[Volunteers] "*** of the Month"

Ian Kluft ikluft at thunder.sbay.org
Tue Jul 5 15:09:06 PDT 2005

On Tue, Jul 05, 2005 at 01:18:05PM -0700, J. Paul Reed wrote:
> On 05 Jul 2005 at 13:06:04, William R Ward arranged the bits on my disk to say:
> > I'd like to suggest we not use the term "Foo of the month."  The term
> > "foo" is derived from an acronym that uses foul language, is alien to the
> > newbie, and is cliche to the experienced user.  Let's just call it "tool
> > of the month" or something similar.
> I'm going to ask for other opinions on this; I understand that it's derived
> from a military term which is a... colorful acronym.
> On the other hand, I really like the ambiguity "Foo of the month" allows
> us, and the fact of the matter is that foo, bar, baz, etc. are all terms
> that are used within the open source community quite frequently, and
> without any reference to the original acronym.
> In some sense, we've made it ours.
> I also think it's cute; "'Tool' of the Month" is boring; how many LUGs have
> done *that*?

I can understand Bill's concern about the origin of the term.  But I think
that's digging too deep into its history for current relevance.

My opinion: "foo" has moved decades beyond its WWII origin.  Today it means
a sample/placeholder word you can fill in anywhere.

I found supporting references...

   ESR's Jargon File


   RFC 3092: Etymology of "Foo" (see posting date - not on standards track)


If "foo" is not selected in the discussion, the Wikipedia article lists
other "Metasyntactic Variables" like it.  But "foo" is considered the first
of them.

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