Friday, November 20, 2009

Should we rename Drools Solver to Drools Planner?

Drools Solver solves planning problems. The problem is that developers can't seem to find it when they are looking for a library to help with their problems, such as nurse rostering, bin packaging, course scheduling, ... Only when someone tells them what Drools Solver does, they react with "yes, that's what I am looking for".

According to wikipedia, a Solver is a software tool for 'solving' mathematical systems of equations.
  • Drools Solver is specifically designed for planning problems, so the term "solver" is too broad.

  • It's not equations based, but score rules based (which is more developer friendly).

  • It's confusing with the Excel solver or openoffice.org solver, which do solve equations.

So Solver is not the best name.

So I propose to rename it to "Drools Planner".
  • Pro:

    • "Planning problem" is the only common name I can think of for its use cases.

    • A good meme could be "Drools Planner optimizes your resources."

  • Against:

    • Maven dependencies change from drools-solver to drools-planner

    • Need to replace all imports (but that will be clearly documented in UpgradeFromPreviousVersionRecipe.txt).

Do you think it's a good idea to rename "Drools Solver" to "Drools Planner"?
Or maybe you can think of a better name?