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Google Programming

Google Under Fire For Calling Their Language "Go" 512

Norsefire writes "Since releasing the 'Go' programming language on Tuesday, Google has been under fire for using the same name as another programming language that was first publicly documented in 2003. 'Go!' was created by Francis McCabe and Keith Clark. McCabe published a book about the language in 2007, and he is not happy. He told InformationWeek in an email: 'I do not have a trademark on my language. It was intended as a somewhat non-commercial language in the tradition of logic programming languages. 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.'"
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Google Under Fire For Calling Their Language "Go"

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  • Go! (Score:5, Informative)

    by sopssa ( 1498795 ) * <sopssa@email.com> on Thursday November 12, 2009 @08:39AM (#30071650) Journal

    It's actually pretty funny Google itself didn't see this coming. Results in Google for go programming language [google.com] are about the existing Go! language and the main developers book about it.

    In this case Google should really change the name since its been used in an existing programming language for years. But maybe they are:

    "We recently became aware of the Go! issue and are now looking into the matter further," a company spokesperson said in an e-mail.

  • Re:Go! (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 12, 2009 @08:44AM (#30071682)

    No one saw it coming. Including you reading this. Even the wikipedia article was created just yesterday.

    The fact I toiled in my basement crafting a virtual machine language 20 years ago, glanced at my cup, and decided to call it java, doesn't me Sun should even give a damn my ego was bruised.

  • Re:Go! (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 12, 2009 @08:47AM (#30071728)

    No one saw it coming. Including you reading this. Even the wikipedia article was created just yesterday.

    Yeah its not like it happened with Gmail or anything.

  • Re:Is Go! alive? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Procasinator ( 1173621 ) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @08:51AM (#30071784)
    A couple academic papers too, dating back to 2003. No docs isn't that accurate.
  • Re:So? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 12, 2009 @08:56AM (#30071846)

    The way I see it, TM or copyright are really useful so you don't have to demonstrate that you were using that name before... he doesn't have it, so he has to show that he had a book, that the language was published in 2003 with that name, etc.

  • Re:Perfect example (Score:3, Informative)

    by Rary ( 566291 ) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @09:02AM (#30071944)

    Even without a registered trademark, I think they'd have a good case that Google is trying to pass off their new language as the original Go.

    Actually, unregistered trademarks are valid, too. In North America, the trademark system is a "first to use" system, not a "first to file".

    However, the original Go is not a commercial product, so there is no trademark issue. Google will likely consider changing the name just because it's stupid to create a new programming language and give it the same name as an existing one, but trademark won't enter into the discussion.

  • Re:Goo (Score:4, Informative)

    by EyelessFade ( 618151 ) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @09:06AM (#30071990) Homepage
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 12, 2009 @09:07AM (#30072000)

    Google's language is called Go! (with an exclamation mark.) The preexisting language whose existence has been suddenly and rudely revealed is called Go without the exclamation mark.

    Other way around. Google's language is "Go". McCabe's language is "Go!".

  • by Thornburg ( 264444 ) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @09:24AM (#30072184)

    Dont get me started on the Japanese chess game Go.

    I don't know if your post was supposed to be either sarcastic or funny, but Go [wikipedia.org] is neither Japanese nor chess.

    It's Chinese, and it's older than chess.

    The game commonly referred to as "Japanese chess" is Shogi [wikipedia.org].

  • Re:Go! (Score:2, Informative)

    by DiademBedfordshire ( 1662223 ) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @10:16AM (#30072916)
  • Re:Go! (Score:2, Informative)

    by Mitchell314 ( 1576581 ) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @10:29AM (#30073126)
    http://www.googspubandgrub.com/v1/about/ [googspubandgrub.com]

    Yes, I googled. And yes, I thought it's name should have changed to goo when I saw the title of this article. :P
  • by kumanopuusan ( 698669 ) <goughnourc.gmail@com> on Thursday November 12, 2009 @10:40AM (#30073308)
    Go originated in China, but is played in Japan. TFA is about naming things Go, so it might be worthwhile to note that Go is the Japanese name for the game.
  • Re:'GO' != 'GO!' (Score:4, Informative)

    by umberto_soprano ( 1594477 ) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @11:09AM (#30073674)

    A+ != A# != A# C != C# (in fairness they are related) There are several languages refereed to as D F != F# L != L# M != M4

    If you can't tell the difference between to similarly named programming languages perhaps programming isn't for you!

    But C# = Db F = E# and moreover B# = C

  • Re:Go! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Iron Condor ( 964856 ) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @12:44PM (#30075398)

    But it does kind of fly in the face of the "Don't be evil" slogan.

    Not really. There was no malice here anywhere. Nobody tried to be evil, nobody is trying to be evil this moment and nobody is trying to be evil in the future.

    Some dude had an idea a couple years back that was so utterly obscurethat no Wikipedia page existed for it. Let that sink in: There's a page on Wikipedia for every actor that was ever seen in the background of any Star Trek episode; yet this supposed "Go language" was so unknown that nobody ever bothered to make a page for it (until yesterday). And the name is a two letter word that cannot actually be googled and is as useless as "to" or "for" or "a" as a search term.

    And somehow Google are "evil" for inventing something completely fresh, new, different, that has seen more use in the first 24 hours after release than all of the other guy's stuff in his lifetime and naming it "go"? Sorry, but that just doesn't fly.

    The guy should be happy for the exposure and publicity his little thought experiment got from all this.

  • Re:Go! (Score:5, Informative)

    by malakai ( 136531 ) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @02:24PM (#30077258) Journal

    He published in "Annals of Mathematics and Artificial Intelligence" and it's cited [acm.org] in the ACM portal. Who cares what Wiki has or doesn't have.

    This wasn't some geocities page with talk about a language that was never developed.

  • by LionMage ( 318500 ) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @06:08PM (#30080922) Homepage

    Actually, "Go" is the Japanese name for the game. That's a Romanization, obviously, but is considered phonetically close to the Japanese pronunciation.

    Not to sound cranky, but how hard would it be to check the relevant section [wikipedia.org] of the Wikipedia article? Quoting:

    In Japan—where it is called go ([glyph that Slashdot won't let through]) or igo ([two more glyphs that Slashdot won't reproduce])—the game became popular at the Japanese imperial court in the 8th century, and among the general public by the 13th century.

    An earlier section indicates that it's called baduk in Korean. (Not even gonna bother trying to transcribe the hangul characters.) The Western name for the game comes to us from Japan.

    So yes, "Go" is the English/Western name for the game, but it was first the Japanese name for the game. The Wikipedia article claims Edward Lasker brought the game to the U.S. in 1905; he had picked it up in Germany. The Japan Go Association popularized the game in the West in the 1960s through an English language magazine called Go Review.

    Anyway, among typical human beings, spoken language is primary. What it sounds like is what counts. There should be no such ridiculous expression of prejudice against a Romanized word.

When someone says "I want a programming language in which I need only say what I wish done," give him a lollipop.