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WEEKLY WHINE

Arbitrary arachnids

There now follows a ranking of the top names of Ubuntu releases. Criteria included memorableness, interestingness, and funnyness. Criteria did not include anything relating to the quality of the release itself; we were interested only in the name.

  1. Edgy Eft [6.10]: The second stage of a newt’s life cycle, between the larva and adult, is called the eft. The name conjures up amusing images of a newt hosting a sketch programme on Comedy Central.
  2. Xenial Xerus [16.04]: The African ground squirrel actually is hospitable: bands of squirrels share their home territories, helping them avoid predators.
  3. Lucid Lynx [10.04]: This name conjures up amusing images of a lynx explaining the Sherman Antitrust Act clearly and concisely, or perhaps a Minnesota basketball player who is aware of her dreaming state.
  4. Feisty Fawn [7.04]: Feisty incorporates the name of a young deer. We ranked this name highly, mostly because we have been shouting out the name of this release in the office all day.
  5. Natty Narwhal [11.04]: This name would describe a toothed whale who is dressed well. The narwhal’s name derives in part from an Old Norse word for corpse; its grey, mottled appearance means that just about any clothing would be an improvement.
  6. Breezy Badger [5.10]: The third release, Breezy was an arbitrary name that predated the Alphabetics scheme. Still, they thought ahead enough to use a letter that they weren’t going to have to reuse soon.
  7. Maverick Meerkat [10.10]: This name conjures up amusing images of a meerkat refusing to stand sentry, shouting to the clan, “I’m Doug! Man, I’m outta here!”
  8. Dapper Drake [6.06]: The fourth release, and the first long term support release, Dapper is the first to follow the Alphabetics naming scheme, using a term for a male duck. It is admittedly a redundant name; when have you ever seen a non-dapper drake? Except for that Canadian guy, of course.
  9. Jaunty Jackalope [9.04]: This was the first release named after a fictional critter.
  10. Hardy Heron [8.04]: Hardy bears the name of a waterfowl with a retractable neck.
  11. Saucy Salamander [13.10]: We here at GoobNet suspect that nobody would really know what to make of an actual saucy salamander.
  12. Intrepid Ibex [8.10]: The ibex is closely related to the goat; most have prominent horns that curl backwards. We enjoyed this name, but upon its release, we had an unfortunate tendency to call it Intrepid Ibis. No doubt release 21.10 will be Italic Ibis.
  13. Quantal Quetzal [12.10]: This is a redundant name, as it would literally describe a Central American bird that exists only in discrete quantities.
  14. Vivid Vervet [15.04]: Vivid bears the name of an African monkey that has been introduced into North America and several Caribbean islands.
  15. Precise Pangolin [12.04]: This version refers to a scaly anteater.
  16. Oneiric Ocelot [11.10]: Oneiric bears one of the most obtuse adjectives ever in an Ubuntu release, not far behind Xenial. The name literally describes a dwarf leopard out of a dream.
  17. Trusty Tahr [14.04]: There are three species of tahrs, a relative of the goat, but they are not as closely related as once thought. They have recently been classified into separate genera. So apparently the tahr is not as trusty as we thought.
  18. Karmic Koala [9.10]: This name is even more nonsensical than usual: it would literally describe a koala that has something to do with karma.
  19. Warty Warthog [4.10]: The first release, Warty was an arbitrarily selected name that predated the Alphabetics naming scheme.
  20. Hoary Hedgehog [5.04]: The second release, Hoary was another arbitrary name.
  21. Utopic Unicorn [14.10]: Okay, now you’re just trying too hard, Ubuntu.
  22. Wily Werewolf [15.10]: This was the third release named after a fictional critter. That would be fine with us, but they selected the wrong adjective. As we all know, coyotes are wily; they are also super geniuses.
  23. Gutsy Gibbon [7.10]: This was an unfortunate name, as many people misspelled the adjective as Gusty, which is something else entirely.
  24. Raring Ringtail [13.04]: Although this name was intended to refer to the ringtail raccoon, there is also a disease in rodents with the same name. Ringtail, that is; it is not a “raring” disease.
  25. Yakkety Yak [16.10]: If this release ships with another privacy violation in the style of Quantal, prepare for the inevitable headlines: “Yakkety Yak talks back”.

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