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Practical Development Environments by Matthew B. Doar

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Naming Projects and Machines

This section contains ideas for choosing names for projects and names for computers. Planning all these things in advance may seem excessively controlling to some people, but in my experience, deciding on this information once, before things are done differently by each person, will help project members communicate clearly.

Choosing Project Names

Project names are usually chosen by engineering groups, with one name for each significantly different version of the products that they are working on. There should be no need to change a project's name once it has been chosen. Product names, on the other hand, are the names that customers see, and these names are usually chosen to help a product sell or to become popular. Product names can change at the whim of a market research poll or a new VP of Sales.

Some general guidelines for choosing names for projects are:

Keep it short

Since project names may appear in filenames or source code, shorter project names are preferable; four to six characters is common. Longer names will only be abbreviated anyway, and usually in two different ways.

Use distinctive sounds

Project names should sound different from each other when spoken aloud by people whose native language is not the one used by the rest of the group. Even if everyone speaks English, having two projects named "ctest" and "seebest" is too close for comfort.

Use low-frequency letters

It's much easier to be confident that all references to a project name can be ...

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