A Salmagundi of Django Alpha Announcements

A plethora of words

Reading the Django 2.2 alpha announcement, the phrase “salmagundi of new features” stood out to me. I had to look up “salmagundi” in Wiktionary, where it is defined as:

  1. A food consisting of chopped meat and pickled herring, with oil, vinegar, pepper, and onions.
  2. Hence, any mixture of various ingredients; an olio or medley; a potpourri; a miscellany.

So it basically means there is a mix of new features. This reminded me, didn’t Django 2.1 use another food related word for this - “smorgasboard”?

Looking back at the previous alpha announcements, it turns out that a plethora of words have been used to describe the variety of features offered by each release. It seems the tradition started with version 1.7 - the 1.6 alpha announcement post refers simply to “new stuff”.

I pulled the phrases, the individual “mix” words, and the post authors for all the announcement posts back to 1.7. I then checked the words against the word frequency list Peter Norvig provides in his article English Letter Frequency Counts, based upon Google Books data of the millions of English books Google have scanned. For reference, the most common word there is “the” with a frequency of 53,097,401,461 (see the very interesting article!).

Here are the results:

Version
(Links to Announcement)
Post AuthorQuote with Word HighlightedWord Frequency
1.7James Bennett...will bring several major new features to Django, along with a host of other improvements...32,304,193
1.8Tim Graham...several major new features and a cornucopia of other improvements...330,288
1.9Tim Graham...myriad of goodies...3,019,357
1.10Tim Graham...panoply of new features...474,466
1.11Tim Graham...medley of new features...963,448
2.0Tim Graham...assortment of new features...2,252,068
2.1Tim Graham...smorgasbord of new features...135,121
2.2Carlton Gibson...salmagundi of new features...N/A (<100,000)

It seems the words used have all been relatively infrequent since Tim used “cornucopia” for version 1.8, however there’s not really a strong trend. The lack of “salmagundi” in the Google data proves that it is a bit of an outlier, and it’s probably not just me looking it up 😀. It also seems unlikely I’ll need to remember the word, unless Django popularizes it!


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