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From "Niall Pemberton" <>
Subject Re: [PROPOSAL] Etch
Date Tue, 12 Aug 2008 22:09:37 GMT
On Tue, Aug 12, 2008 at 6:29 PM, scott comer <> wrote:
> 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 advice.
> 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!

Theres nothing wrong with people suggesting/commenting/questioning
names and its better to raise it now than later and I don't think its
worth getting worked up about - there is something worse than feedback
you don't like - complete indifference to a proposal.

Having said that, unless there are valid objections to a name (and I
don't see any for Etch) then it should be up to the podling community
to decide what they call themselves.

So I'm mostly +1 to what you said (just not the bristly bit!)


> 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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