Popularity of computer language proportional to coolness of name

Here's an amusing article I agree with about how to ensure the non-proliferation of a good product by naming it unappealingly. It starts with Slug Cola, the apparently much better tasting predecessor to Coke, and then proceeds to discuss programming languages.

Lisp. I never learned Lisp as Lisp. I still avoid Lisp. I only started to get real respect for Lisp as I learned Scheme. Scheme is effectively the same language as Lisp, but with a cool name. Yet, even though I know it's essentially a dialect of Lisp, I still cringe internally when I see people refer to Scheme as a Lisp. Lisp - distasteful. Scheme - cool. I can see myself programming in Scheme, but I can't see myself doing the bulk of my work in a language called Lisp... no matter how great it is.

Still, it's not all in the name. Lisp and Scheme and Smalltalk all share another disadvantageous trait. They are closed ecosystems which do not fit seamlessly into the surrounding OS environment. That, more than anything, is the hurdle in their adoption.

Coolness matters. But if coolness was everything, Apple would be Microsoft. And it ain't.


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