This is a list of the origins of computer-related terms. It relates to both computer hardware and computer software.
Names of many computer terms, especially computer applications, often relate to the function they perform, e.g., compiler is an application that compiles programming language code into the computer's machine language. There are other terms however whose history would indicate that it had less to do with the functionality, and hence are of etymological value. This article lists such terms.
- B programming language - B was created by Ken Thompson as a revision of the Bon programming language.
- Bon programming language - Bon was created by Ken Thompson named after his wife Bonnie.
- C programming language - Dennis Ritchie improved on the B programming language and called it New B. He later called it C.
- C++ - an object-oriented programming language and a successor to the C programming language.
- Daemon - a process in an operating system that runs in the background.
Gnu is also a species of African antelope. Founder of the GNU project Richard Stallman liked the name because of the humour associated with its pronuniciation and was also influenced by the children's song The Gnu Song which is a song sung by a gnu. Also it fitted into the recursive acronym culture with "GNU's Not Unix".
- Google - search engine on the web.
mail' and finally settled for hotmail as it included the letters "html" - the markup language used to write web pages. It was initially referred to as HoTMaiL with selective upper casing.
- Jakarta Project - a project constituted by Sun and Apache to create a webserver for servlets and JSPs.
- Java - It was originally called Oak by Java-creator James Gosling, from the tree that stood outside his window. The programming team at Sun had to look for a substitute as there was another language with the same name. Java was selected from a list of suggestions. Being programmers, they drank much coffee and the word is an casual, alternative name for that beverage.
- Linux - the kernel of the GNU/Linux operating system.
Lotus Position' or 'Padmasana'. Kapor used to be a teacher of Transcendental Meditation technique as taught by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
Netscape, created a browser to replace the Mosaic browser, it was internally named Mozilla (Mosaic-Killer, Godzilla). When the Navigator source code was Open Sourced, the internal name was continued externally.
Oracle (the CIA saw this as the system to give answers to all questions or some such). The project was designed to use the newly written SQL database language from IBM. The project eventually was terminated but Larry and Bob decided to finish what they started and bring it to the world. They kept the name Oracle and created the RDBMS engine.
- PHP programming language - a server-side scripting language. Originally called Personal Home Page Tools by creator Rasmus Lerdorf, it was rewritten by developers Zeev Suraski and Andi Gutmans who gave it the recursive name PHP Hypertext Preprocessor.
- Python programming language - an interpreted scripting language. Named after the television series Monty Python's Flying Circus.
- Red Hat Linux - a Linux kernel ditribution from Red Hat.
- Samba software - a free implementation of Microsoft's networking protocol. The name samba comes from inserting two vowels into the name of the standard protocol that Microsoft Windows network file system use, called SMB (Server Message Block).
- SCO UNIX - a UNIX variant from SCO.
Sun. Tomcat started off as a servlet specification implementation by James Duncan Davidson who was a software architect at Sun. Davidson had initially hoped that the project would be open-sourced, and since most open-source projects had O'Reilly books on them with an animal on the cover, he wanted to name the project after an animal. He came up with Tomcat since he reasoned the animal represented something that could take care of and fend for itself.
Jonathan Swift and used in his book Gulliver's Travels. It represents a person who is repulsive in appearance and action and is barely human. Yahoo! founders Jerry Yang and David Filo selected the name because they considered themselves yahoos. However, Yahoo! today claims a sort of backformed acronym -- Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle.