Kristian Lyngstol's Blog

A free software-hacker's blog

Naming a project, steering it

Beryl and Compiz are merging. Compiz will remain the name for the core. For everything else we need a new name.

There’s currently a poll on the forum.

There is also a lot of complaints on how this is done. Some people don’t like one name for whatever reason, others do. Some people feel they weren’t heard and their alternative should be on the vote. Many people calling for stopping the vote.

Well, as it happens, I’m all for democracy, but this is ridiculous. The people who should be responsible for naming a project, is the creators of the project. Not everyone and their dog. And we can’t wait around forever for a name. The name is important, but it’s even more important that we get one, and fast.

Personally, I voted for Coral. I’m not particularly happy with it, but in my opinion, it’s a name most people can accept. I don’t care that there are other projects with similar names. Coral is something growing in the sea, that’s where it’s from, not “stolen”. And I don’t think discussing names for a few more months is going to yield any happy results.

I am amazed by how many opinions everyone suddenly has on a decision on the name. It doesn’t change anything, except it allows us to FINALLY get a web page, wiki and more with the proper branding. I urge the people who are giving their opinions on this to think twice. We want a name, we want to hear what people have to say, but in that order.

As for claims of lack of information, that’s utter rubbish. No, we did not advertise this in your local newspaper, but the fact that we needed a new name has been well known since we started talking about a merge. The vote has also been somewhat discussed on the “compcomm” mailinglist, and there was a thread on the forum prior to putting up the post. And names like Coral, CoCo and Blitz were suggested long before the vote came up for discussion, and they have been loosely discussed among the developers. If anyone has strong feelings about this project, they’ll know how to find this information. If anything, the problem with is that there is too much discussion going on, it takes forever to make any sort of decision.

There are also a lot of helpful individuals wanting to give input on how the project is steered. We do have a lack of leadership. There are two communities in play here, and neither wants the other to “take over”, thus making it difficult to find a leader we can all agree on. But it’s not like we actually need one. The Beryl project had Quinn as a leader, but in reality, she did not try to steer us. So far, we’re working on separate parts, and then there are individual leaders for each “sub project”. These are not announced as leaders, it’s just the natural way of working: Whoever works most on a project, is the one people talk to about it.

We will be working on non-developer teams soon. We’ve already put together a support team for the forum, which seems to work well (These guys deserve their own tribute-post, but that’s for a later date). When we have a name, we need wiki and web focus too.

What concerns me is the low and often negative participation in this joint effort from (former) members of the compiz community. It is not strange that opencompositing resembles the Beryl project, when all the input we get from the Compiz community is that it’s a silly idea and that we should just stop and do what the compiz community guys did before the merge (which I personally don’t think was much). I beg these individuals (you know who you are) to sign up on the forum, send ideas instead of criticism to the compcomm list and help us! We can’t create a merged project if only one party has their heart in it.

I for one don’t WANT a new Beryl project. I liked the beryl project, but it’s time to move on. We can’t do that without new ideas. But let’s talk about what to do, instead of talking about what not to do.

One response to “Naming a project, steering it

  1. intangible June 11, 2007 at 5:08 pm

    I don’t see why you guys don’t just limit it to the beryl and compiz developers to vote for the name… Include the plugin developers if you’re feeling generous. I hate to see everyone getting so upset over a name. The name isn’t all that important to me, if it works well. I don’t care if it’s called “Puppy Dog Farts”, as long as it just continues development. I think the only thing that should be avoided is naming conflicts with other OSS and well-known software projects. Remember this immortal quote: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet.”


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