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About The Origins Of The Name

Describes how the project name came about.

Why did you decide to call it Castor?

First, let me say you are not the first to ask this question, and you won’t be the last. For many, the term “Castor” has a mysterious aura which leaves the user with a craving, a necessity if you must, of wanting an explanation. The need to understand has plagued people of the human race for some time now.

Some have speculated that Castor comes from the heavens. Either being an astronomer or having flipped through the pages of a Merriam Webster dictionary you may have run across the reference to Castor. Castor in this context is part of a “double star” within the Gemini constellation, the twin star is called Pollux. For all those looking to the sky for the answer, let me reassure you that we do not use Castor in this context. Actually with all the smog here in California, the developers of Castor rarely look to the sky for anything.

A few individuals, brave souls indeed, have even suggested that Castor may be somehow related to the Castor plant, which produces Castor oil. Ugh! Let me reassure everyone, our use of the term Castor has nothing to do with this plant or its by products! If you really think we’d name our software after this plant, please go try some Castor oil for yourself and then come back to us when you’ve been convinced otherwise.

An even smaller number of you (mostly German in origin) have suggested that Castor may come from those big trucks used in Germany that haul off Nuclear waste (…but to where?). Now why would a small software project dedicated to relational mapping and data binding want anything to do with that?

Some have speculated that some how the name comes from the act of “casting” one type into another. This is a rather interesting speculation. Castor is a pretty advanced “Casting” framework, however, this speculation is as far from the truth as is the distance from Earth to Castor and Pollux.

Other more intuitive people, perhaps by looking at the (now no longer existing) Castor logo, have deduced that Castor is actually a Beaver. Yes it’s true. Castor is the more formal or scientific name for a simple little Beaver. This raises a more interesting question.

Why did you name your software after a beaver?

Let me first state that we have absolutely nothing to do with MIT. We certainly wouldn’t mind being affiliated with such a prestigious educational institution; however, I’m certain that they mind that our minds are nowhere near the kind of mind that they look for during their recruitment process. Not that I actually understand what that means, but if you’re an MIT alum you are probably relieved we didn’t attend.

Now, on to the explaination…

The truth of the matter is that it’s highly classified, and on a need-to-know basis. Even members of our own team do not know. However we are allowed to post more speculations on this topic. The most common speculation is that a beaver is well-known for its engineering skills. It cuts down trees, and builds dams and lodges. Since Castor builds source code, using blueprints (an XML Schema), then it too is an engineer.

A more abstract yet rather interesting speculation that builds on the previous reads as follows: XML is based on “trees” or “groves”. A beaver cuts down trees. Therefore Castor removes the notion of trees from processing XML documents. This is an interesting observation in that Castor does just that. Castor eliminates the “tree” methodology when dealing with XML. It is an XML data binding framework which allows you to deal directly with your data instead of thinking in terms of a “tree”.

Another equally good speculation is that a beaver is one of the cutest little animals in the world and we just couldn’t resist giving it some due attention.

There are other speculations, some of which we can not in good nature add to this page. We cannot comment on which speculation may be closer to the truth. We let each user decide on his or her own. Simply choose the speculation which most reduces your craving for more understanding, and feel free to come up with your own speculations.