A naming scheme is a method for naming objects in some space. Some people do this with their children (all names starting with the same letter, for example, or a traditional middle name for sons). Most computer networks impose a naming scheme on their constituent computers, and it is in this context that the term "naming scheme" is often employed.

Dan Rue has an extensive database of naming schemes in use on different computer networks.

"What's in a name?" the Bard asks. Maybe not much, but the choice of a naming scheme can tell you a lot about the organization which implements it. Consider the historical example of the declining Roman empire, where noble families began numbering their sons rather than naming them: "Primus", "Secundus", etc. The Japanese did something similar in their own period of imperial decline. The practice signalled that each empire was out of ideas and ripe for disruption by foreign barbarians, and in both cases, that's exactly what happened.

The principle extends to the modern day. One startup company I worked for used the names of Star Control alien races for its workstations. This sent a clear message: We have a sense of play and a strong geek culture. When a new CTO mandated a new naming scheme consisting of functional identifiers and sequential numbers, this also sent a message: We are a faceless company with no personality. It didn't take long for that prophecy to be fulfilled.

My naming scheme for my personal machines is commonly-used naming schemes: cthulhu-mythos, seven-dwarves, famous-suicides, etc.

And my web server? naming-schemes.naming-schemes.org, of course!


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