golang's issue#9 -- clashes with go! -- revisited

10.7.30: news.adda/lang"go!/clash with go

. I was reminded of a name dispute
between Google and a language designer,
and couldn't remember the details;
I didn't know how it compared to
Microsoft denying Linux PC's
the name Lindows (mocking their name ?)
so I revisited the matter .

wiki's take needs an update:
"( On the day of the general release,
Francis McCabe, developer of the
Go! programming language,
requested a name change of Google's language
to prevent confusion with his language.)
. that is not quite accurate:
he claimed, point blank, that "(Go)
was exactly the name of his language,
and if you look on his personal filesharing website,
indeed, "(go) is the nickname;
in both his whitepaper (pdf) and his book intro,
the published name is "(go!) not "(go):

– A Multi-paradigm Programming Language
for Implementing Multi-threaded Agents
K.L. Clark Dept. of Computing Imperial College London, UK
F.G. McCabe Fujistu Labs of America Sunnyvale CA, USA

. reading that paper,
you soon find why the name is "(go!)
-- and not go --
. the main purpose of go! is to
reverse some of prolog's faults;
. cleverly,
the reverse of "(go!) is (!og)
as in the "(log) of "(prolog)
which stands for (logic).

. the one thing he wishes most
would go away in prolog
is the "(!) operator (pronounced "(cut))
hence the name "(go!)
as in "(go away, Cut operator):
"( Go! has many features in common with Prolog,
particularly multi-threaded Prolog’s,
there are significant differences
related to transparency of code
and security.
Features of Prolog that mitigate against
such as the infamous cut (!) primitive,
are absent from Go!.)
. meanwhile, the name of
google's go lang'
could be short for "(GOogle),
and is said to be a reference to
the design being motivated by
a need for compilers to go faster:
"( "In Google we spent so long
literally waiting for compilations,
even though we have parallelism
in all of these tools to help;
even incremental builds can be slow.
And we looked at this and realized
many of the reasons for that
are just fundamental to C and C++,
as were the tools that everybody used .
So we wanted to start from scratch .)
. wikipedia has this reference:

Google 'Go' Name Brings Accusations Of 'Evil'
InformationWeek Thomas Claburn November 11, 2009

"( McCabe's Go! programming language
is described in a 2007 book he published
and in a research paper published in 2004 (pdf)) .
"( 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.)
. and *that*
is exactly the origin of the "(!)
-- an essential part of the name's genius --
so it's bewildering why he would
want to also claim the "(go) name
-- in addition to the "(go!) name .
some wikipedia authors speculate
that there could be some confusion,
"(McCabe requested a name change
to prevent confusion with his language, Go! .)
indeed, some have used "(yahoo!) as an example:
"( Comment 77 by wrinkles, Nov 11, 2009
Go and Go! are not the same? Great,
I just started a new company called Yahoo.)
you can't use "(Yahoo) as a noun
for something other than Yahoo!
without giving some context .
eg, hearing "(go!) might provoke
the question:
"( did you mean "(go faster),
or "(go away cut-operator) ?
) .]
. there's a link to to go's "(Issue 9) debate
where Frank McCabe wrote up an issue with Go:
"I have already used the name for
*MY* programming language."

all of McCabe's entries in Issue 9 to date:
by fmccabe, Nov 10, 2009
I have been working on a programming language,
also called Go,
for the last 10 years.
There have been papers published on this
and I have a book.
I would appreciate it if
google changed the name of this language;
as I do not want to have to
change my language!

Comment 2 by fmccabe, Nov 10, 2009
If you google (sic) francis mccabe go
you will find some references.
I published the book on lulu.com

Comment 5 by fmccabe, Nov 10, 2009
My language is called Go!.
The book is called Let's Go!.
The issue is not whether or not Google's go
will be well known. It is one of fairness.
. if google throws a party for "(go)
they should invite "(go!),
to make sure in the future
people finding (go!) don't assume it's
some extension of google's (go) ? ]
Comment 300 by fmccabe, Nov 11, 2009
. I am very grateful for the
support I have received on this thread.
It seems to have hit a nerve.
. I want to make one particular point,
some people have suggested that
"I should be grateful"
for the extra advertising.
My response to that is that
I was not actively looking for this advertising.
. doesn't clarification require advertising
when there is such disagreement on
whether (go) clashes with (go!) ?
It was not me who picked a clashing name.
. I fully understand that it is possible that
insufficient search was done before hand.
However, when I picked the name Go!
I did try to find out if anyone else was using it.
In fact, I was kind of surprised that no one was!;
since it was clearly a great name.
. For those interested, Go! is a bi-lingual pun.
-- in Japan, where Prolog is very popular .
My previous work focused on a language called April.
In Japanese, the literal back-translation of April
is "4th Month".
Go is Japanese for 5.)

responses to McCabe's issue (verifying go! exists):

Comment 81 by yarkot1, Nov 11, 2009 [paraphrased]
'Go!' is available on sourceforge.net (networkagent),
and was developed jointly with McCabe and Clark
with commits back in 2000:
"A group of systems for building network-oriented intelligent agents,
consisting an agent communications infrastructure,
April - an agent construction programming language,
Go! - a logic programming language
and DialoX - an XML-based user interface engine".
. go! can be pronounced "(networkagent go)? ]

Comment 243 by andy.arvid, Nov 11, 2009
The Go! Source: homepage.mac.com
[redirects to nk11r10-homepage.mac.com]
april-9-30-07.tgz 2.3 MB
go-9-30-07.tgz 3.8 MB
InstallingGo.rtf 6 KB
ooio-9-30-07.tgz 821 KB
. see the problem here?
in some situ's (like unix) it's not wise*
to use the "(!) character in the name .
... could name it gol to look like (go!) ?
*: Characters you should not use in filenames:
| ; , ! @ # $ ( ) < > / \ " ' ` ~ { } [ ] = + & ^
. ]

Comment 454 by abraham.estrada, Nov 11, 2009
. that link includes these resources:]
Clark, K.L.; McCabe, F.G. (2003).
"Go! for multi-threaded deliberative agents" .
International Conference on Autonomous Agents (AAMAS'03): 964–965.
Clark, K.L.; McCabe, F.G. (2006).
"Ontology oriented programming in go!" .
Applied Intelligence 24 (3): 189–204.
Further reading
Clark, K.L.; McCabe, F.G. (2003).
Ontology Oriented Programming in Go! .
Clark, K.L.; McCabe, F.G. (2004).
"Go!—A Multi-Paradigm Programming Language
for Implementing Multi-Threaded Agents" .
Annals of Mathematics and Artificial Intelligence 41 (2-4): 171–206. .
Comment 222 by keithsthompson, Nov 11, 2009
There's a Go! program on 99-bottles-of-beer.net;
it's been there since 2005.
That site is an excellent place to check for existing language names.

responses to McCabe's issue (resolution attempts):

Comment 6 by zhenshe41, Nov 10, 2009
In Go! , can the IDE know the differences between
Go! and go ?

Comment 40 by patla073, Nov 11, 2009
Why not just name it Golang?
Erlang - "Ericsson Language"
Golang - "Google Language"

Comment 64 by david.kitchen, Nov 11, 2009
@40 Golang looks like a winner...
they're already using the domain golang.org
and it looks like no-one else is using
that as a language name.

Comment 45 by tuxthelinuxdood, Nov 11, 2009 [paraphrased]
It is obvious that "do no evil" Google employees
did not research the name
in terms of existing languages before release.
. how is it obvious?
they could have easily seen C# vs C
as a precident for go vs go! .]

Comment 54 by pierrevm, Nov 11, 2009
First Closure (name-squatting Clojure)
now Go stopping Go! in its tracks.
Just another week in the life of a giant company. [...]

Comment 66 by yless42, Nov 11, 2009
. as you all rightly pointed out,
one is called "go"
and the other is called "Go!".
Am I the only person seeing the similarities
between that and "C" == "C#"?
If you think that having an extra character
is a problem,
you should go speak to Microsoft first.
. I suggest you see these lists:
wikipedia.org, esolangs.org .
. See how many languages there are on those lists
where one name is only separated from another name
by one character? [...]

Comment 70 by pygy79, Nov 11, 2009
@66 the spelling may be different,
but in both cases (Clojure and Go!),
the pronounciation of the
Google newly introduced products
is identical.
not identical in both cases:
. just as C# is pronounced c-sharp;
go! should be pronounced go-bang
or go-cut (prolog`cut-operator) .]

Comment 79 by rnmboon, Nov 11, 2009
They should change the name to "god".
Why hold back on the level of ambition here.

Comment 80 by j...@ww.com, Nov 11, 2009
Google should do the right thing
and change their name, be gracious about it.
. Do no evil, remember ?

Comment 89 by jamesda...@gmail.com, Nov 11, 2009
#77: Why not start a company called "Google!" ?

Comment 90 by AxelSanner, Nov 11, 2009
[wikipedia's don't be evil]
then ... don't
. that page tells about "(don't be evil) being
Google's "(informal corporate motto (or slogan));
the page states that in January 2010,
"(Apple CEO Steve Jobs strongly criticized the slogan,
saying: "We did not enter the search business.
They[Google] entered the phone business.
Make no mistake they want to kill the iPhone.)
-- and then he scoffs at "(don't be evil);
but, he might be just showing off
to shareholders . look:
. Google is in the phone business because
the phone is where much of the googling
could be coming from;
so, they just want to make sure
a mobile platform is out there .
. Apple still has a competitive product:
a phone running on the secure
mac microkernel with solid software
(I don't have a smartphone,
but my mac desktop is a lot more solid
than my linux laptop
-- the linux world scoffs at microkernels
for losing energy, but Ubuntu is more likely
to lose my data ... I need to
take the Android hint
and do more cloud computing!) .]

Comment 157 by mich...@sun-sol.com, Nov 11, 2009
They should name the language "Evil--"
(do no evil...).

Comment 161 by ropers, Nov 11, 2009
[...] appreciating the difference between
terms that merely sound
and terms that actually *are* identical. [...]

Comment 170 by tomhaste, Nov 11, 2009
Some of these comments are plain silly. Heres another to join in;
If Go isnt the same as Go!;
Then Google isnt the same as Google!.

Comment 212 by Mo6eeeB, Nov 11, 2009
"Go!" wouldn't work, because
the only way I can think
of audibly pronouncing the "!"
is "bang" and "Go bang"
just sounds silly.

Comment 219 by lozeno1982, Nov 11, 2009
To those who say "it's like C and C#"
or "it's like C and C++" etc...
No, it's not the same case.
. First, C# and C++ are called this way
because they inherited their {sintax, syntax}
from C
and wanted to express that kind of legacy;
Second, they are actually pronounced DIFFERENTLY:
it's "See" (C), "See-plus-plus" (C++)
and "See-Sharp" (C#).
. Now, how do you pronounce Go and Go! ?
I read them both the same way: "Go".
I can't read a "!" to make a difference.
. this reminds that the reason yahoo
spells their name with a "(!)
is to pronounce the word with enthusiasm;
literally to step up the octave
of the last syllable .]

Comment 255 by insomniac8400, Nov 11, 2009
Go and Go Bang
are as different as C and C Sharp.

Comment 274 by THM...@gmail.com, Nov 11, 2009
(C vs. C++, vs. C# anyone)).

Comment 312 by merkey88, Nov 11, 2009
This reminds me of an old court case
where Yahoo! had to change their name to the previously stated
from Yahoo (with no exclamation).
By contrast, your programming language
already has the exclamation point,
so as long as Google does not use
an exclamation after Go (or go),
there should be no reason to change.

Comment 382 by samterrell, Nov 11, 2009
If Wikipedia can deal with the issue,
[... GML, Go, Go!, GOAL, ...]

Comment 521 by darkhorn, Nov 12, 2009
[...] write a new language called "Google!".'
Comment 525 by ashish.afriend, Nov 12, 2009
@521: There are differences
in a language and a company.

Comment 563 by kikito, Nov 12, 2009
You can read the ! symbol in English.
It is commonly pronounced as "Bang".
"Go Bang" vs "Go"
is exactly the same difference as in
"C Sharp" vs "C", pronuntiation-wise.

Comment 584 by malonsosanchez, Nov 12, 2009
Go and Go! are very similar.

Comment 610 by davidsinger0, Nov 12, 2009
. you yourself said you used the term
"Let's Go!" for a book
which if you google is the name of a
very popular book series.
Are you then infringing on their rights?

Comment 654 by roman.go...@gmail.com, Nov 12, 2009
. Nothing wrong with google using Go,
just like nothing wrong with
C++ using the C,
nor using it in C# by Microsoft.
There is no confusion,
and there is no real difficulty in finding
help for those languages.
. I think this is a non-issue
and is just an excuse for people to
get into the town-hall mentality
of yelling out absurdities
and not looking at the facts.
. Go and Go! can co-exist,
even if !Go comes out.

Comment 741 by victor.petrov, Nov 12, 2009
For those of you who
brought the C -> C++ example:
your example isn't valid
in this situation.
C++ was actually a set of
extensions to the C language.
Google's Go is NOT
an extension to Go!,
nor is Go! an extension to Go.
. but the point is that
they are distinguishable names;
also, C# is not an extension
of either {C, C++},
and people thought that was a great name,
easily pronouncing it c-sharp;
just as we'll easily pronounce
go! as go-Cut .]

Comment 744 by coolboygreatone, Nov 12, 2009
@741: What about C++ and C#
P.S. : Google should not change the name

Comment 828 by julian.notfound, Nov 13, 2009
Forgot to put a link to slashdot discussion .

Comment 843 by davidsarah.hopwood, Nov 13, 2009
. one David-Sarah Hopwood
has been active in the E lang'
and cap'based security
where she's had many pro' conversations
with several google employees:
Ben Laurie [@] benl@google.com (2009)
Mike Stay [@] stay@google.com (2009)
Mark S. Miller [@] erights@google.com (2008...2010)
. ]
. "Go" is a really terrible name
for a programming language.
Besides the two languages,
it has two common meanings in English
(the verb and the name of the board game),
it also means "naked" in Croatian,
-- naked, as in barefoot-fast?
and "him" in Polish.
-- him, as in speed & strength vs longevity?
This many existing meanings
is what you would expect
for such a short word.
. Anyway, who chooses a name for
a programming language these days
without googling "FOO programming language"
to see if it's already taken?
That's impolite at best;
even downright negligent.
but why assume they didn't see "(go!) ?
would go# be ok in a C# world ?
. The paper on the original Go! language,
incidentally, is at
. It's a concurrent-logic dialect of Prolog
with asynchronous message passing
and Hindley-Milner type inference. [link]

Comment 878 by Lucretia...@yahoo.co.uk, Nov 14, 2009
[...] stop trying [to] make C safe
and use Ada instead,
[...] Just a thought, eh Google!?
. what?! Go is hardly a safer C;
it's basically a quicker Python .]
. like most dev'houses, google has to
reach for what the market will offer;
most hot-shot coders will not
touch that verbose language;
c is low-level, but has a huge library,
and your glue code is compact,
not verbose;
your tools are solid and familiar .]

Comment 891 by wrolufsen, Nov 15, 2009
My vote is for Go@, pronounced like 'goat'.

Comment 932 by graham.p...@gmail.com, Nov 16, 2009
Google probably already knew about
"Go!" (or "gobang" as it may be pronounced,
[...] So "Go" without the "!"
is like "C#" without the "#".
Also, I doubt you can trademark "Go"
so legally there's not leg to .

many suggested calling it plan9:
"( The name Plan 9 from Bell Labs
is a reference to the 1959
cult science fiction B-movie
Plan 9 from Outer Space.)

. issue 9 is still open .

. McCabe's old blog's about-page is taking comments .

review of other clashes with "(go):

. another name clashing with "(go)
is a different sort of "(language):
"(the cultural roadmap for the city girl)
... then for a lack of language there is
"(go) family news portal by Disney .

. finally, for some foreign language,
"(Go!) is the english version of weg!:
. an Afrikaans language outdoor and travel magazine;
focuses on affordable destinations in South Africa
and the rest of Africa.