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On Sunday 03 Oct 2010 15:00:04 Antonio Olivares wrote:
--- On Sat, 10/2/10, Ron House <> wrote:
From: Ron House <>
Subject: Re: [tdf-discuss] [GENERAL] New name
Date: Saturday, October 2, 2010, 6:35 PM

On 02/10/10 23:41, Mirek M. wrote:
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...

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.

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.

Hmm, I joined the list to find out about compiling the
source, but this discussion took my interest. Apologies for
butting in late.

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
good name.

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 no
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 big c
ompany controls|controlled as soon as it bought Sun Microsys
tems.  Now they have killed OpenSolaris, their next target would have bee
n, ..., yes OpenOffice.  Before that occured, some kind people have decid
ed to protect the software before that happens. 

LibreOffice, is an office suite that is "Libre", meaning free, not only fre
e in speech but free in mostly every aspect like free and open source.  I
t is also "Libre", meaning free from control of a single company or a singl
e person.  It champions free software and will continue what OpenOffice.o
rg started a while back. 

The name should not matter, what matters is that users of OpenSource/Free S
oftware folks have an office suite that is not tied up to a single company
or entity that will control the code.



Happily using Free and Open Software for some time.
Fedora 12/Fedora 13/Slackware 13.1/FreeBSD 8.1/...
olivares@darkstar:~$ uname -r

You in fact wear the best argument for a unique name in your sig.  Who is 
arguably the most successful Open Source company:  Red Hat

What in gods name does a Red Hat have to do with software other than give them 
a really cool logo.

This discussion is indicative, much of marketing is about creating buzz.  I 
would like a name that leads to a logo that is sexy enough for people to use 
as a desktop background, Redhat does and Fedora and Firefox.  I was looking at 
the "LibO" abbreviation and the thing that I suddenly saw was LbD, or LBD 
which is abrreviation for "Little Black Dress", suddenly I see a very cool 
logo and marketing campaign and a buzz.  One great thing is that LBD is cool 
to both men and women, both groups tend to like the way they look. 

What has it to do with Office suites? About the same amount that Computer 
Operating systems have to do with Hats.

But dang what a buzz it would cause:  An office suite that was sexy, now THAT 
would be cool to market.   


Graham Lauder, MarCon (Marketing Contact) NZ Migration and training Consultant.

INGOTs Assessor Trainer
(International Grades in Open Technologies)
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