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I was reading about Assemblies (modules, which Microsoft CLR works with). The Assembly contains so called Manifest, which by definition describes a set of files in the Assembly.

I know that Android applications also contain a file called Manifest, which also describes a set of files contained in the application.

Is this simply a coincidence? Or are there some commonly accepted rules in software development to name "special" files?

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The same term is also used for Java .JAR files. –  user281377 Jul 31 '12 at 11:00
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I'm pretty sure the terminology comes from the term shipping manifest, which wikipedia describes as: "Manifest, a document listing the cargo, passengers, and crew of a ship, aircraft, or vehicle, for the use of customs and other officials." –  Baqueta Jul 31 '12 at 11:25
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As far as I know Java was the first one to call it "manifest" (at least of the three that where mentioned). And since it's a fitting name (similar to a shipping manifest, it describes the content of a package), others just used the same term for similar files. –  Joachim Sauer Jul 31 '12 at 11:27
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There is certainly no rule, but i wouldn't say it was coincidence either, they are clearly related concepts so its natural to use the same word - i.e. put it down to English semantics –  jk. Jul 31 '12 at 11:30
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It's neither a coincidence nor a rule, just a good descriptive word to capture a concept. It's the same reason words like 'factory', 'facade', 'token', 'agent' are ubiquitous in software development. –  MattDavey Jul 31 '12 at 12:31
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up vote 10 down vote accepted

So you can mark this one as answered, these three comments accurately summarize things:

Baqueta's comment:

I'm pretty sure the terminology comes from the term shipping manifest, which wikipedia 
describes as: "Manifest, a document listing the cargo, passengers, and crew of a ship, 
aircraft, or vehicle, for the use of customs and other officials."

Joachim Sauer's comment:

As far as I know Java was the first one to call it "manifest" (at least of the three 
that where mentioned). And since it's a fitting name (similar to a shipping manifest, 
it describes the content of a package), others just used the same term for similar files.

MattDavey's comment:

It's neither a coincidence nor a rule, just a good descriptive word to capture a concept.
It's the same reason words like 'factory', 'facade', 'token', 'agent' are ubiquitous in 
software development. 
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