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historical trivia

    Date: Tue, 27 Apr 1993 11:47 EDT
    From: Scott McKay <SWM@STONY-BROOK.SCRC.Symbolics.COM>

	Date: Tue, 27 Apr 1993 11:13 EDT
	From: s9274@srl1.LANL.GOV

	What is the origin of the name "Genera?" Is it the simple plural of
	"genus," or is there more to it? Was "Genera" introduced with 6.0, or
	was it earlier?

    The first release of Genera was 7.0.

    It is indeed the plural of "genus", but was also intended to suggest
    the notion of "generic" as in a "generic function" (rather than the
    connotation of "cheap non-name brand").  I don't remember who came up
    with the name.  Some didn't like it, some did.

I have no idea who came up with it, but I always figured "Genera" was a
good choice since it is derived from "Genus". This is the old Platonic
view of the world:  there are five "labels" descriptive of everything:
Genus, Species, Property, Difference and Accident. "Genera" and
"Generic" derive from this concept so "generic function" is intimately
tied to "Genera". The tools are independent of the "Species" that
they operate on (see the diagram in the Symbolics Documentation for new
users) - calling the collection of these tools "Genera" is therefore
entirely appropriate!

Martin Mallinson                                martin@cmt.dialnet.symbolics.com

Crimble Micro Test Inc.                              
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