Tuesday, November 18, 2008

gchartjava moves to charts4j



When the Google Chart API was released almost a year ago, I saw an opportunity to start a relatively simple, useful open source project. I quickly designed and developed an early version of a Java wrapper API enabling developers to programmatically interact with the Google Chart API from Java. I knew I had to stake out my territory quickly because many developers would have the same idea. Therefore on a whim, I chose the "gchartjava" moniker -- an accurate, but completely clunky and meaningless name to anyone outside the narrow Google API community. Moreover, having "Java" in the name may violate Sun trademark. I reluctantly lived with "gchartjava" for several months until a user pointed out the trademark problems and suggested "gchart4j", a variation on the familiar "4j"  suffix (e.g. log4j). That suggestion, however, still sounded too specific, so I simplified the name a bit to arrive at "charts4j" which is apparently unique in the universal namespace. The new charts4j moniker will simply and accurately describe its purpose -- a chart API for Java developers-- but will also give it a ring of familiarity with the 4j suffix.

The cost of this move will not be cheap. I will have to spend some time rebranding, and who knows what will happen to my PageRank. But in the long run, it will cast a wider net than just trying to appeal to Google API users and developers.

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