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Go! vs Go  (View post)

Ralle [PersonRank 1]

Wednesday, November 11, 2009
13 years ago9,181 views

I think Google should change theirs to "Goo"

Kyle Wegner [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

I have no problem with people using a typical word to denote their project/product/company (see: Apple). The only problem is when they try to stop people from using the word or phrase completely out of context (see: Donald Trump's "You're Fired").

Go!/Go as a programming language should be patentable, but it there should be limited ways for the owner of the name "Go" to stop others from using the word, personally or for profit, as long as the name is used outside of the programming world.

Jacob [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

Google should have researched better. Change the name...

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Long before Francis' language, "Go" was used for hundreds of other things, including a popular board game.

Anyway, if confusion arises, people will start to distinguish by calling them e.g. "Google's Go" and "Francis' Go".

No name change needed.

Brandon Tomlinson [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

I understand the person's issue. I think google can use this for publicity. "and oops that names taken" campaign where people get to vote on the name of the language would be very neat and get -Google go- a bit of spotlight.

Eren [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

If Go! and Go were not both programming languages, we would not be discussing this. Since we have two different programming with (almost) same name and without any kind of continuity whatsoever, I believe we need a distinction here. And an exclamation mark is definitely not enough for that purpose.

I believe Google should consider changing the name (since it's still in its early phases). My suggestion would be golang (the domain name is anyway).

Even if there wasn't a clash, Go is not a good name for a programming language since it is too generic for any search engine. It would be pretty difficult for developers to search for any issues they face...

uber [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

What Eren said above.

If you look at any legal issues similar to this in the past it very clearly outlines that the use of the same 'name' for something only becomes a concern when both 'products/etc' are the same.

In this case, a programming language.

If Google wanted to make a chewing gum and call it 'Go' there wouldn't be an issue. But the fact is, they are both programming languages and so it must be protected.

Some companies (i.e. Apple) try to over step this and stop ANY use of the word Apple even if it has nothing to do with computers/electronics. And that is wrong.

Mrrix32 [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Love the way someone points out that half the alternative names people are suggesting have already been taken too.

[put at-character here]Roger
Having the same name for different products isn't as much of a problem as having the same product with the same name. And yes, I can see people callling it "Google Go"

imma [PersonRank 3]

13 years ago #

Not very impressed by the Wikipedia link there as it just got created today :-(
The book reference seems good :-) , however I feel someone stands to benefit more than suffer from this & as usual I disapprove of copywrite & trademark usage ...

Ryan [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

Does anybody else thing "GoLang" sounds way too much like "Gulag"? Brand managers will be all over that...

Wes [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

Would we really be having this conversation if Google decided to name the programming language Java? Java is a very common term for coffee, oh and I guess there is a programming language that bears the same name.

To the people who are saying that Google doesn't need to change the name, make sure that you aren't saying that since the original name wasn't as well known as Java or any other mainstream language. The programmer of Go!, regardless of his motives, has a legitimate claim to ask Google to change the name.

Jake [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

Why Go?? Google should change theirs to Googity. It's more inclusive of their company name and is fun. Do they really want to be known as the company that stole a programming language because it won't be about they took the name. It'll be they stol the programming language.

maciej [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

google failed!

Inferno [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

It is obvious that Google is kind enough to change the name and powerful enough to keep it...

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

There's also a programming language called Goo:

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Perhaps Google could contact the author privately and come to a "private settlement" agreement and mention his Go! language on their golang project page, as a hat tip?

Oh, anyone remember the Dutch Knol company? Or comic character Barney Google? Or Android? Or the German G-Mail? :)

David Mulder [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

I seriously hope google will change it, both because this is an epic fail at google's part and because it would be impossible to find anything about the language as go is far too ambiguous for the search engine to comprehend (e.g. "Go extension ambiguous" (pure random error/query I made up) would never be associated with the go programming language.)

Ron [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

Everything can be fixed. Sure. But a smarter way is not to break stuff to begin with. How hard could it be to come up with an original name for a programming language?

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

We get by just fine with three people in our suburb who are called John Smith. No-one talks about forcing the youngest of them to change their names to avoid a name collision.

Nick A [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

I think Francis just got Gwned.

Observer [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

For those who don't want to buy the book to see what Go! looks like, I suggest googling for a paper called "Ontology Oriented Programming in Go!".

Mark [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

I'd rather see Google change the name of their programming language to Giggity Goo(gle). Giggity for short.

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

> For those who don't want to buy the book to see what Go! looks like

The Lulu link in Philipp's post provides a free preview of the book.

Gerard [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

Perhaps I'll develop a language called Sea Plus Plus... then another language called G0 (thats a zero, but its pronounced go!)

You don't hear Ajax cleanser crying about the acronym.

Plus, who uses Go! anyways?

Maybe... I'll take a dictionary file, then run a script that generates a unique idea labeled with every word... then I'll publish that all over the place... twitter mostly... people will call me mad, but they can't because I have a product called mad already published!

All your words are belong to us!

Brad [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

Call it "Goo" – i also agree with Eren's post –

and the post about publicity with the "oops that names taken" :)

Mrrix32 [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

[put at-character here]Brad
As I said, a lot of suggested names already exist as programming languages ;)

Polla [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

Google should "google" for a good name before using it

Veky [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

That's what trademarks are for. The issue should be very simple: trademark registration costs money for a reason. People in trademark protection offices should simply do their work.

A book's been published? That really doesn't mean anything. In these times, everybody and his dog can publish a book, especially via Lulu.

JEShack [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

I go for the G++

Ixtapa [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

Go for issue 9 :


Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

McCabe in the thread commented:

<<I am very grateful for the support I have received on this thread. It seems to have hit a nerve.

I want to make one particular point, some people have suggested that "I should be grateful" for the extra advertising. My response to that is that I was not actively looking for this advertising. It was not me who picked a clashing name.

I fully understand that it is possible that insufficient search was done before hand. However, when I picked the name Go! I did try to find out if anyone else was using it. In fact, I was kind of surprised that no one was!; since it was clearly a great name.

For those interested, Go! is a bi-lingual pun. My previous work focused on a language called April. In Japanese, the literal back-translation of April is "4th Month". Go is Japanese for 5.>>

And he tells InformationWeek via 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. (...)

It takes a lot of effort to produce a reasonably well-designed language. I am concerned that the 'big guy' will end up steam-rollering over me. I do not have resources to invest in legal action; but do not intend to let Google keep the name without them being explicit that they are steam-rollering over us.>>

A Google spokesperson told InformationWeek, "We recently became aware of the Go! issue and are now looking into the matter further". (

George R [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Why shoud "go" versus "go!" be any more confusing than "c" versus "c++" versus "c#"?

They could call it "go2".

Mrrix32 [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

[put at-character here]George
Because c++ can be said as "C Plus Plus", and c# as "C Sharp". I can't see many people saying "Go Exclamation Mark" ;)

David Bolton [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

Go! could be pronounced as Go Bang! or Go Shriek! He exclaimed!!

Ryan Rampersad [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

Google can change "Go" to Goo or we can refer to the proper language via "Google Go" and "Francis Go!"

This only seems fair. I still like Goo as an alternative though.

John [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

Goo is also taken

and its not the best word since it also has another explicit meaning....

Dan Tobias [PersonRank 6]

13 years ago #

Regarding Java, well, the creators of JavaScript used a confusingly similar name for their different language, which to this day gets erroneously referred to as "Java" by people who ought to know better.

Roberto Gattinoni [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

"I get the feeling no one should be able to “reserve” a normal word for their product/ invention ...."

Yes I agree with you and due to the fact that "google" has become so "normal" for me .... well I think I could try to call my new company .. ehm .... voilà .. google (with a lowercase "g").

Tonny Madsen [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

"I get the feeling no one should be able to “reserve” a normal word for their product/ invention/ programming language and then block others from using it in the future..."

Such as "Windows" or any word starting with Mc.... (like McDonalds)...

George R [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Is the language name a reference to its thread control statement, an abbreviation of "Google", or both?
If it refers to the statement, how would "goo" make sense?

Gerard [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

Are we all forgetting the Disney brand. Go(.com)?

   (said in mickey mouse voice) "In the end Disney wins, haha"

Larry W. Virden [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

I think people should be able to reserve a programming language name the same as they want to be able to reserve a web site. Would you really like him to change the name of his language to, say, google?

Raghu [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

So what i get from your post is like there will be no problem whatsoever if I start a company named say "APPLE".Will you support it.Thats stupid,you work on something for such a long time and one day you roll out of your bed and switch on your computer to find out that some big fat guy took the title of your lifetimes work,I tell you it really hurts really.Just because google is a huge company you can`t support it blindly.If google can come up with a new programming language why can`t they find a new name for it.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

> So what i get from your post is like there will be no
> problem whatsoever if I start a company named say "APPLE"

Apparently there was no problem when today's Apple Inc got started (as "Apple Computers"), even when there were companies by that name around for a long time:

"Apple Records is a record label founded by The Beatles in 1968, as a division of Apple Corps Ltd."
"The Apple was a short-lived American automobile manufactured by Apple Automobile Company in Dayton, Ohio from 1917 to 1918."
"Apple were a British psychedelic rock band. The band was founded in Cardiff in 1968"
"The Apple Bank for Savings provides private and commercial banking services to the greater New York City area. It is the 4th largest New York-based bank"

But it will help if we seperate laws from ethics in this discussion – legally, you may well be entitled to trademark a name for a specific region of products.

KY [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

On behalf of the Authors of Go!.

1. The Authors of Go! DO HAVE used and ARE USING
the name Go! for their product in a COMMERCIAL venture.
At least they have been selling a book so-titled
about their product so-titled: Go!.

Even if their venture was totally non-profit,
it has set a good precedent deserving acknowledgment.

2. In effect the Authors of Go! have used and are using Go! as their trademark in public commercial space, using it sufficiently clear (with no name ambiguities/conflicts) thus far.

3. Registration of a trademark with the US PTO is a stronger
method of trademark protection but is NOT required for a trademark to be legally used, acknowledged and respected as a trademark.

Wrong (not legal) would rather be if some party knowingly takes a course of confusing and/or manipulating a market (the concepts, the symbols, the players)
by disrespecting legal tradition, facts of precedence,
"smaller" players, etc.

4. Yes, both parties could use It with no claims for legal trademark protection but the fact remain:

Such uses work in effect as trademarks in the virtual space of human as well as computer perception, and confusion is NOT a good thing.

The big and late in the case (Google) could have been more considering by (inventing or) selecting different name for their new programming language initiative.

A real Name Conflict and potential Damage – irresponsible, possibly deliberate, by a huge company – this is the issue.

It is about competing in Virtual Space.
In the same Space where big companies like Go! oops :)
others... are making money by running commercial ads.

someone posted:

I'm not sure there's any reason for lawyers and money to be involved. A trademark in the U.S. protect marks used in commerce, so I would think that the authors of Go! would have to have used the name in a commercial venture prior to Google's announcement.

It appears that Google is not asserting trademark protection on the name, either, so there really doesn't seem to be any legal case at all – it looks like both parties can use it.

KYalamov [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

Thank you all for the insightful comments
and the good work of McCabe, Clark and others
which led to such a discussion.

I have put quite of effort too – in development of a new multi-paradigm programming language which I've named Main Universal Language [tm].
Some time ago I received OK by the US PTO for official registration of that trademark of mine, yet I am using it not registered.

Inspired by (rule) knowledge systems, Prolog, etc. (KET, NESY Prolog, etc.)
M.U.L. is combining support to declarative as well as to imperative styles of representation and computing.

Now I can claim this trademark, alias to Main Universal Language:


"FYI" symbolizes Language's Declarative part while the Bang – the Imperative one :)

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