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Tidbit: Apple naming Leopard point release after ancient gods

It's well known that Apple brands major versions of its Mac OS X operating system with code-names corresponding to big cats, but the company also uses similar naming conventions internally for its maintenance releases, such as those for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard bear the names of ancient gods.

For example, back during the Mac OS X 10.5.7 beta test in March, AppleInsider reported that the point release was being referenced in some internal circles as "Juno" or project Juno.

The precise significance of this code-name was unclear, though cursory checks suggested that Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard point releases may have been following naming conventions tied to Roman goddesses or the names of asteroids.

With Mac OS X 10.5.7 having since been released, Apple recently began distributing to developers the first builds of Mac OS X 10.5.8. People familiar with the its internal naming convention claim that it has adopted the "Loki" moniker, establishing a pattern that appears to indicate Leopard point release are adopting their nicknames from that of gods or goddesses in ancient mythology.

According to Wikipedia:

Juno was an ancient Roman goddess, the protector and special counselor of the state. She is a daughter of Saturn and sister (but also the wife) of the chief god Jupiter and the mother of Juventas, Mars, and Vulcan. Her Greek equivalent is Hera.


Loki is a god or jötunn (giant), or both, in Norse mythology. Loki's relation with the gods varies by source. Loki assists the gods, and sometimes causes problems for them. Loki is a shape shifter and in separate incidents he appears in the form of a salmon and a mare. Loki's positive relations with the gods ends with his role in engineering the death of the god Balder.

Obviously, AppleInsider publishes this information purely for interest's sake, as it has little material value. In related news, developers should see a new build of Mac OS X 10.5.8 to evaluate as early as this weekend.