Strong opinions, weakly held

The etymology of +1

When Google announced their new +1 feature, which enables end users to recommend things, I was mainly struck by the incredible geekiness of it. Everybody understands “Like,” whereas +1 was taken from the Apache open source community and its history probably isn’t known to even 5% of Google’s users. Kellan at Laughing Meme digs into the history and finds what is, perhaps, the first mention of +1 style voting. I love it.


  1. Adam Vandenberg

    March 31, 2011 at 1:17 am

    Interesting; I had known it from the Python community but hadn’t dug further.

  2. Isn’t that actually a D&D reference? I can understand how it would naturally be picked up by programmers, but the use (+1 damage, etc.) dates to 1974 if it’s based on the game play mechanic.

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