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From: hsutter_at_[hidden]
Date: 2001-09-24 16:04:19

--- In boost_at_y..., Beman Dawes <bdawes_at_a...> wrote:
> At 12:13 PM 9/24/2001, Jim.Hyslop wrote:
> >Just out of curiosity, why was the name "Boost" chosen?
> Herb Sutter had been working on a spoof proposal for a new language
> Booze, which was supposed to be better than Java.
> Robert Klarer mentioned that in Sofia Antipolis, France, when we
> fantasizing about a new library effort, and somehow that kicked off
> idea of "Boost" as a name. We'd probably had a couple of glasses
of good
> French wine at that point.

Wow. I didn't know that!

That spoof was my April[sic] 1998 Sutter's Mill column in C++ Report
(the same month as the Sofia Antipolis meeting). For those interested
in some humo[u]r, it's available online at:

  "The BOOSE Programming Language"

I had not the faintest idea that it was in any way related to BOOST.
What's more, I never even noticed the name similarity, even though
I'm usually an inveterate punster.

(Historical note: Robert Klarer, Josee Lajoie, and I were traveling
together home to Toronto after the Morristown NJ standards meeting in
November 1997. On the way, our cab driver asked us what we were doing
in New Jersey, and Josee told him we were there for a standards
meeting. The cabbie asked what kind of standards, Josee said for a
programming language, and the cabbie immediately said: "Oh. Is it
Java?" We all burst out laughing at this demonstration of the
effectiveness of Sun's marketing, because the cabbie was clearly a
nontechnical person. This got us to talking about coming up with an
alternative language, and Robert suggested the name "booze" as the
name for a funny/spoofy alternative programming language. Later,
while were sitting in the departure lounge, I tried coming up with
something that "booze" would be an acronym for, and the Z was hard to
match so I ended up suggesting "BOOSE" (still pronounced "booze")
for "Bjarne's Object-Oriented Software Environment." Then Robert came
up with the slogan: "BOOSE: It's more potent than Java!" Josee was
just shaking her head at us sadly at this point. I started on the
article when I got home, expanding further on the theme with my own
ideas, and Bob Martin loved it and agreed to print it as an April
Fool's joke in the April 1998 issue.)

> It was just a working name, but no one ever came up with a
> >Is it because it
> >gives programmers a boost in productivity?
> Let's hope so!

I'd always thought BOOST was meant to convey the idea of 'getting a
leg up' or 'getting started early' on laying the groundwork for the
next-generation C++ standard library -- a "boost" that we couldn't
yet do officially/normatively, and indeed didn't want to do without
building on existing practice (more) this time around. Hence, the
idea to 'let's go build existing practice.' I like this etymology

That BOOST is related to BOOSE is just too cute. I promote BOOST
quite a bit in print and in seminars; now I must be sure to mention

Thanks for the nod, and glad you liked the column. I never had the
courage to include that one in a serious book, so the only place it's
ever appeared was in the April 98 C++ Report and at that web URL.


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