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Hi Bernhard,

2010/10/2 Dr. Bernhard Dippold <>

Hi Mirek, all,

Mirek Mazel wrote:
Hi everyone,
I'm really excited about the project, but I'm a bit concerned about the
name. What concerns me is that one can't tell how to pronounce the name.
Some pronounce it "librehoffice", some (including me) "leeberoffice",
may even pronounce it as "libberoffice".

I don't think that pronouncation is such an important topic.
You may say "kouka-koula" or "koka-kola" or anything else, mostly depending
on your mother language.

We can advise people intested in "right" pronounciation about the way we
use it (by the way, I pronounce "libre" just like in French, as I learned
some French in school), but people will read and pronounce it in the way
they are used to.

It's not as hard to pronounce as

Well, "Open Office" was usually the spoken term used to refer to, and I'd say that's much easier to pronounce than
LibreOffice. And it flows much more nicely.
"LibreOffice" is hard to pronounce the French way because there are two
(written) vowels next to each other. That's one thing the French language
tries to avoid, by having special forms for the few adjectives that come
before nouns that start with a vowel, like "bel", "vieil", and "nouvel". So
LibreOffice doesn't really fit in with French pronunciation either...

I'd really like to take this opportunity (as LibreOffice is not yet
known) to really get the name right -- I mean, for most software, this
opportunity tends to come only once. I know that the domain name has been
already bought, sure, but it's vital for software to have a good name.
Another thing that always bothered me with the "" trademark
and now applies to the "LibreOffice" trademark too, is that, when you
hear about it, it sounds like an Office knock-off (in the same way that
"Adidos" sounds like a cheap copy of "Adidas"), [...]
Firefox and Chrome didn't need to use the word "Internet" within their
to be successful, and neither do office suites need to use the word
in their names.

Naming is really important - nobody will deny this.
Large companies spend millions of dollars on researching for the right name
and promoting it.
We can't  - at least at the moment ;-)

But you don't need professionals to know if a name sounds good. I'd say
"Firefox" and "Inkscape" are great names, but I'm sure those projects didn't
spend millions of dollars on coming up with a name. And just look at how the
name "Google" came about: it was made up by a daughter of a mathematician.

Our name should tell people about the content, as this is marketing without
additional costs.
I don't have a problem with "Office".

While having a relevant name is good, I have to say I personally prefer more
imaginitive names (i.e. I'd say "Firefox" sounds nicer than "Internet
Explorer", "Inkscape" rather than "Draw" or "Paint", "OpenShot" rather than
"Movie Editor", ...), but that's just personal preference, I guess.
That doesn't mean that there can't be any relevant, yet still creative names
-- Inkscape implies a drawing program due to the use of "Ink" in the name,
and it's still creative. We can use that same kind of symbolism in our name

One more point is about a bit of consitency with
I personally correlate "libre" with "open", so it's not so hard to see the

What do you think? Should we brainstorm names and vote on the best one,
is it too late or too complicated to change the name now?

It is complicated, but not impossible to change the name.

But any name should not be occupied by anything else (product name, website
It should transport the goals of our community and product at the first
sight (or at least at the second).

And even if some names could be found out, being able to convince marketing
and UX experts, language independent and pronouncable in any language, there
stays a major problem:

At the time we'll decide about the name, websites will be registered by
others, trademarks filed and so on.

Yeah, that was one of my concerns. It's strange, though, that international
domain names for "LibreOffice" are being registered even though there's been
no public, official word from Oracle about possibly giving us the
"" trademark.

Even if I mislike closed door decisions, this is probably not a topic to be
discussed on an open list.

And I like the name!

I liked it, too, at first, but I'm afraid that pronunciation will be an

Anyway, if nobody else thinks it's an issue, then it should stay.

Best regards


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