An animal for Julia?

I just did a bit of reading on why ships are called she.

it stems from the tradition of boat-owners, typically and historically male, naming their vessels after significant women in their lives — wives, sweethearts, mothers

Which doesn’t seem so sexist/sexualized, but then again,

[Figureheads] dated from the early 18th century, before which superstition had it that the presence of women aboard sailing vessels — whether in human or representative form — was an omen of bad luck

and we want to make Julia a ship that everyone is welcome on


The butterfly and dragonfly and hummingbird don’t seem large or strong enough. Since the language is intended for larger-scale and more complex computation, that doesn’t say it for me. A hummingbird would be good for a GUI layer or something.

I liked the mythological Julyax (and the wikipedia page). Something in that vein is awesome. Along those lines, it could be something like Sphinx, either in the Egyptian or Greek sense. The sphinx has an interesting set of myths, notably around her riddles and protection.
I also agree to not personify or gender the image. We can be more clever than that. I wonder if Sphinx even gets too close to that.

Edit: Never mind Sphinx, it’s a documentation project for Python. All the more reason to make something up.


If a programming language sails from port, and slowly features get added and bugs get removed, and by the time it reaches its destination (1.0), all lines of code have been replaced, is it still the same language?


If a person lives many years and gradually learns many new things that change his perspectives and thoughts, is [S]he still the same person?

Yes, and yet no! …I say. [S]he has the same name and there still will likely be some tendencies that that name defines. The person also continues to hold the memories of the old self, the history.

In the case of the language, there are ideals and persons that shape the language as it grows. So like a river it is not defined by it’s state at any one given time. There will always be new water flowing through it but that dynamic system needs some identifying label.

In the case of a language, a name and maybe a mascot.

Maybe a pole where people need to submit a standardized image and discourse ID voting?


Im confused - are you saying we should use Theseus as our mascot?

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Or possibly the Minotaur :wink:

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Python has way too many mascots. They need to give it a rest already.

Oh yeah, I forgot about the dragonfly! I think that was my favorite, butterfly was second for me.


Exactly. For me the three dots with 3 colors (although one is off: it should be blue instead of purple …) makes me always think of quarks (& gluons) and hence the three grouped dots make me think of a nucleon (neutron or proton) rather than an animal.

Maybe one could even allude to that in a Julia slogan. Something along the lines of: “Julia, more power because it’s nuclear” or something like that :slight_smile:
Or “Julia, stronger glue” alluding to the strong force & gluons and on the language side to a stronger (i.e. conceptually more powerful + (sometimes) faster) glue language than e.g. Python.


On that note @Steven_Sagaert maybe the coolest thing about the simplicity of the three colored dots is that it becomes what we see in it and therefore don’t need one mascot.


I think the three dots is a remarkably clean and nice symbol and adding an animal to the logo or promotional material would just serve to make it more busy. That said, if we are going for an animal anyways, I think a dragonfly or hummingbird are both quite nice suggestions.

If somehow the community decided that we should adopt ‘Julia-chan’ as representative of the language / community I’d protest vehemently.


I’m starting to agree with the idea of focusing on the dots. We may already be in a post-mascot world.

At some point in the future another language may be looking for a logo, propose dots, and realize… no, Julia already has the dots.


Why not a take a flower or plant as the mascot?
Some suggestions – perhaps a botanical expert should be consulted:

  • Cynanchum juliani
  • Diplostephium julianii
  • Campanulaceae Legousia juliani
  • Bignoniaceae Memora juliae
  • Specularia juliani
  • Helianthemum juliae
  • Anacampseros juliana
  • Echeveria juliana
  • Ericaceae Callista juliana
  • Gesneriaceae Chirita juliae
  • Gesneriaceae Primulina juliae
  • Lamiaceae Micromeria juliana
  • Liliaceae Tulipa julia
  • Passifloraceae Passiflora juliana

[found on the International Plant Names Index]

This appeals a lot to my inner nerd, but (sub)species or in some cases cultivars of plants may not be distinguishable enough when stylized into a logo.

I agree. My major point is that the mascot can be a plant – instead of an animal. It is also aesthetically more pleasant for me.
The plant/flower can be chosen upon its shape (not necessarily its name).

An historical example (not a mascot though):


One may also decide for a cartoon picture of flowers; e.g.,

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With how many people’s githubs are bojack horseman, we should have a horse mascot :stuck_out_tongue:

Or whatever, Todd. I don’t really care

I’m not seriously proposing these cryptomonads, but as I wasn’t convinced plant was it (if choosing something living, IMHO it should be an [cuddly?] animal), and with mythical creatures already proposed I googled plant animal hybrid, and it’s actually real:

[While these cryptomonads forming “partnership” (as with Julia and e.g. Python) sounds cool, maybe creepy to some? EDIT: See below for mythical.]

Caterpillars become butterflies and tadpoles become frogs, and if we couldn’t watch them do so we might not even suspect that the two stages were the same creature.

Spectacular as these shifts are, they are only shape-shifting. […]
Not so Mesodinium chamaeleon. This newly discovered single-celled organism is a unique mixture of animal and plant. […]

Some Mesodinium species are different, though. They engulf other microorganisms, generally algae called cryptomonads. The two then form a partnership: the algae produce sugars by photosynthesis, while the Mesodinium protects them and carries them around.

Such hybrid organisms are animals and plants at the same time. One such species, M. rubrum, only eats red algae and is often found in the algal blooms that form the famous red tides.

These hybrids play merry hell with our attempts to classify organisms into neat groups. “The division between plants and animals is collapsing completely,” Moestrup says. Instead, many microorganisms may be animal and plant at once, or switch between the two, like M. rubrum.

    which bears human [could be Julia…] or animal fruit, grows on an island in the Indian Ocean or […]

    There’s a specimen of the vegetable lamb at the Garden Museum in London. The small picture looks as if it could be a lamb, or an animal’s paw with long claws, or a part of a plant. Once samples were relayed to naturalists in the 17th century, though, it became clear that the “lamb” was part of a plant, and not an animal. The plant was eventually identified as Cibotium barometz, an evergreen fern that produces a hairy cover.

Whatever plant (or hybrid!) considered we would want to avoid cancerous(?) so all good here:

Although we have found no reports of toxicity for this species, a number of ferns contain carcinogens so some caution is advisable[200].

continuing from other link:

Unlike the Vegetable Lamb, the barnacle goose myth was based on a real animal, a European goose species, Branta leucopsis. The myth was particularly popular among the religious men of the time, […] the clergy in France and Britain exercised their authority in declaring the barnacle goose technically more fish than fowl, and thus an accepted fasting meal.

The question of the nature of barnacle geese also came up as a matter of Jewish dietary law in the Halakha, and Rabbeinu Tam (1100–71) determined that they were kosher (even if born of trees)

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The noble Axolotl is a cute, friendly, distinctive animal, that makes for a great mascot that is simple to draw:







“Axolotl” was briefly used by Signal to refer to their cryptographic ratchet. Although they subsequently renamed it, I still think of Signal’s cryptography when I hear Axolotl in a software context. Not enough of an objection to actually rule out using “Axolotl”, but I thought I’d mention it.

For what it’s worth, if we do ever want an animal mascot, I think the butterfly, dragonfly, or hummingbird from above are all better options.

No reference to the LISP mascot? :grin:
Seeing as Julia is, and is not, a LISP… (I’ve seen multiple contradictory definitions) a shout out to alien technology :alien:

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