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From "Yoav Shapira" <>
Subject Re: [policy] Ethics and Project Names - discuss
Date Tue, 29 Aug 2006 12:33:28 GMT
+0 on ethical criteria in general as long as they're very clearly
defined: it's very easy to get into gray areas because what is or
isn't offensive and what is or isn't "established" is subjective.  I
don't necessarily want to go down the route of having Wikipedia-like
guidelines (see for example as the
guideline on notability), but I'm afraid that might be necessary.
Even your first cut at this name guideline, which looks well
thought-out and articulated, would instantly be the the most
legalese-sounding[1] thing on the incubator web site most likely.
Legalese = a bad thing in my mind...

However, strong +1 to a name acceptance being required as an entry,
not exit, criteria.  We should be able to find a name together on
general@incubator before starting incubation.  The name is the
identity, it's a key bit of data, and downstream decisions (mailing
list names, SVN repo names, publicity around the project, etc.) all
incur additional work or overhead if the names change.


[1] Legalese for those unfamiliar with the expression:

On 8/29/06, Danny Angus <> wrote:
> Hi,
> I think the time might be right to provoke a dispassionate discussion
> about our use of proper names for project names.
> I'd like to start by suggesting the following for discussion;
> That there be a new category of minimum exit requirements named
> somthing like "Ethical considerations" and that the initial item in
> this list be "The podling name should not equal or contain a proper
> noun which may already be associated with any identifiable community
> or individual or have a special meaning in any cultural context,
> unless such a proper noun is an attribution and is generally accepted
> to be relevant, such as the name of an inventor or associated
> institution." The intention is to discourage the use of proper names
> as project altogether, the exception is to allow the fine tradition of
> naming inventions after their inventor to continue.
> My reasoning for this is simple, the ASF has a high profile and we
> already know that some groups are unhappy with our use of the Apache
> name. I wouldn't suggest that we should re-name existing entities, but
> I do believe that adoption of a proper name and the high profile it
> will undobtedly receive by its association with the ASF is more likely
> to be met with disapproval, especially by groups to whom the name
> already has a cultural context, than approval. I think this is
> particularly true when you consider that sucessful projects have an
> on-line profile high enough to eclipse the original use of the name. I
> cannot think of an example where re-using a proper name might have any
> positive benefit for both parties.
> I believe that it is right for us to consider ethical questions, and I
> believe that the solution to this one need not be onerous if podlings
> are aware of it from the start of their involvement.
> WDYT:-
> Should we apply ethical considerations at all?
> Should we avoid proper names?
> ... and if not why not?
> d.
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