[openbeos] Re: Please stop this nonsense.

  • From: Philipp Reichmuth <mailinglistenprozessor@xxxxxxx>
  • To: Michael Phipps <openbeos@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 27 Oct 2002 13:32:52 +0100

Hello Michael,

MP> As far as unelected selections, I am not sure why you would say
MP> that. They were elected. By the admin team. Because I was not
MP> about to put 3300 names up on the website for people to vote on.
MP> That  is a waste of everyone's time. Stuart and I chose about 100
MP> names (weeding out BAnything, fake entries, ridiculous names,
MP> legally unusable names, etc). We put them up to the admin team.
MP> These are the 15 that they/we chose.

But the way this second choice was done was a bit unhappy IMHO.

I realize that there was a time for name suggestions, and then the
suggestion list was closed and no new suggestions should be taken into
consideration after that, OK. But then, in the "weeding out" process
down from 100 to 15, it might have been sensible to put more
consideration into the reasons *why* a particular name should be taken
into the final list, what it actually *meant* (like "Nemo") and
whether there might be legal problems with it (if any Be-related name
is a problem with Palm, then "Indigo" is one with SGI [1]).

After all, in marketing, this is what professional name designers are
hired for: to make sure that there are no legal problems with a name,
as well as to check out all the possible meanings of a name, even if
they didn't know them themselves - just because *somebody else* could.

For example, in Germany, we've recently had the case of the VW
"Phaeton" luxury car. This car got some bad publicity, because Phaeton
actually is a name from Greek mythology, from a legend where the Sun
god's chariot is being taken for a ride and utterly crashed in a ball
of flame. This name was dragged up and down the press as an extremely
bad choice that could have been easily avoided. As a result, there
were lots of articles about how bad VW's brand design works - not the
sort of publicity they wanted. People are aware of such things, or the
whole "Nova" urban legend would never have developed. I don't think
you would want OBOS being mentioned as the "Nobody OS" just because
it's named "Nemo".

And please don't say you or the admin team didn't know the languages
or mythology or didn't have the time to check all this out by yourself
for 100 names. After all, this is what communities are about - shared
knowledge, shared work. I bet there's lots of people lurking here on
this list who would have willingly helped out at least about the
language bit. It would have been no problem to post a narrowed list of
100 entries on the web site, along with a form for comments on each
name, specifically asking for associations with the name (such as
"dysis" with "dyslexia") or background info on the name (such as
"nemo" meaning "nobody"), and then do the final choice on that basis.
If new name suggestions would have come in, you could still have
ignored them.

Cheers -
  Philipp Reichmuth                            

A crash reduces / your expensive computer / to a simple stone

[1] For example, SGI could argue that they sell an "Indigo" range of
hardware, and since computer hardware is complemented by operating
systems, an "Indigo" operating system could easily be associated with
SGI, and so on. But IANAL, of course.

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