Retired Apple programmer Don Melton posted a fascinating anecdote on his blog yesterday recalling his memories of the naming process for Apple’s web browser, Safari. It’s a great read that also provides an interesting glimpse of the Apple creative process. While Melton doesn’t know how the name Safari ended up being chosen, he was part of the discussion for a number of other potential names such as iBrowse, Alexander and Freedom. ” To this day, I don’t know who suggested the name ‘Safari.’ I wasn’t in the room when the heavens split asunder and angels sounded forth as a choir singing that three-syllable benediction.”
Melton describes a design meeting where the topic of naming the web browser first came up:
“As I remember, Steve just started saying some names out loud — I suppose trying them out to see how they felt in his mouth and to his ears. Which is not as odd as it seemed then — it’s a good technique now that I think about it.
“I don’t recall all the names, but one that stands out is ‘Freedom.’ Steve spent some time trying that one out on all of us. He may have liked it because it invoked positive imagery of people being set free. And, just as possible and positive, it spoke to our own freedom from Microsoft and Internet Explorer, the company and browser we depended on at the time.”
Read the full blog post here; it’s definitely worth your time.