There is a new PubSub protocol in town, and it's called PubSub. Just this week, W3C published a first public draft of the PubSub protocol. It is what used to be called PubSubHubbub (sometimes shortened to PuSH), but W3C has adopted the spec in the hopes of getting wider adoption.
I will write a short introduction of the very simple protocol shortly, explaining what it does and what it does not do, and how it fits into the bigger landscape of PubSub protocols. For now, all I want to do is to make the point that the name choice is really bad, that we have suffered through exactly the same name choice already, and that I hope that the powers that be reconsider their name choice.
"PubSub" is a bad name choice because "PubSub is a PubSub protocol". That sentence alone demonstrates the problem. Imagine you are in the business of training craftsmen, and one part of your training is to teach them about hammers, and different specific hammers and their advantages and limitations. Then one day one hammer designer rolls out a hammer they call "Hammer", and now you have to start juggling words every time you are talking about "Hammer" (the class) and "Hammer" (the one specific badly named hammer).
I am certainly oversensitive to this because I spent many unnecessary days explaining to people and clearing up confusion that "XML Schema" is the general concept of a schema language, and that for some reason W3C thought it was a smart move to call their "XML Schema" language "XML Schema". The time spent with juggling language and the time spent explaining to people getting started in the space how to navigate the terminology could have been spent much better.
With XML Schema, eventually the community experienced enough pain that everybody over time transitioned to calling the language XSD, and even those who came up with the name in the first place started using the term. It would be great if we could learn from this long and unnecessary exercise and not repeat it. It would be hard to come up with any upside to this, and those of us in the space of teaching and training and talking have seen plenty of downsides.
And in order to be constructive, I should close this rant with a concrete proposal. I think it was a good idea to move away from PubSubHubbub and look for a name that is a bit more user-friendly. So what about calling the new language PubHub instead of PubSub? That would avoid the naming problem outlined above, and still make it relatively obvious that there is a connection between the older PubSubHubbub and the new W3C-managed PubHub. Can we please have the name changed, W3C?