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    I just wanted to say, I am amazed by your work on the project, and the continued awesome reporting you’re doing. It kinda feels to me like if you saw the Augean stables, smiled brightly, said: “Gee, this could be so useful to people if done right!”, then proceeded to gleefully convert them to a marvel of artistry and architecture, happily singing along. With such overwhelming positivity, to me at least kinda reminiscent of Pratchett’s Twoflower (meaning this absolutely in a good way, in case this was not clear). It’s just so great to read your continued reports; every time I see you post them here, I open them with joyful anticipation of a good time, and even if I not always understand every last drop of the contents, the read is always great, clear, interesting and well paced, such that opening the page always feels to me like entering a calm, sunny garden or sanctuary.

    I salute you, sir.

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      Wow thank you! Augean stables is a great reference that I had not heard!

      These stables had not been cleaned in over thirty years, and 3,000 cattle lived there.

      Since there’s an unbroken line of compatibility back to Thompson shell (via bash, Korn shell, and Bourne shell), I would say that shell has not been cleaned for nearly 50 years, and 3,000,000 programmers live there :)

      I wish I could clean it all in one day but chipping away slowly seems to be working.


      On the subject of metaphors, I want to make a logo for Oil once the interpreter is fast (i.e. later this year hopefully).

      I’m still getting feedback from new users that they mistake it with “Shell Oil”, which is weird but true. So I’m thinking of a logo that is “Oil as in food” (olive oil, coconut oil, whatever) rather than “Oil as a big company” :)

      The origin for the name was that shell is lubricant between your “metal” code in C / C++ / etc., but I think oil also makes your food more harmonious :)

      If anyone has made a logo before and has ideas about this, let me know.

      I think the connotations will change as the project gets more popular. Just like Guido was fighting “snakes” for 10+ years :) Most people probably don’t remember this, but programmers said they didn’t want to tell their boss they were using a language called “Python” (e.g. circa 2004). Now it seems completely unremarkable.


      Also, I like lobste.rs because everyone seems to understand this philosophy: tell me what you did, and tell me what’s good and bad about it. No BS! Thanks for the amazing feedback.

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        Yeah, I remember that I expected the website to be about Shell Oil at first, too.

        After learning that the Oil shell was software, I never really had a picture in my head of why it was named “Oil”. But your description of a lubricant between low-level programs, combined with the thought of food oil, inspired me to draw three sketches of logo concepts. I am not a designer and these may not make good logos, but maybe they’ll inspire something.

        The first two sketches are of sharp, dangerous gears wrapped in a protective sphere (a shell) of yellow vegetable oil, insulating the user from the sharp programs. I realize now that this does not exactly fit the metaphor—programs should be insulated from each other, not from the user—but you could say that the sphere of oil lubricates the gears, too. The last idea is “sh” (lower-case, as it is commonly written) with “o” in front, where the “o” mimics the shell of oil around the whole word.

        Here’s a good reference image for spheres of oil: olive oil caviar

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          Wow thanks! I saved these on my “oil logo” wiki page.

          I like the last one. I think something like that would do well for large and small designs, like a favicon, which is one criteria I have. I think gears may be too detailed for that.

          I like the idea of shell being a thin layer of lubricant, not necessarily protection against danger. But that concept may be too difficult to illustrate in a logo, which is one reason I’ve been procrastinating :) I also think the teardrop shape for Oil might be a useful and recognizable sign.

          The color is also something I’ve thought of. I like the yellow color but it might need a contrasting color, so that it works well on typically white backgrounds.

          Thanks for the ideas! I’m treating the logo as a reward task for making Oil fast and production quality :)