Ever hear someone throw about codenames and acronyms in an attempt to sound smart, cool, or in the know? I hear it all the time in the tech world, and the OpenStack project is particularly egregious:
|OpenStack’s Spider Diagram of Confusion (courtesy Sean Dague)|
From the OpenStack roadmap:
Current OpenStack programs:
OpenStack Compute (code-name Nova) – integrated project since Austin
OpenStack Networking (code-name Neutron, old: Quantum) – integrated project since Folsom
OpenStack Object Storage (code-name Swift) – integrated project since Austin
OpenStack Block Storage (code-name Cinder) – integrated project since Folsom
OpenStack Identity (code-name Keystone) – integrated project since Essex
OpenStack Image Service (code-name Glance) – integrated project since Bexar
OpenStack Dashboard (code-name Horizon) – integrated project since Essex
OpenStack Telemetry (code-name Ceilometer) – integrated project since Havana
OpenStack Orchestration (code-name Heat) – integrated project since Havana
OpenStack Database (code-name Trove) – integrated project since Icehouse
OpenStack Data Processing (code-name Sahara) – integrated project since Juno
New capabilities under development for Juno and beyond:
Bare Metal (Ironic)
Queue Service (Zaqar)
Shared file system (Manila)
DNS Service (Designate)
Key Management (Barbican)
Why were these codenames created? The OpenStack wiki explains:
“[The release] codenames are chosen by popular vote using the basic Launchpad poll feature over the ~openstack group. Codenames are cities or counties near where the corresponding OpenStack design summit took place. An exception (called the Waldon exception) is granted to elements of the state flag that sound especially cool.“
“Only single words with a maximum of 10 characters are good candidates for a name. Bonus points for sounding cool.”
Apparently, sounding cool is more important than accessibility.
What about the obfuscated program names? Cinder? Zaqar? Barbican? From a quick web search, I couldn’t find any obvious reason for renaming “Key Management” “Barbican”, until I stumbled upon the Wikipedia article on what a barbican actually is.
|Will the OpenStack working group lower the barrier to entry?
(barbican photo courtesy Jason Smart)
I love all the hard work the OpenStack groups are putting in technically, but …
Why not just call things what they are? What’s wrong with calling “OpenStack Networking” exactly that? Would that be boring? Unexciting? Perhaps, but it would lower the very first barrier to learning OpenStack – understanding what the parts of OpenStack actually do.