Why Wombats?

My G+ avatar is a Womby, a wombat.


Yesterday I was in a concall and Womby was mistaken for a squirrel (!).  I educated the offending party but it took me a bit to find the correct references so I’m collecting them here:

Why Wombat?

  • They are interesting animals
  • A group of Wombats is called a Wisdom (ha! I didn’t know that!)
  • They have history as jargon, particularly this and this
  • At Sun, we used Wombat in the past in several projects, from as way back as JavaBeans and JSP and many other places.  There the original instigator was Graham Hamilton ([1]). Jerome Dochez ([2], [3]) and myself ([4]) also included Wombats. Graham, Jerome and I were all part of the original JavaBeans team and there also scattered references to other Java documents like ([4])
  • I believe the “original” source of Wombats at DEC is via Datatrieve (DTR); see Datatrieve and Wombats (from IBPhoenix). Jim Starkey was the original designer of Datatrieve and, I believe, the original injector of Wombat.

Personally I was introduced to Wombats by Graham, who worked at DEC before joining Sun.  I met Jim after the MySQL acquisition by Sun but didn’t realize his relationship to wombats at the time.

DTR was a 4GL language (not dissimilar to OpenEdge in spirit).  Below is the output of



And here is Jim Starkey and Wombat


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