Why did Matt choose the name Mercurial?

Matt Mackall mpm at selenic.com
Wed Feb 15 14:03:41 CST 2012

On Wed, 2012-02-15 at 19:06 +0100, Peter Toft wrote:
> Mostly to Matt Mackall :-) 
> Historic interest: Why was the name
> "Mercurial" chosen initially and not the name
> MattMackallsSuperDuperVersionControlSystemWhichBeatsCvsAndSvnAnyDayOfTheWeek?
> :-) 
> Yes, I have found
> http://lkml.indiana.edu/hypermail/linux/kernel/0504.2/0670.html
> [1]

Shortly before the first release, I read an article about the ongoing
Bitkeeper debacle that described Larry McVoy as mercurial (in the sense
of 'fickle'). Given the multiple meanings, the convenient abbreviation,
and the good fit with my pre-existing naming scheme (see my email
address), it clicked instantly. Mercurial is thus named in Larry's
honor. I do not know if the same is true of Git.

Mathematics is the supreme nostalgia of our time.

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