The Naming Of Operating Systems - Fedora 19 Is Schrodinger's Cat
Written by Lucy Black   
Friday, 16 November 2012

The naming of software projects, especially open source projects, is often a little eccentric but it really matters. In this case the Fedora project decided to take a vote on it. The options available give a deep insight into the geek mind.

If you marvel at the sort of names that are applied to successive versions of Ubuntu - 12.17 is Quantal Quetzal -  then Fedora's choice will come as no great shock. Its next version, i.e. 19, will be called, sound the fanfare:

Schrodinger's Cat

which is a much better name than the previous version "Spherical Cow". However, it is pointed out that both are creations of theoretical physics. The spherical cow is the punchline of a joke -

"I have a formula to improve milk production but it only works for a spherical cow in a vacuum".

Schrodinger's Cat is so well-known as the victim of a cruel thought experiment, that there is no need to explain further - although it is worth pointing out that Schrodinger actually liked cats.

Fedora names have to have a connection with previous names but apparently not a particularly strong one.

A total of 3128 votes were cast by 391 people (don't ask) and the results were:

Votes ::  Name
--------------------------------------------
1876  ::  Schrödinger's Cat
1620  ::  Higgs Boson
1012  ::  Tiddalik
960   ::  Loch Ness Monster
907   ::  Newtonian Dynamics
892   ::  Martian Blueberries
722   ::  Parabolic Potassium
595   ::  Cubical Calf

Yes there are a lot of science based names, and very few cultural or social suggestions. The full list of candidates is also worth viewing and it too is focused on science and science fiction.

On a slightly, only very slightly, more serious note the selection of Schrödinger's Cat has condemned us all to finding out how to enter an umlaut and to typing a few more apostrophes.

 schrodingercatj

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