ZAP History: 2010 - Why the Name ZAP?

I find naming things hard. It is easier if the tool has a very specific purpose, but ZAP has lots of uses.

When I was a developer I always wrote command line scripts. If I thought I might need them again then I would call them something sensible, something that would help me find them again. But I also wrote one off scripts that I knew I would never use again. I always ended up calling those scripts “zap” or “pow” - think of cartoons: “ZAP! POW!” I struggled with names for my fork of paros proxy and I kept on thinking of those two options.

ZAP seemed right - you could imagine someone saying “We need to ZAP this website” 😉 So I chose ZAP, and somehow resisted adding the exclamation mark!

But I also wanted it to be ZAP (in capitals) rather than zap (think of the cartoons again) and the easiest way to make that happen was for ZAP to stand for something, so ZAP is actually a backronym 😄.

What could the letters stand for?

P for proxy was easy, and A for attack didn’t take me too long either.

The Z was much harder, and in the end I decided it did not need to stand for anything. But I REALLY did not want Americans pronouncing it as Zee - that just sounds so wrong to me 😛.

So Z stands for Zed 😆.