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From scott comer <>
Subject Re: [PROPOSAL] Etch
Date Tue, 12 Aug 2008 17:29:52 GMT
as a scientist, i am getting somewhat bristly at all the rumor, 
innuendo, and hyperbole around names. i've not seen any definitive or 
measurable steps that can be take to ensure success. we're also ignoring 
the silent majority which seems to like etch just fine. my personal 
opinion is that the name is not the gating factor for success. apache 
pig? really. success and web hits will derive from being truly useful 
and trusted. it doesn't work the other way around.

simply dictionary word names and result counts on google certainly don't 
count. several apache projects are named with dictionary words with 
significantly larger search result counts than etch.

to state the obvious, what counts is that people can find you. i've seen 
studies and information on how to try to game google's system. many of 
them contradict each other, but everyone can agree that you better be on 
the first page and with something clearly definitive near the top of the 
first screen. from their info, two things matter:

1) links from various "definitive" sources to the etch page. this can 
come from links from reviews,,, apache home page, 
microsoft csharp page, python, ruby, wikipedia,, etc. these 
things are not present now, but will be shortly if we could get past this.

2) names must be memorable enough so that a casual reference in a 
conversation can be turned into a successful search later. examples of 
this might be "etch", "etch protocol", "etch java", etc. if you search 
for "etch service description language" or "etch protocol" right now you 
get to the right place. nothing is more off-putting than a name which 
you cannot spell having only heard it. word combinations are also out 
for the same reason, because people enter them as two separate words. 
finally, if your name is intentionally misspelled, watch out. google 
will suggest a better spelling and people often automatically take its 

the important thing right now is, i think, that searching now for etch 
doesn't not reveal anything which is obviously competing technology 
(east tennessee children's hospital is #1, debian #2, etch a sketch #3). 
nothing obviously confusing comes up. therefore, plenty of room for etch 
to elbow its way to the #1 spot, esp when combined with other keywords.

when choosing the name etch, we thought it important to choose a short 
word which wasn't already a tech name. it needed to connote writing and 
communication. it need to be easy to remember, etc.

i really like the name etch, obviously, it is short and memorable and 
mnemonic, i haven't seen anything which would indicate that a successful 
and useful technology would not be adopted just because of its name. 
changing the name now seems fussy and would muddy water enough to 
confuse the small toe hold we already have ( article, cisco video 
presentations, existing cisco customers, etc.). it isn't worth it right 
now without definitive proof that the new name is better.

let's hear from the silent majority!

scott out

Grant Ingersoll wrote:
> On Aug 8, 2008, at 4:28 AM, James Dixson (jadixson) wrote:
>> Simple put: a name change is work. Before I can accept the need to do
>> work, I want to clearly understand the benefits of doing it.
>> Etch, while new to open-source, does have some awareness in a technical
>> community ( ). We have been publicly
>> pitching and distributing etch in our community for several months now.
>> People have been using the technology and for our current community Etch
>> != Debian. Granted, a couple of months is a short amount of time, but it
>> is something. Imposing a name change on our current community, with the
>> reasoning that the future community, would be unable to differentiate
>> between "Apache Etch" and the etch release Debian, would be disruptive.
> I don't think the argument is necessarily that the future community 
> can't distinguish between Apache Etch and Debian, I think the argument 
> is that the future community won't be able to find it, period, which 
> means the future community may well be smaller than it would be w/ a 
> more distinctive name.
> Put it this way, you search for Hadoop, the top 10 on Google is all 
> Apache Hadoop.  You search for Etch and you will be lucky to crack the 
> top 10, me thinks, but who knows maybe you'll get enough rank to 
> displace the Etch-a-Sketch and it will be a non-issue.
> Of course, the work thing I understand, too, although it seems like a 
> global search and replace wouldn't be that bad.  You also certainly 
> could change it over time, even after being accepted into incubation, 
> I think, just as long as it's done before first release.
> FWIW, I like the name Etch :-)
> -Grant 
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