‘It's long,’ said the Knight, ‘but very, very beautiful. Everybody that hears me sing it—either it brings the tears into their eyes, or else—’
‘Or else what?’ said Alice, for the Knight had made a sudden pause.
‘Or else it doesn't, you know. The name of the song is called “Haddocks' Eyes.”’
‘Oh, that's the name of the song, is it?’ Alice said, trying to feel interested.
‘No, you don't understand,’ the Knight said, looking a little vexed. ‘That's what the name is called. The name really is “The Aged Aged Man.”’
‘Then I ought to have said “That's what the song is called”?’ Alice corrected herself.
‘No, you oughtn't: that's quite another thing! The song is called “Ways And Means”: but that's only what it's called, you know!’
‘Well, what is the song, then?’ said Alice, who was by this time completely bewildered.
‘I was coming to that,’ the Knight said. ‘The song really is “A-sitting On A Gate”: and the tune's my own invention.’
Chapter VIII, Through the Looking Glass, by Lewis Carroll
I feel a bit like Alice right now.
The realm that Mark works in is one that is vastly different than the one I work in. His realm, for example: take the source code to the Linux kernel, add it the source code to X Windows and Mozilla and get it to work. As a monolithic whole. Under a single (read: flat) namespace (source code wise).
Okay, so that's not exactly what he does, but he does work on embedded systems and as he says, his current project with 800,000 unique names is small compared to what he's worked with before.
I would be amazed if everybody in Miami has a truely unique name, and that's a namespace of 400,000.
More on this later, when I return from behind the looking glass …