A multitude of oceans.

I thought, when I chose the name “Ocean” for my new language, that I had checked that it wasn’t obviously in use.  If I had, I wasn’t very thorough.

In the first place, there is Ocean: A new systems programming language which looks like an experiment much like mine.  It is far from complete and the most recent date I can find is over 2 years ago.  Maybe it is still active, maybe not.  If I ever progress far enough that I think I have a serious language instead of just a little toy, I would certainly revisit that project to see if there is any real conflict, but for now we are both at a stage where choosing the same name is much like choosing the same name for our children – not really a problem.

However there is also the Ocean Programming Language Definition which looks more formal.  It dates from 1995 (nearly 20 years ago!) and was targeted at being a language for teaching compiler design with.  It may even still be in use for that, I don’t know.  How long can you hold on to a name for a language without having a portal on the web I wonder?

Finally there is the Ocean Language from Cadence Design Systems(youtube) which seems be a totally different beast – something for simulations I think.  That definitely seems like a viable contended for the name.

So I should probably change the name of my language … not just yet though.  It really is just a toy so there is no need to be hasty.  It might be worth thinking of options though.

The first to occur to me is “Mare”, being the Latin name of “sea”, and importantly the name used for the “seas” on the Moon. It does have the problem that, when spoken aloud, it could be confused with “mere”, and while “a mere language” has some attraction, I would rather avoid confusion.  Another possibility is “Oceanus”, again from the Latin and used for Oceanus Procellarum, again on the moon.

I’ll have to make a decision before my current registration of ocean-lang.org expires, but that is a couple of years yet and I may have lost interest by then…

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