On Sun, Oct 3, 2010 at 1:06 AM, Ron House <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
On 03/10/10 12:00, Antonio Olivares wrote:
--- On Sat, 10/2/10, Ron House<email@example.com> wrote:
Names are a hard thing, but one lesson I have learned in 30
years of software development is: for widespread acceptance
a good name matters much more than good content. (Sad but
Examples: "Object-oriented programming" : All the ideas
were there in Simula 67 (yes, that's 1967), but until the
cool name, OOP, was invented, no one took any notice. Then
"Extreme programming", "Open Office", "relational database"
(just a cool name for the bad idea of busting up all the
objects and losing the natural hierarchies). I could think
of dozens if I spent another ten minutes at it.
Another key lesson: Insiders are very, VERY bad at picking
good names for their own 'children'.
This is not meant as an insult, but the key movers and
shakers here, to whom we all owe the very existence of this
wonderful project, are most likely the least able to judge a
And "LibreOffice" is a very poor name.
1/ "Libre" is an insider's term. Ask any but a romance
language speaker or a free software supporter what it means.
Seriously, ask your mum, your boss, your students, the guy
serving at the local deli. The name is doomed to
misunderstanding and obscurity. Geeks will give you lots of
good feedback and you'll judge you got it right, but you
haven't, and you need to actually try the little experiment
I just gave if you want to see why.
2/ As Mirek explains, the pronunciation breaks the rules,
and showing disrespect for the rules of the linguistic
source of a term doesn't seem like a sensitive or a
politically wise thing to do.
3/ Also as Mirek points out, the adjacent vowels make the
word hard to roll off the tongue by a speaker of any
language. (It occurs to me as I write this that (2) and (3)
could be fixed by calling it "OfficeLibre".)
Thus my only disagreement with Mirek's comments: "If nobody
else thinks it's an issue..." - the people here (again, with
apologies) are all self-selected for their in-depth
knowledge of the field, love of the software, love of the
ideals, and understanding of the jargon. All of us (myself
included) are almost certain to have a useless opinion on
what would actually be a good name.
So, this is just a recommendation, but one which I know is
worth doubling the support base: Get a better name. Even
something pedestrian like "Free Office" would do much
better. And of course, if someone could conjure up that rare
animal, the magic name, well who knows...?
And PS: Don't worry about having already announced the
name: it was stated it was temporary and it's a name
destined for forgetability in any case.
-- Ron Hous
I also am sorry to butt in this conversation. But IMHO, the name does n
t matter. It is the software, the freedom to work with it. This softw
are has been created before a major catastrophe occurs, i.e, Oracle a bi
ompany controls|controlled OpenOffice.org as soon as it bought Sun
tems. Now they have killed OpenSolaris, their next target would have be
n, ..., yes OpenOffice. Before that occured, some kind people have deci
ed to protect the software before that happens.
Absolutely the right policy. 100% support from me for this wonderful
LibreOffice, is an office suite that is "Libre", meaning free, not only
e in speech but free in mostly every aspect like free and open source.
t is also "Libre", meaning free from control of a single company or a
e person. It champions free software and will continue what OpenOffice.
rg started a while back.
And there you have the problem: You have to explain it. Good marketing
requires that you engage with customers' existing understanding and
expectations. "Well, you see, the name come from..." "Yeah, forget it."
The name should not matter, what matters is that users of OpenSource/Fre
oftware folks have an office suite that is not tied up to a single compa
or entity that will control the code.
Again, exactly correct: the name _should_ not matter. Unfortunately names
_do_ matter. Bad names do and have sunk good projects, whilst good names
have successfully sold bad projects.
Building Peace: http://peacelegacy.org
Australian Birds: http://wingedhearts.org
Principle of Goodness academic site: http://principleofgoodness.net
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For the record LibreOffice is perfect in Italian, Spanish and Portguese and
most Romantic languages so I guess just certain language could struggle wit
the pronuciation. Also Libre come from FLOSS, most people know and pronounc
Free/Libre/Open Source Software with no issue including americans.
Libre means Free from freedom, so there is really a more exact cognotaion
since Open Source vs Free Software, LibreOffice get us back to freedom and
not just being open.
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