Code Name Confusion
We'd like to have a word about product code names this month.
You've probably worked on a software project whose beta versions existed under a code name. These names can be meaningful (like "Longhorn," which is a bar between Whistler and Blackcomb), quirkily descriptive (like "Aurum," the SQL Server 2000 data-mining code name and also the Latin word for gold), or just plain goofy (we'll withhold examples of this one).
If you are old enough to remember "Get Smart," you might recall the episode when the Chief is put under oath and reveals his name is Thaddeus, much to Max's amusement. Even though "Thaddeus" is his given name, everyone still thinks of him as "Chief."
Many times a beta code name will stay in the public consciousness for some time. Even now that the next version of Windows has received its real name, Windows Vista, many of us are still working on the mental reassociation. But Windows Vista is a nice name. It lends itself to images of wide-open spaces.
Then there are other technologies that have a pretty snappy code name, but when the final product name is announced, it is more descriptive than fun. We're talking about you, Windows Communication Foundation. WCF is going to be around for many years. It's a powerful, complex technology. And as hard as we try, we still think "Indigo" when we hear it mentioned.
Sometimes we become accustomed to thinking of a program as "Chief." When we discover it's actually "Thaddeus," it takes a while to adapt to the real name. Windows Communication Foundation is still in the Chief/Thaddeus crossover phase.
We do wish, though, that new software names would be chosen to be conducive to eye-catching headlines. Have you ever tried to fit "Windows Communication Foundation" on a cover line? There's simply not enough room. By contrast, a name like "Indigo" would've left us with all kinds of options. And don't get us started on "Windows Presentation Foundation!"
|From Chief to Thaddeus
||Now known as Windows Vista, this is the next client version of Windows. The server version is currently still known as its code name "Longhorn Server."
||SQL Server 2005.
||Visual Studio 2005. Also the .NET Framework 2.0.
||Looking further down the road, "Blackcomb" is the code name for the release of Windows following Vista.
||The code name for the version of Visual Studio after 2005. We'll be discussing Orcas in more depth once you're more comfortable with Visual Studio 2005.
||The next generation of managed APIs provided by Microsoft. WinFX encompasses a lot of technologies; more info can be found at msdn.microsoft.com/winfx.
||Now known as Windows Presentation Foundation, this is the new unified presentation subsystem for Windows. WPF is part of WinFX.
||The messaging subsystem part of WinFX, now known as Windows Communication Foundation. WCF will help you create secure, reliable Web services, and like WPF, it is part of WinFX.
Here's a handy list of some of the recent code names Microsoft has used. Sometimes it can seem overwhelming, but when you think back to the early 1990s and the types of programs that were being created for Windows 3.0, and then you look at the amazing software being created today, all the churn starts to make more sense. You can easily create code now that most people would only have dreamed of just a few years ago. It takes a lot of code names to develop all that technology.
Thanks to the following Microsoft technical experts for their help with this issue: Jonathan Caves, Shawn Farkas, Mike Fitzmaurice, Mark Fussell, Forest Gouin, Mike Harder, Ashok Kamath, Ilya Mironov, Kieran Mockford, John Nisi, Jay Roxe, Andres Sanabria, Stefan Schackow, Jason Shirk, and Steve Swartz.
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