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The story behind the lighthouse

The new edition of the famous Effective Kotlin was released with a completely new cover. On this cover, you can see a beautiful rural lighthouse. Some people ask for the meaning of this picture. A simple answer is that a lighthouse shows a direction, so it is a metaphor for the best practices. Lighthouses saved many lives, and they are still in used nowadays, because when navigation systems fail in storms, lighthouses are still saving ships and their crews. However, there is a much more important reason why I decided to use a lighthouse, a reason that should be clear to other Kotlin dinosaurs, a reason strongly connected to Kotlin name.

The origin of Kotlin name

As far as I know, Kotlin was supposed to be named Jet (from JetBrains), but this name was already trademarked, so before the official announcement, Kotlin creators needed to find another name. Since Java is an island, they decided to name Kotlin after an island too, so they chose the island next to St. Petersburg, named Kotlin.

Kotlin is a small island next to St. Petersburg.

Kotlin is at the entrance to St. Petersburg port, so without a good lighthouses it would have been responsible for premature ends of lives of many ships. That is why it has at least a couple of them. It also has a fort and a small city with an impressive church. In this city, there is the following lighthouse.

Kronstadt Light House

This lighthouse is well-known by Kotlin dinosaurs like me, because it was well exposed on Kotlin website and documentation.

A lighthouse can be considered a symbol of Kotlin, and it symbolizes the best practices, so I wanted to use it on the Effective Kotlin book. But I decided to use a different one. One reason was that I wanted to find a lighthouse that will look good on my cover. Another one is that I like the scandinavian look of this one. Kotlin is no longer developed in St. Petersburg, JetBrains left Russia. I feel that this lighthouse is a good symbol for the best practices for Kotlin development.