What, On Earth, Are Pig Mailing List Archives?

And Why Would Anyone Want One?
Although I am nothing more than a computer user who simply switches it on and starts work, I do have a couple of friends who are dyed in the wool computer geeks. About the only things we have in common are that we like to go to a bar once a week, have a few beers and shoot some pool. I was a bit delayed arriving for last week’s session and, when I got there, they were both very excited over something. When I asked about this, they replied (and I had to ask them twice because I was sure I must have misheard) that they were astounded over the latest posting they had found in the Pig Mailing List Archives.

Not All Pig Is Pork

When my lame joke about them seeing “oink-oink” on their list fell flat, they launched into full explanation mode and left me even further in the dark. They commenced with their work as open source software developers in the clouds and I had some clue as to what they meant but, when they mentioned the Apache Foundation; I wanted to joke about going into the desert to shoot pigs with bows and arrows. More geek jargon followed with words like hadoop (a toy elephant apparently), hive and solr leading to the revelation that, for them, pig is a handy abbreviation of “pig Latin”.

But, Isn’t Pig Latin A Word Game For Intellectuals?

When I mentioned this, they actually agreed with me and might even been a bit impressed that I knew about the game where you change the beginning and end of words using a set off special rules so that only someone who knows the rules has any idea what you are meaning when you write or say the pig Latin word. In my lay mind, I began to wonder if the writing of any computer code in any so-called programming language wasn’t a bit like writing a book in pig Latin. My friends thought that this wasn’t a bad analogy and this brought us back to the opening discussion about Pig Mailing List Archives. Since open source software is developed by many people sharing their efforts, they need to communicate with each other so they set up mailing lists for that purpose. You could even say that these Pig Mailing List Archives contain the rules for the computer version of pig Latin.