[openbeos] Re: OBOS new name

  • From: Philipp Reichmuth <mailinglistenprozessor@xxxxxxx>
  • To: Adam Baratz <openbeos@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 25 Oct 2002 08:56:56 +0200

>> A nova is an exploded star. Really. Look it up. (And I thought that
>> my college astronomy class would never be useful). ;-)

AB> [...] I don't like that "sinking into obscurity" part.  It says a
AB> supernova is "a star that explodes and becomes extremely luminous
AB> in the process."  Either way, I don't like the dying parts that
AB> both names imply.

"Nova" is also the classic example of bad product naming in every
second introductory management class or textbook, because it is
usually chosen by English-speaking people without consideration for
its meaning in other languages (the bit about "no va" meaning "no go"
in Spanish, which is true).

The whole thing actually is something of an urban legend (read, among
others, http://www.snopes.com/business/misxlate/nova.htm), but it has
become so much of a symbol for a classic bad example that I wouldn't
really recommend it.

Internationalization issues arise about a couple of other names,
too... I've tried the names with a couple of people over here to see
what they were associated with, and some results were rather
disappointing. "Dysis" was associated with things like "dyslexia".
"Jaffa" was vigorously rejected by a Lebanese friend. "Nemo" means
"nobody" in Latin (which is where Jules Verne got the name for his
captain from, but the general association was not positive). "Indigo"
was pointed out as a SGI trademark for a range of computers and hence
problematic, SGI would probably complain on the grounds of having to
sell an operating system for these computers themselves. Finally, most
non-native English speakers did not know what a "firefly" actually
was. I've asked them to cast votes themselves, so we don't have to
discuss that in detail here.

Anyhow, the list is online now, so this type of consideration is
redundant by now.

On the other hand, if "Haiku" is chosen, that would probably imply
having to do some i18n work already for R1, just in order not to
offend all the Japanese geeks ;-) Not a bad thing IMHO, but a lot of

Cheers -
  Philipp Reichmuth                            

Printer not ready / Could be a fatal error / Have a pen handy?

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