On the one hand I’ve been working on this programming language that everyone can use. On the other hand I’ve been trying out different names for it. I suppose this might be premature. On the other hand, in some ways it can be hard to work on, or even think about, something without knowing what to call it.
At first we (my students and I) wanted to call it “Patch” — an portmanteau of “Python” (the popular programming language) and “Scratch” (the MIT programming language for kids). But Patch is not really a very appealing name, is it? It sounds for all the world like the name of a sad little rag doll lying abandoned at the bottom of an old toy chest. Not really a name upon which to pin the dawning of a new era of universal literacy.
I tried out a few other names — like “Monty”, to suggest a prequel to “Python” — but most of them were just plain silly.
By far the best I’ve come up with comes from the mantra “Programming is easy”. As an acronym, that spells “Pie”, which has a rather nice ring to it. Pie is a simple name, easy to remember, and slightly whimsical, but not too whimsical. It also emphasizes the analogy between a program and a cooking recipe, which is definitely good.
I particularly like the way it sounds like the beginning of “Python”. In a sense, learning Pie is the beginning of learning Python. Furthermore (switching now into shameless pun mode), Pie is well rounded and flavorful, something you can really sink your teeth into. It’s a peachy name, fresh, yet warm. Quite à la mode, as they say. Possibly half baked, but that’s ok — this is research, after all.
And of course, everyone knows that Pie goes well with Java.
All in all Pie seems like a fine name for a universally accessible programming language, no matter how you slice it. Does anyone care to agree or disagree?