Monday, January 17, 2011

Inspired by Actual Events: My Blog's New Name

I began writing this blog in October 2007 and it has been called "Dustin's Software Development Cogitations and Speculations" from the beginning. The name has definitely reflected a primary purpose for this blog: to cogitate and speculate on various software development topics. However, I've been thinking about changing this blog's name for a while and have finally decided to do it.

Many of the most popular software development blogs have short names that are easily remembered and uniquely identify the blog. Examples include Coding Horror, Pure Danger Tech, Lambda the Ultimate, Signal vs Noise, The Daily WTF, and even The BileBlog. Although there are some blogs with names of the author and/or "software" (such as Joel on Software, The Berkun Blog, Raible Designs, and Martin Fowler's Bliki), I didn't feel like "Dustin on Software" was as catchy or carried as much cachet.

I have always enjoyed watching movies as evidenced by my previous posts Classic Movie Quotes Applied to Software Development and More Movie Quotes Applied to Software Development. This might explain why I have decided to rename the blog from "Dustin's Software Cogitations and Speculations" to "Inspired by Actual Events" (with the former title becoming a "subtitle" of sorts that is included in the blog's description).

In the movies, a claim to be "inspired by actual events" can mean anything from significantly fact-based to barely traceable to any actual occurrence. For example, Horror News Net states that The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was mainly based on Tobe Hooper's observation of chainsaws being sold at a local Montgomery Ward store and had elements of the story extracted from accounts of real-life killer Ed Gein. Despite this history, one of this movie's taglines was "What happened is true. Now the motion picture that's just as real."

Some of my favorite movies are inspired by actual events, though I hope they are closer to the original events than The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. These movies include Apollo 13, The Dish, October Sky, The Right Stuff, Hoosiers, Miracle, Rudy, Cool Runnings, The Blind Side, Amadeus, Secretariat, Unstoppable, and Stand and Deliver.

The movies that are "based on a true story" or "inspired by actual events" often take certain liberties in applying dramatic license to make the story more interesting. In my blog, I try not to make things up, but I do try to add commentary and speculation regarding software development topics. Many of my blogs are based on my observations of actual events.

Some movies are not themselves based on any particular actual event, but are based on observations of many events. For example, A Christmas Story and The Bridge on the River Kwai are both excellent movies that are themselves based on fiction, but whose fiction has roots in actual events or experiences. Some of my posts are like this: they don't trace to any one event but instead represent a collage of many and diverse experiences.

Big news items often lead to movies, even if just to made-for-television movies. For example, the recent story of the trapped and rescued Chilean miners is expected to be made into a movie. The television series Law and Order: Special Victims Unit starts with the statement that episodes are "ripped from the headlines." My blog sometimes follows this pattern when I provide my own opinions and speculations and interpretation of current news events in the world of software development. An example of this was my recent post and follow-up comments on Google Chrome's announcement to not support H.264 in its <video> tag.

In short, I feel that titling my blog "Inspired by Actual Events" with the old title ("Dustin's Software Development Cogitations and Speculations") in the description is appropriate. It reflects the way I approach writing this blog and reflects my love of the movies. The most significant drawback is that "software development" is no longer included in the title, but having that referenced in the description will hopefully be sufficient.

For a short period of time, I intend to leave the main title as "Inspired by Actual Events: Dustin's Software Cogitations and Speculations," but I do plan to rename its main title to simply "Inspired by Actual Events" in the near future.


Amrita said...

Interesting name change. I've always liked "inspired by actual events"

Dustin said...


Thanks for the comment. "Inspired by actual events" has definitely grown on me.