Friday, March 25, 2011

Parliamentary ICT: The Great Naming Scheme Debate

Anyone who works in technology in the field of administration - be they NetAdmins (always the cause of failure), DBAdmins (always the cause of failure when it is not the NetAdmins fault), or SysAdmins (never the cause of failure because they're Gods unlike the other two) - will be aware of the timeless and eternally important question of "what should be the naming scheme for our devices?"

Now, you may not understand the importance of this. You may be thinking "surely making things work is more important than the name Mr Diz?", but you'd be wrong. As any thoroughbred geek knows, what you call things, and the scheme it follows is without a doubt the most hotly disputed and important issue in technology today.

Why? Well.. if you get your naming scheme wrong, you might end up with lots of devices with utterly stupid names. What;s more you might pick something cool as a scheme that sadly has a finite number of options.Say for example your naming scheme is based on illegal substances allowing you the ability to say things like "I'm working on acid today". There are only so many drugs you see, so eventually saying "I'm on cocaine6 at the moment" doesn't have the same effect really does it?

Celestial objects are often popular, the only problem there though is, as I learned once, any celestial object that tends to fall to earth, such a "meteor" tends to jinx the device so it then has a habit of going down all the time - especially if you're rolling out a version 13 of code onto it (sensible geeks avoid such versions and skip the number to 14 just in case... tempting fate and all that).

Of course, the naming scheme debate can be settled quickly if you want to be all prim and proper and highly professional. In that case you go for the old $location-$function format of name. When the former is an abbreviation of the device location or datacentre, and the latter is something like "mail" or "web"... that is boring though and well... just not cool.

So why am I telling you all this? Simple really. It looks like the IT geeks in Parliament have had this eternally important debate recently too, and "being cool" won the day over "being professional".

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Seems they've gone for famous mathematicians/Cambridge alumni or someone is making a subtle political statement by using a traditional Tamil name.

Either way, having a cool naming scheme beat the stuffy suits huh?

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