TinkerPop was started in the summer of 2008. Josh and I were living in Santa Fe creating a "knoweldge graph" company. Our product required something I was saying should be a “like a network database.” Lo and behold, we found a "graph database" product out there on the webs. The product’s website was a single page containing a downloadable jar. The database's name was Neo4j. Supposedly, we were Neo4j's first US customer. Emil, Matthias, and Johan flew out to Santa Fe (from Malmö) a couple of times to work with us — grinding code day and night.
At the time, Neo4j only had a Traverser Java API, no query language. I remember sitting in my apartment with Josh and saying to him:
"We should create a graph query language for Neo4j."
He responded, like he still does today:
“Already done — its called Ripple.”
I’ve seen Josh work with Ripple. Pen and paper to bookkeep the stack. Eek! Also, RDF oriented. Thus, more "pattern matching" than “traversing." :/
I liked this one smartphone game developed by a company named LabPixies. "Ha, their name is totally ridiculous." So, that got me thinking and “TinkerPop” plopped out of my mind. For the name of the language, I thought of a bunch of traversers flowing over the graph…a bunch of little gremlins! We ran the project idea by Peter Neubauer (Neo4j) and he was excited. Thus, together, Josh, Peter, and I founded TinkerPop…and the rest is git history. (somehow a buddy of mine named Vadas got immortalized in the toy graph as v.)
Over the years, Peter moved on to other things…likewise, Josh. Fortunately, Stephen Mallette reached out to me a few years after the project was founded. To this day, Stephen remains the backbone of TinkerPop. Keeping it tight, keeping it legit, and keeping it going.
While Josh and I had gone our separate ways, every now and again our paths meet up. Lo-and-behold, the push to TP4 perked Josh’s interests and along with Kuppitz and Stephen, we have been making great progress on something we are calling the mm-ADT (Multi-Model Abstract Data Type). Along with Stream Ring Theory, mm-ADT will be the foundation on which we build TP4.
Given the herculean effort that is brewing, we officially welcome Josh to the Apache TinkerPop project (the #1 project in the history of projects — so my mom says).