Back in February 2016, I was tweeting with some others about the need for a new name for the Power Query Formula Language. I came up with the name PQL, pronounced Peequel and made a suggestion to this effect at ideas.powerbi.com. This post today is to explain why a name change is required, and to seek support for renaming the language to PQL.
A Background on the Current Name(s)
The official name for the language used in Power Query is the Power Query Formula Language. The “unofficial” name is “M”. The reason this is the unofficial name is because the Power Query Formula Language was derived and built from a language called “M” – so this name stuck.
The Problems With These Two Names
There are two problems with the name Power Query Formula Language. This name is a mouthful and hence hard to say quickly, and secondly it doesn’t abbreviate well (PQFL is not a great abbreviation and certainly not pronounceable).
The trouble with “M” as a language name is exactly the opposite of the Power Query Formula Language. M abbreviates too well and is far to short for common use.
Matt: “Do you know how to write any M?”
Other Person: “What is eniem?”
Even worse, when you try to do a search on the Internet for “M”, it is very hard to find what you need because you simply get everything back.
Enter PQL as a Better Name
My suggestion of PQL, which is short for Power Query Language of course, is (I think) a great replacement name. The reasons this name works include:
- It is a TLA – you can’t have too many TLAs!
- It is pronounceable (Peequel). A good TLA is pronounceable!
- It sounds like SQL (Seequel), which is the name of the universal database Structured Query Language. In a way SQL is a cousin of PQL and hence users will just “get it”.
- It will be easy to search on Google (even though it is used already for some other languages). It is certainly no worse than DAX – Data Analysis Expressions DAX which is also used by the German Stock Exchange.
Please Vote for This Idea
If you agree with my logic and the need for a new name, please vote for this idea at ideas.powerbi.com. Please make sure you leave a comment in the comment section stating that you think PQL is the best name, as the idea doesn’t specify what the new name should be.