves. Remember DOS games that made you choose your audio card and video card? The OS is the huge base that lets you build your app pyramids.

Re:Because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41302365)

Except if the OS wasn't there, you'd have to create it. Every layer of abstraction the OS provides is another layer that app developers do not need to invent themselves. Remember DOS games that made you choose your audio card and video card? The OS is the huge base that lets you build your app pyramids.

Blah b;ah hasiadi ... whatever.

Remember Apple OS, Mac OS ? ... unix, AIS, SuckmyAss? ...whatever?

Hardware makers will always have an OS - even if they have to roll their own. Buy a mainframe and the MF maker has their own OS.

OS'es are a commodity. Proof? You can them for free.

so what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41302035)

i don't see anything wrong with releasing a product (os x), then releasing incremental upgrades that add or fix things, yet still calling it os x with a fancy subtitle. that's how these things _work_. as for jumping from os 8 to os x and vista to 7, well who cares? every industry does stuff like this. at least with computers you get version numbers (sometimes!). cuisinart's line of blenders is much harder to remember.

Re:so what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41302303)

But Mac didn't jump from 8 to X, it went from 9 to X.

what a waste of time (5, Informative)

cynop (2023642) | about a year and a half ago | (#41302043)

i suppose MsDOS 6.22, windows 3.11, system V and AmigaOS 3.1 were much more meaningfull, right? jeez, TFA is a waste of time

Re:what a waste of time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41302219)

i suppose MsDOS 6.22, windows 3.11, system V and AmigaOS 3.1 were much more meaningfull, right? jeez, TFA is a waste of time

No, branding them in the first place is a waste of time (notice I didn't say it's a waste of money, because this is all stemming out of fashionable marketing)

People ran "Windows 3.11", "Windows 95", and "Windows 98" for a very long time, and were fine with names like that. Dumping marketing into this and giving the silly names only speaks to the audience they're trying to capture.

The average Apple user, who just upgraded their Mac 10 minutes ago and threw away the upgrade CD and box...probably couldn't even tell you what the box said.

Re:what a waste of time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41302279)

What Apple upgrade CD?

Re:what a waste of time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41302547)

People ran "Windows 3.11", "Windows 95", and "Windows 98"

You mean Snowball, Chicago, and Memphis?

Re:what a waste of time (2)

Mike Buddha (10734) | about a year and a half ago | (#41302511)

I concur. I think the author would have done better to complain about why we call the color of the sky on a sunny day "blue". What's the point of that?

You're most likely to dense and profane ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41302053)

... to understand that OS. X. was made for running in cubes.
Occult symbolism right in your face but you cattle will never even get it.
I am tired of you dead things.

Windows 7 is Windows 7... (4, Informative)

Revotron (1115029) | about a year and a half ago | (#41302059)

...because convincing people to pay $200 to upgrade from Windows NT 6.0 to Windows NT 6.1 is not as easy as telling them it's a whole new version of Windows.

Also, Apple uses the big cat theme for the same reason. Tell somebody you want $30 to upgrade them from 10.7 to 10.8 and you wouldn't have much success. On the flip side, there's not enough of a difference between each version of Mac OS X to warrant each getting its own major number. They're all based on the same underlying kernel and subsystems but have new features and UI improvements as the big selling point.

Re:Windows 7 is Windows 7... (2)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | about a year and a half ago | (#41302137)

Tell somebody you want $30 to upgrade them from 10.7 to 10.8 and you wouldn't have much success.

Not to be pedantic, but the OS 10.8 update is $19.99, and covers every computer in your household.

Re:Windows 7 is Windows 7... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41302419)

On the flip side, there's not enough of a difference between each version of Mac OS X to warrant each getting its own major number.

Recently, this is the case, but it wasn't always so. A case can be made that 10.7 and 10.8 do not warrant more than a .x.x release... but up until 10.5 and even 10.6 (which added a true 64-bit kernel), enough fundamental changes, added features, and bug squashing absolutely warrented a major new release.

Because it is MARKETING (2)

falcon5768 (629591) | about a year and a half ago | (#41302073)

DUH!!!!!!! Version control numbers are completely beyond the need of the laymen when it comes to OS. All they care about is if its new or different from what they are running and thus why the OS has names like Win 8 or Mountain Lion. I almost never refer to Lion as Lion except to users. To me its 10.7.# Build ##### thats all I need thats all I care about.

Names not numbers (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41302077)

Here's why:

Windows 95, 98, 7, 42, whatever: These are the product NAMES, not version numbers. Consumers don't give a shit about the version number being 6.1

Mac OSX: Lion, Leopard, Big Cat, whatever: These are the product NAMES, not version numbers. Consumers don't give a shit about the version number being 10.7.

Ubuntu Hardy Heron, Gutsy Gibbon, Anonymous Asshole, whatever: These are the product NAMES, not version numbers. Consumers don't give a shit about the version number being 12.04.

Why are we discussing something so pointless?

Stupid question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41302083)

...with a simple answer. People like you.

Ecks Versis 10 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41302087)

My first impression back in 2000 was that X referred more to porting the MacOS experience to X-windows, the gui engine for UNIX, a well timed double meaning.

Drivers (2)

unlucky ducky (2525132) | about a year and a half ago | (#41302093)

I thought the main reason for Windows 7 being Windows NT 6.1 was because that way they could avoid breaking driver compatibility since most of the drivers should still work between these very similar architectures. Windows NT 6.0 - Windows Vista/Server 2008 Windows NT 6.1 - Windows 7/Server 2008 R2 Windows NT 6.2 - Windows 8/Server 2012

Re:Drivers (4, Informative)

cbhacking (979169) | about a year and a half ago | (#41302481)

This is correct. MS changes the kernel major version number when they introduce major (sometimes backward-incompatible) driver-interface changes. They actually aren't always backward-incompatible; NT6.0 (Vista) would actually load most NT5.1 (XP) or even 5.0 (2000) drivers just fine... but it wasn't generally supported, and the installers would freak out at the changed major version number (this could be worked around by running in Compatibility Mode to spoof the version info, among other things). Besides, some drivers (notably network and printer drivers, which had significant interface changes) just *didn't* work correctly, if at all, with NT6.x. Windows 8 is still NT 6.2 because, although they've removed a few more of the old NT5.x driver interfaces, the 6.x drivers will still work.

Absurd? (3, Funny)

3vi1 (544505) | about a year and a half ago | (#41302113)

Absurd? I don't know what you're talking about.

[posted from Quantal Quetzal 12.10b1]

If they avoided numbers... (4, Funny)

msauve (701917) | about a year and a half ago | (#41302121)

...the might end up with something like:
OS
OS:The Animated Series
OS:The Next Generation
OS: Deep Space 9
OS: Voyager
OS: Enterprise

Re:If they avoided numbers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41302499)

Shouldn't the first one be TOS, as in Tramiel Operating System?

I like Androids concept (3, Interesting)

na1led (1030470) | about a year and a half ago | (#41302143)

Pick a name in alphabetical order. That way you have an idea if you have the latest version.

Because... (1)

puddingebola (2036796) | about a year and a half ago | (#41302145)

"Why is this area of software marketing so ridiculous?" Because the names are created by people in marketing who don't care about software. Get ready for the resourceful rat version of Ubuntu 14.

cell (whoops, MOBILE) phones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41302147)

I worked for a large cellular company for most of the 90s & remember when phones had model #s instead of names...

I had an NEC 301 which was relatively nice for 1992 but not as pimp as the Oki 900.

that was before the dark times, before the marketing... now we have the "galaxy", the "incredible", the "${insert_focus_group_buzzword_du_jour}"

now get off my lawn!

Android... Mmmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41302155)

To say nothing of Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Ginger Bread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean, and Key Lime Pie. All of which followed, by some bizarre naming snafu, Astro and Bender.

Not sure about external naming ... (2)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year and a half ago | (#41302161)

Not sure about why these things get such odd names for people to use ... but years ago when I still coded for a living, if we were working on something, we specifically gave it a codename which a) the marketing guys would never ever use, and b) which made it not so obvious what it was.

We used to find that if the sales guys caught whiff of something, or liked the working name, it would end up being used in customer presentations and generally cause problems as they started selling something that hadn't been released (or even coded) yet.

So project anchovy or project firkin tended to keep them away. This was done throughout development, and I believe was actually a policy.

As to why Ubuntu comes up with such odd names ... that I can't even speak to. Because "Zitty Zebra" or "Punk-Rock Platypus" never seem to make sense as official names to me.

Re:Not sure about external naming ... (1)

vlm (69642) | about a year and a half ago | (#41302325)

if we were working on something, we specifically gave it a codename which a) the marketing guys would never ever use, and b) which made it not so obvious what it was.

The almighty GOOG is failing me now but this explains the release of some software I was using from github with the release name "Cinco de who gives a f*ck". At least I didn't have to guess what day that was released, or what he though about having to "work" on his holiday.
There's another project out there using pr0n actresses names as "release names". Come on mighty GOOG, dont you index github?

"yawn" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41302185)

I say yawn because when I actually yawn...

Nerds don't give a shit, by the time the marketing monkeys take over from the coding monkeys any self respecting nerd monkey has moved on to the next code-named release.

When has the consumer branding of anything been stuff that matters...

shiyt, consumer monkeys barely have the use of opposable thumbs hense the need of tablet OS'

Who cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41302191)

Why is this even a fucking question on slashdot? who fucking cares.

new question for Slashdot readers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41302215)

Why do dogs lick their balls?

YEAH!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41302237)

Who is the idiot that named Windows 8? I mean CMON, was that the BEST they could do after Windows 7?

Car Analogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41302243)

Since this is Slashdot...

Why is this area of automotive marketing so ridiculous?

I'm working on my new Linux distro... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41302245)

I'm working on a new Linux distro, I'm thinking about naming it "Big Turd Linux"... the first release will be 3.0, based on the 3.4 kernel, also known as the "Stinky Load" release.

After that I'm thinking "Runny Load", followed by the "Constipation" release.

Yawn, I don't care (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41302253)

I run debian/stable and debian/testing.
I think they were squeeze and wheezy, but I don't really care what the name is, why should I.

I know I've got the current most up to date in each tree, and that's all that really matters to me.

Re:Yawn, I don't care (1)

vlm (69642) | about a year and a half ago | (#41302455)

I run debian/stable and debian/testing.
I think they were squeeze and wheezy, but I don't really care what the name is, why should I.

I know I've got the current most up to date in each tree, and that's all that really matters to me.

Some morning you'll wake up and your production boxes will have 500 packages waiting for installation and munin and nagios will be going bonkers due to pending packages because wheezy got released that night. No big deal, although I prefer that kinda stuff on my schedule not theirs.

The only problem I've had with squeeze->wheezy is the well reported ? perl sha hash issue where libdigest-sha1-perl has gone away so you get to go thru your source code and change all the use Digest::SHA1 statements to use Digest::SHA

Grow Up! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41302269)

Yeah because I always choose an operating system based on the animal it pictures on the cover.
Stop this joke that "geeks" seek the ultimate l33t OS but the little clueless noobs select their OS by the cover.

Because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41302295)

Your mom, that's why. Ha ha.

Seriously. Linux distros that you don't pay licenses for tend to flaunt the fact that they are non-commercial, i.e., their name wasn't cooked up by a marketing team, and then focus-grouped to death.

The Windows example: commercial software.

Apple OSes: "we're hip, unique. Just like your are!"

Man, I'm going to have to end with, "Your mom." Ha ha. Not kidding. Thanks for the crappy non-news...

Developer codenames (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41302299)

There are a variety of great reasons, not all of them equal, and the reasons do vary a bit from one operating system to another.

Most developers use codenames for projects, especially projects that haven't received an official name yet. In the case of Mac OS X for example, the codenames became public knowledge and that was how a lot of people began referring to the release. Apple realized that it made their operating system versions a bit more memorable and began unveiling each new release by way of each particular codename.

People find it hard to remember arbitrary numbers. We like to name things. Assigning memorable names helps people make a distinction between different iterations of a similar project. Also, these memorable names can be trademarked while a simple number cannot.

Broken Version Checking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41302329)

The main reason it is 6.1 and not 7 is a lot of programmers did the version check wrong where 7.0 is considered less than 6.1 because they checked the minor version incorrectly. That is a compatibility fix that is zero lines of code, but probably took a lot of effort to work. So even if they wanted to take out the bloated compatibility, it wouldn't do anything.

Trademark (1)

Blindman (36862) | about a year and a half ago | (#41302333)

It is probably a trademark issue. The stranger the name (i.e., distinct) the easier it is to protect the name. If you named your operating system, Functional Operating System, you will have a harder time than if you had named your operating system, Big Slick.

Re:Trademark (1)

Spy Handler (822350) | about a year and a half ago | (#41302601)

Unique trademark-able names are fine. Giving a different fruity name to every version isn't. The developers think the universe revolves around their product and everyone will remember all their little names and applaud them for their cleverness... but they're wrong.

Android 2.2, 3.0, 4.0 -- ok
Froyo, Donut, Fruitcake, Ice Cream Sandwich -- not ok

Debian 3.0, 4.0, 5.0 -- ok
Potato, Buzz, Woody, Blowjob -- not ok

Apple seems to have wizened up and does not give fruity names to every minor version of iOS. Maybe with MacOS XI they'll stop with the cat names.

...and Linux Kernel version names (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41302405)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Linux_kernel_names

Easily Google-able (1, Interesting)

Ynot_82 (1023749) | about a year and a half ago | (#41302503)

Only speaking for Linux here,
But googling for generic issues often throws up heaps of out-of-date or otherwise unhelpful hits
For a set of systems that move so fast (eg. 6 monthly release cycles for Ubuntu and Fedora), you need to get more taylored results

Including "Quantal", "Wheezy" or "Spherical" in your search terms is likely to pull up far more relevant results

Windows versions (1)

tgd (2822) | about a year and a half ago | (#41302505)

6.1 is the kernel version, the full OS is Windows 7.

Its the same reason RedHat doesn't sell RedHat 2.3.125, but RedHat 6 or whatever.

Re:Windows versions (1)

Tog Klim (909717) | about a year and a half ago | (#41302561)

Never mind that there was never a MS NT 1.0 or 2.0.... Those were from that OTHER company whose name we shall not name.

Periodic table of the elements (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41302565)

I recall something along the lines of this in the context of the periodic table of the elements - why not just name the elements the number of protons? Hydrogen would be "1", etc.

Personally, I like year based versions (1)

Cro Magnon (467622) | about a year and a half ago | (#41302573)

I knew what year Windows 95 came out, and I knew Win 98 was 3 years afterwards. I know that "Prickly Penguin" is after "Jumping Jeroboa" (yes, I know those aren't real names), but I don't immediately know when each came out. And I don't have a clue which Debian toy was when.. At least with years, I know how old a given OS is.

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