About the Dragon and Kangaroo



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The 'Dragon and Kangaroo' prefix isn't specific to the D&K Parser Framework Library. So, if you want to know more about what it means, read on!

Who or What is or are the Dragon and Kangaroo?

At the time of writing, the best answer I can give for that is: me! 'Dragon and Kangaroo' is a bit like a brand name, or a trade mark, but there's no commercial trade as such under that name. It's a sort of prefix for me to keep things that I write distinct, more for the purposes of avoiding name clashes than recognisability (though I don't at all mind it being easily and readily recognised!). It's really just a practical thing.

Perhaps, as time progresses, 'Dragon and Kangaroo' will come to represent a group of people, or a collection of software, or some such association of people and/or things. But at the moment, it's just me.

Why Have the 'Dragon and Kangaroo' Prefix?

It's good to keep things distinct. It's therefore good to give distinct things distinct names. Rather than come up with a new, distinct name for each new thing (which can be really quite tricky), I decided to 'brand' what I do with a common prefix. By prefixing everything with 'Dragon and Kangaroo' ('D&K for short), I (hopefully) get distinct names readily and easily. It's a time-saving thing, and also helps me not to forget what names I've given things.

But it's not just for use in proper nouns...

How is the 'Dragon and Kangaroo' Prefix Used?

It depends on the context. If it's a proper noun, then it'll be something like 'The Dragon and Kangaroo ...', such as in The Dragon and Kangaroo Parser Framework Library.

But it's also used as a C++ namespace, specifically namespace dragon_and_kangaroo. This is so that I can put all my library code in one, easily remembered namespace, avoiding clashes with other people's namespaces, and so on. It can also be used for namespaces, and namespace-like things, in other languages. It's one of it's main uses.

In fact, the concept of namespaces is probably a very helpful one, whatever the context is. Just think of it as a namespace.

Why 'Dragon and Kangaroo'?

Well, by parentage, I'm half-Welsh, half-Australian. I am culturally Anglo-Saxon, though, having been born in England and lived all my life in the land of the White Dragon (did you know that England can be Welshly symbolised by a white dragon?). Even so, I used to frequently go back home to Wales, and once spent six weeks in Australia. All three countries are home to me, though in different ways, and to different degrees.

So, the dragon is the Red Dragon of Wales, and the kangaroo is obviously Australian. And, with the '... and ...' form of 'Dragon and Kangaroo', it has a nice, Anglo-Saxon sound to it (like pub names of that form), reflecting my cultural Englishness. It also lends itself nicely to something heraldic.

What do they Look Like? Is there a Logo?

I've got a design for an heraldic-style logo for 'Dragon and Kangaroo', but I'm yet to actually design it properly. It'll be kept simple and visual-context-independent, as good logos should be.

It will, of course, feature a dragon and a kangaroo. The dragon will be on the left (for west), and the kangaroo will be on the right (for east), both facing each other (otherwise they'll look like they're not talking to each other (which would not be without some symbolic truth, but anyway)). They'll both be rampant, too (which means they'll be up on their hind legs (as if the kangaroo is boxing with the dragon, but they're not)).

In between, and at the level of their feet, will be a single, upwards-pointing chevron. It'll be the conjuncive operator from predicate logic! That'll licely symbolise the 'and', as well as indicating an association with computing. It can also double as representing the geographically English origin of my work (what with me living in England), as it can look like a small hill (even if it's the wrong sort of shape for the green, rolling hills of England).

So, a right-facing, rampant dragon on the left, a left-facing, rampant kangaroo on the right, and a conjunctive operator from predicate logic in between - nice and simple, but rich in meaning!