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From Marvin Humphrey <mar...@rectangular.com>
Subject Re: [DISCUSS] OpenMiracl for Incubation
Date Fri, 13 Nov 2015 14:27:25 GMT
Hello, Brian,

Thanks for collaborating with Nick and bringing this proposal to us!

On Thu, Nov 12, 2015 at 12:45 PM, Brian Spector
<brian.spector@miracl.com> wrote:
> Hi all,
>
> among cryptographers in the embedded / IoT space, the 'MIRACL' brand has a
> lot of household name recognition. Most degreed cryptographers have used it
> in their research. Code from the open source library is in hardware from
> Intel, Microsoft, Google, Siemens, Gemalto, etc.
>
> When we started the business around the MIRACL library, our intention was
> always to name the business MIRACL as well. As a small business its easier
> to managed a branded house vs house of brands.

This is of course a sensible business plan -- there are many companies who
have made that choice. However, it happens to introduce complications when
proposing usage of that brand for an Apache project which must have project
independence.

  https://community.apache.org/projectIndependence.html

> To be clear, we're not looking for the same name as the Apache incubation
> project as our corporate name, i.e., Apache Miracl vs. Miracl Miracl. We
> just not sure what to call the incubation project and still inherent the
> brand recognition of MIRACL and not confuse people.

There are others around the ASF who are more expert than myself on such
matters, but it seems to me that the least problematic resolution would be to
have the Apache project take a name which is not confusingly similar -- a la
the Adobe-PhoneGap/Apache-Cordova split.  It seems quite unreasonable to ask
your business to cede the hard-earned value in the MIRACL brand.  And yet
it's hard to envision a project named Apache OpenMiracl and a company
named Miracl to co-exist around the same product and benefit simultaneously
from the same brand equity without marketplace confusion.

> The intention is that MIRACL (the company name) sells a supported crypto
> platform geared to cloud providers called Datacenter Cryptosystem. That's
> the product name. We'll also run (hopefully one of thousands of) community
> D-TAs and have dedicated D-TAs for paying customers, as we hope a lot of
> others will do so, as NTT has committed to.
>
> The open source platform for everyone is (at the moment) called OpenMiracl,
> a cryptosystem for cloud computing.
>
> Nick proposed thought this would be a good way to distinguish the open
> source offering from a closed source offering, we agreed. We're not really
> bothered with what to call it, we just wanted to make sure it inherited the
> MIRACL brand in some way.  We've got thousands of crypto developers that
> have downloaded the MIRACL libraries over the years that we know will be
> very interested in platform, that was the reasoning behind the naming
> convention. To preserve the history, essentially.

Yes, that rationale is understandable.  But we want downstream commercial
entities such as yours to thrive based on our products!  So if your company
continues to benefit from the MIRACL brand, while the Apache project develops
its own identity, that's great!

> I apologise if we have stepped into it with the naming convention.

Don't worry about it -- this is something we deal with all the time.

> I'm not sure why / how Couchbase / Apache CouchDB and Mesosphere / Apache
> Mesos have harmed the community or why they were bad mistakes, as had been
> mentioned previously

CouchBase is a company formed by CouchDB's original author which was once a
major contributor to the Apache project, but which later split away and
launched a competing, incompatible product.  The result has been ongoing
marketplace confusion and continuous damage to the Apache CouchDB community.

Here's a longer explanation from CouchDB contributor Noah Slater:

  http://s.apache.org/wHU

I don't follow Mesos closely, but as far as I know Mesosphere remains in good
standing and is a fantastic contributor to Mesos.  However, not contending
the name was still a mistake.

Best,

Marvin Humphrey

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