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Sumatra PDF Reader forum

Small, fast, free PDF, EPUB, MOBI, CHM, DJVU, CBR, CBZ reader for Windows

Name of Application

I really enjoy using Sumatra PDF, it is a well-design application!

I just have one question: can anyone tell me where the choice of names "Sumatra" came from. I realize that it is the name of the sixth largest island in the world, part of Indonesia, the name of a town in Florida and also a variety of coffee, but what was the inspiration to name a PDF viewer "Sumatra"?

I like the name, I just want to understand the connection!
Adam Hunt on February 21, 2008
There's no particular reasoning behind the name.
Krzysztof Kowalczyk on February 21, 2008
Just random?
Adam Hunt on February 21, 2008
Since this page has been linked to from Wikipedia, I'll expand.

Naming software is hard. There are few basic rules for choosing a good name:

a) it should be easy to spell, easy to type, easy to google for
b) it should be unique, as judged by search engines, so that when people do google for it, they find the program's website and not some other web page
c) it shouldn't encode the functionality of the program in case the program grows and acquires new capabilities

The process I go through when trying to find a name for a new project is:
* generate a list of potential names
* choose the best one

I don't remember why sumatra got on the list. I don't remember what other names I considered. But at the time it was the best name I could come up with.

So how did I do, judging by my own test for choosing a good name? Not so well: 1 out of three.

The name is easy to spell so I got a) right.

If you only search for "sumatra", there are many other pages, so not so great on b) (although it's much better in combination with "pdf").

And finally, after few years of development, Sumatra became a multi-format reader but it still has "PDF" in the name, so I failed my precognition test c).
Krzysztof Kowalczyk on December 9, 2011
Nicely put. (btw I came here from Wikipedia link).

Greetings from Java :)
bennylin on January 12, 2012
The name ("Sumatra") is really unique and I very esteeming that you decided the name for that applicaton, perhaps make the Sumatra island in my country Indonesia more and more famously. But really, Sumatra PDF is best for me. I always use it, and never use others anymore. Thank you Mr. Kowalczyk.
Rotmianto Mohamad on October 2, 2012

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