22

Since there are still many people unsatisfied with the current site name, I thought it would be good to have a centralised place for some brainstorming. If you have any ideas, please post them below! And please vote up and down the options you like/dislike.

This is not the place to argue for any change in scope. I personally think the scope is already fairly stable: it's about:

  • stuff (software, hardware, creative works, databases etc) licensed under a permissive or copyleft/share-alike license (whether FSF, OSI or CC approved)
  • the communities involved in making the stuff
  • the communities involved in sharing and distributing the stuff
  • the processes of doing all of that

Please keep in mind that a good title is fairly short and will never be able to completely explain all of that. We will need a longer site description, which will. What we want is a catchy title that communicates as much of the scope as possible.

11 Answers 11

23

Free & Open

All the benefits of FOSS with less acronym and less software-specificness!

  • 3
    Is the site name here proposed "Free & Open Stack Exchange" or are you suggesting simply adding "Free &" to the beginning of the current title to make "Free & Open Source" SE? – Air Jul 6 '15 at 19:28
  • 4
    On reflection I really like this (and without “source”, @Air! That would miss the point). It lets us have fit both ideas of “free” and “open”, without getting into “free X” which would be widely interpreted as “X not for money”, and without being specific about what is free/open (unlike “open source” which is primarily reminiscent of software). – Gilles Jul 6 '15 at 20:26
  • 4
    @Air Just "Free & Open" – curiousdannii Jul 6 '15 at 22:11
  • 1
    Would that make our favicon F&O then? – overactor Jul 7 '15 at 4:41
  • 1
    @overactor I guess so, if it would fit. Maybe F/O or F+O if it's too tight to fit an ampersand. – curiousdannii Jul 7 '15 at 4:45
  • 1
    @curiousdannii If we make it Free Or Open, it could be FOO. – overactor Jul 7 '15 at 6:11
  • 1
    Both of those are too limited to software. – curiousdannii Jul 18 '15 at 13:07
  • 4
    Free & Open what? I think this too unspecific for our site. "Free & Open SE" could be about free stuff (including beer), free and open speech, transparency in government, the great outdoors, etc. I would prefer something more specific, such as: "Free Culture SE". – Free Radical Jul 19 '15 at 11:06
  • 1
    @FreeRadical Really? I suggest you take a look at this meta post: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/261582/… There will be confusions wherever you see them, but they can be clarified further through other resources. – Zizouz212 Aug 4 '15 at 0:17
  • 2
    Free/Libre & Open would clarify the issue better in the same way that FLOSS is a more inclusive way of talking about software than FOSS. – Soong Aug 7 '15 at 10:03
  • 1
    Another variation would be Free/Open instead of Free & Open. I think the slash makes it less ambiguous because it shows the two terms are not quite the same but there is overlap and it makes a bit clearer that the Free is not about price. – Soong Aug 9 '15 at 18:24
  • 1
    @Snoog I don't see how a slash would resolve the ambiguity of free... – curiousdannii Aug 9 '15 at 21:34
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    I liked this, actually I still do, but the ambiguity that forms a link between free and gratis still kinda remains no matter how I twist it around. I keep coming back to Libre in the place of free. Libre, Free & Open? Libre & Open? I don't think a perfect construction of words exists that sufficiently frames 'free' while serving as a laconic title. – Tim Post Aug 11 '15 at 11:10
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    @TimPost People deal with ambiguity in every area of language. It's really not an issue. "Open source" has its own potential ambiguity, what is sometimes called "source visible", but how many questions have been asked about that? None that I'm aware of. Even if a few get confused by any of these titles, we'll be able to friendly and cheerfully explain their misconception. – curiousdannii Aug 11 '15 at 12:46
  • 3
    How about a compromise, we'll call it "Freebre & Open" - rolls right off the tongue, it does. – Air Aug 11 '15 at 15:09
10

Open Source

Our current title. Decently catchy, generally well understood. Some FSF supporters might think it excludes them, but we will explain carefully in the description that it doesn't.

A downside is that it sounds at first to be limited to software. This isn't perfectly the case - some other things also have source files. Again this can probably be dealt with in the site description.

  • 5
    I don't think that this can be explained away. – Michael Schumacher Jul 6 '15 at 12:24
  • 1
    @MichaelSchumacher Can you explain why a little more? – curiousdannii Jul 6 '15 at 12:25
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    gnu.org/philosophy/open-source-misses-the-point.html - and you come along and claim "but but... our Open Source doesn't miss the point". I find that hard to believe, given that some of the active users of this site didn't seem to be aware of the difference in philosophies at all. – Michael Schumacher Jul 6 '15 at 12:29
  • 4
    @MichaelSchumacher sigh Attacking your closest friend misses the point of political activity. – Gilles Jul 6 '15 at 20:08
  • 3
    I think the name should be self-explanatory, so I absolutely prefer this option. Only a few sites have the advantage of their subject being so popular it can get rid of a literal explanation. Think of the SEO as well, extra points for subject in domain name! – Yisela Jul 7 '15 at 7:48
  • 1
    I understand the scope is wider, but I'd try to keep "open source" as a block, even if adding "... & knowledge", "... & Info", or similar. – Yisela Jul 7 '15 at 7:55
  • 3
    This title suggests this is a site with Q&A about open source code. The scope of the site is supposed to be broader: literary and artistic works, hardware, file formats, raw and processed open data, etc. – Free Radical Jul 19 '15 at 7:58
  • 1
    I think explaining something like "this is not limited to software" in the site description is too late. We need a name that tells people right away what this is about. Someone who misunderstand the name will not even read the site description in many cases. – Soong Aug 7 '15 at 10:01
9

The best solution is "FLO" as in Free/Libre/Open (it can be spelled out that way with the slashes too). It's the adjective part of FLOSS and it doesn't spell out a known word, so it's a unique and recognizable term. "Open Source" is largely software-specific, so if we want to cover beyond software, FLO is the best overall term.

Here's a full explanation of why FLO makes the most sense and any other option is not as good: https://snowdrift.coop/p/snowdrift/w/free-libre-open

See also http://osi.xwiki.com/bin/Projects/About+FLOW+and+RENT+Relationships, where the OSI embraces this idea, except that "FLO" is more flexible and searchable vs "FLOW" but the same metaphor of flow of ideas works.

Note that "Free & Open" i.e. anything that uses the & allows the confusion about "free as in price" whereas using slashes or combos like Free/Libre/Open clarifies that these are overlapping terms (but they aren't identical which is why none is adequate alone). FLO really is the smoothest and captures all the values and sides.

  • 1
    I don't see how using a slash instead of an ampersand somehow magically resolves the ambiguity. Both indicate alternate things. – curiousdannii Aug 12 '15 at 0:24
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    @curiousdannii slash generally refers to interchangeable more than ampersand does. "Free & Open" easily brings up "oh, this one is just Free, while this other is both Free & Open". In contrast, "Free/Libre/Open" sounds like a single generalized category of things. But it's subtle. Anyway, I'm not emphasizing the slash version, I'm emphasizing the shorter abbreviation: FLO. Note that GNU folks specifically prefer FLOSS to FOSS (see gnu.org/philosophy/floss-and-foss.html ), and FLO is better for all the reasons in the link I posted above. – wolftune Aug 13 '15 at 0:56
2

Something creative for the title

Look at Seasoned Advice, Arqade, and indeed the original Stack Overflow. These are interesting names that create their own sense of community, independent of any philosophical disagreements chefs, gamers and programmers might have.

Something simple and inclusive for the URL

Seasoned Advice is simply cooking.stackexchange.com. Ideally our URL should be similarly simple. However, in my opinion, the reason this question exists is because "opensource" doesn't fit the bill.

  • 1
    I know this isn't concrete, my hope is that it stimulates some fun suggestions (I rather liked Ask Freely :) ) – david.libremone Aug 11 '15 at 5:20
  • 1
    You bring good points, but then what are you suggesting? – Zizouz212 Aug 11 '15 at 16:33
  • 1
    Martijn suggest "Derivative" which I think is a creative title along these lines – curiousdannii Aug 12 '15 at 11:51
-1

Libre & Open Source

(Tim Post recommended it and now we can vote on it.)

-1

Open by Design

That seems to check all the boxes IMO:

  • stuff (software, hardware, creative works, databases etc) licensed under a permissive or copyleft/share-alike license (whether FSF, OSI or CC approved)

  • the communities involved in making the stuff

  • the communities involved in sharing and distributing the stuff

  • the processes of doing all of that

Furthermore it makes no claim direct or indirect that the site only deals with free things. That is beneficial because to my knowledge open source doesn't always equate to free at least in software.

-2

Open & Free Intellectual Property

Should this issue ever get revisited, not likely, but who knows, I'd suggest suggest Open & Free Intellectual Property. This avoids the use of "source" that some feel excludes all other forms of IP. It places "free" after "open" to, hopefully, avoid illusions of "free beer." It doesn't leave free and open hanging without a subject, so the idea of a place to exchange links to free stuff is gone. It covers both the "Open Source" movement and the "Free Software" concepts, which some say are different because of "emphasis," so neither "camp" is slighted, and both can work together.

Looking for other uses of OFIP, produced this from acronymfinder

OFIP Acronyms

Trading places with open and free gives "FOIP" which is "Fax over IP," which could be misunderstood in the general technology mindset of possible users coming from SE. So it seems best to avoid that one anyway.

Lastly, "Intellectual Property" should cover everything that this site needs to discuss in the open or free licensing concept. If is possible, to just use "Licensing" instead, but OFL has a legion of definitions, some ok, "Our Fearless Leader", and others avoidable "Organizational Forms Library (Microsoft)," so it seem skipping that is advisable.

The URL could be ofip.stackexchange.com or openfreeip.stackexchange.com since the whole thing seem unbearably long.

That's my 2¢ worth, for the future.

-3

Free Culture

This is a broad term that can be used to describe all types of free/libre stuff.

The problem with the current title are twofold:

  1. The phrase "Open Source" is strongly associated with the OSI and their particular philosophical and political outlook. Our Q&A-site is better served by having a title that is less partisan.

  2. Most people with think of "source code" (as opposed to machine code) when they see the word "source". We need a name that signifies a wider scope than software.

While the term "Free culture" originates with the Free Culture Foundation , it is also used by a much broader movement, where "culture" may refer to literary and artistic works, hardware, software, file formats, raw and processed data, etc.

  • 2
    Not sure how relevant the linked Free Culture Foundation is, but I don’t think the term is necessarily associated with them. Wikipedia article: Free culture movement – unor Jul 6 '15 at 19:56
  • 1
    Also include "Open movements" and resulting in: Free Culture & Open Movements – Pandya Jul 25 '15 at 13:22
  • 2
    I think it is not a problem to use a term that may have originated with the Free Culture Foundation. You are right, Open Source is too strongly associated with software and the OSI and broadening the term to "Free Culture" is good idea. – Soong Aug 7 '15 at 9:59
  • 2
    I have an issue with this: One of the issues was that the site was named Open Source. As you noted, the term was associated with an organization. The same issue with Free Culture: there is an organization behind it. – Zizouz212 Aug 8 '15 at 13:36
-4

Libre

A term which is commonly used now to remove the potential misunderstand that we're talking about "free as in beer" stuff.

Downsides are that it might be too obscure, and it sounds like a sanitary product brand.

  • 1
    As much as I like this, I fear that it's obscure. Most people don't speak French. – Gilles Jul 6 '15 at 20:26
  • 1
    @Gilles It's a loan word into English now, but it is indeed pretty obscure. – curiousdannii Jul 6 '15 at 22:13
-5

Ask Freely

This sums up what we're about really nicely and has the term free in it without the possibility of the speech/beer confusion.

  • 5
    Sounds like the tagline of Yahoo! Answers. – Air Jul 7 '15 at 21:06
-9

Open Info

Makes it pretty clear, that the focus is much more than software.

  • 3
    I think this makes it seem like the focus is on much less than software. While technically everything is information, we don't normally think of hardware or art as information. – curiousdannii Jul 6 '15 at 22:17

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