8

Today, we had a visit from Tim Post to discuss our potential name change. After a meeting at Stack Exchange and some discussion in a chatroom, we've nearly settled on our site name:

Free & Open... something.

Free & Open was the highest voted suggestion on the site name brainstorming post, and both the moderators here and the Stack Exchange team like it - with one caveat.

It needs to be Free & Open something. "Free & Open", on its own, is not the clearest of names, and there's a fair amount of ambuguity - free and open what, exactly?

That realisation has led to this meta post. Now, we need you to come up with the something. We've got most of a new site name - finish it off!

Post each suggestion in a separate answer, so community voting can show the most favoured. The best word - or words, it doesn't have to be one if it's good - will be one that demonstrates our scope (not just software!) and is catchy.


Basically, just do this in your answer...

Free & Open... **[Insert your word(s) here]**.

Vote on answers. Throw anything that comes to mind. We need to work on as perfect a name as possible, so tell us anything. Tell us why you like something, tell us why you don't like something. Comments will also help raise issues that we don't see, but the rest of the world will.


Just in case I may be giving off opinion, I'm Zizouz212 writing this section

I believe I can speak for the community, and the moderator team in that we preferred the original proposed site name of Free & Open. I believe Tim Post had also strongly supported the suggestion, and attempted to present strong arguments in favour of the name.

However, one of the biggest concerns was still ambiguity. While it is clear to the general community that is active on the site about what the name would mean, there was concerns as to what the name would actually mean when shared with the general public. In a conversation with the SE team, the issue was well, Free & Open what? In that sense, I understand the reaction. Face it: To someone who hears of the name without knowing what the site is about, and without having heard any context, it's difficult to come to correct conclusions. When tested on certain members, some of those who were also "Free & Open" developers, it didn't ring a bell, as to what it could possibly mean.

The Stack Exchange team has no issue with a name change. They are extremely proud of what you are doing, and want to let you know that the community has their support. The issue looks like it would be high on the priority list, so you can rest assured that serious action will be taken soon. The name almost went through: figuring out how to make this work will be the last step towards total success.

  • 1
    I've discussed the issue as well, and I'm leaving a comment in case anyone would like to contact me directly (through pinging). – Zizouz212 Aug 11 '15 at 17:03
  • 2
    Words to avoid as having pre-existing implications alongside "free" and/or "open" might include "internet" (net neutrality) and "plans" (architecture/interior design). – Air Aug 11 '15 at 17:55
  • 3
    Can that discussion that decided that something extra was needed be opened to the rest of us? Because I'm unconvinced. – curiousdannii Aug 12 '15 at 0:20
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    @curiousdannii That was a discussion mainly had at Stack Exchange; the meeting they had earlier was where consensus was reached on it. – ArtOfCode Aug 12 '15 at 0:24
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    It doesn't really seem like anyone is liking the suggestions so far... This might be a problem. – michaelpri Aug 12 '15 at 0:45
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    Let's just name it fopen() and be done with it. – Tim Post Aug 12 '15 at 5:56
  • 4
    I think the ambiguity will not occur in practice. The site name will not occur in isolation, but alongside either the site description or a question. The only place site names occur by themselves is the footer, but we're not in it yet, and I thought the footer was being phased out in general. So -1 because I don't think this kind of clarification is needed. By all means propose new names at the original post, but let's not modify them here. – curiousdannii Aug 12 '15 at 6:52
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    If we keep this on much longer, we will end up with a top voted "Free Culture, Including, but not limited to, Creative Commons, Free Software, Open Source, and the Public Domain" – Martijn Aug 12 '15 at 9:52
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    You guys took into account that we need to add the word "beta" to whatever name we choose... right? – Zizouz212 Aug 12 '15 at 20:08
  • 1
    @Ziz No news from Tim? I don't want us to end up choosing F&OW if F&O will end up being okay. – curiousdannii Aug 13 '15 at 23:47
  • 1
    @curiousdannii Let me see if I can add in a section to the post about what some of the issues and conversations had been. – Zizouz212 Aug 13 '15 at 23:48
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    @Ziz thanks. I think the SE staff alsi need to respond to the arguments put forward here, not just their original position. – curiousdannii Aug 13 '15 at 23:51
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    @curiousdannii You can check out the added section. I believe I've added everything that I could've. – Zizouz212 Aug 14 '15 at 0:01
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    @Ziz thanks, but I still think that argument is fallacious. The site name will almost never appear in isolation, it will almost always appear with either the site description or a question (and the question will be focused, not the site name). I think the SE staff need to explain how they tested the name. Did they just say it to someone, or did they show them a site mock-up? – curiousdannii Aug 14 '15 at 0:08
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    @curiousdannii I'm not sure. I'd love to see the input of a few more SE people here as well. Regardless, the thing to do here is wait, and carry on with any results. – Zizouz212 Aug 14 '15 at 0:10

21 Answers 21

2

Free & Open

(as originally proposed by curiousdannii and highly upvoted back then)

This Stack Exchange site is about all things free and open.

Why would it need to be “free & open something”? Adding a noun changes the grammar and changes the interpretation of “free”. We want “free” to be understood as in freedom, not as in free beer. This works better when free doesn't qualify a noun.

  • 2
    If you'd asked me 12 hours ago, I'd have gone with this. 12 hours and discussions with Stack Exchange later, I'm convinced against this name: when put to a selection of people, including developers, they said "free and open what?". – ArtOfCode Aug 11 '15 at 22:07
  • 3
    Come on, let's be serious; this is ridiculously vague. Is this the site where I complain about censorship on SE? Can I get some help dealing with my uncle who likes to go commando and sometimes forgets to zip up his fly? How can you close my question, this is Free & Open SE! – Air Aug 11 '15 at 22:28
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    @Air Come on. Those examples are so protracted you could drive a truck through them. For any title, you can find nonsensical interpretations with sufficient bad faith. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Aug 11 '15 at 22:41
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    @Air I generally agree with how Gilles supports his argument, and it's the same argument I made quite strongly when we met to discuss it. As I saw people that were very familiar with the topic and free / open source communities and movement in general totally fail to get it, I became pretty hesitant even though I really felt strongly that this would make precisely the kind of impact we want on the people we want to attract. If it was just one or two people that didn't really get it, I would have pushed more, but it took way too much explaining to practically everyone involved. – Tim Post Aug 12 '15 at 5:55
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    @TImPost Evidence please. Transcripts, quotes etc. – curiousdannii Aug 12 '15 at 6:34
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    Because it feels like a group of unknown nameless people are ruling out something which was strongly supported by this community, and no one's shown any clear arguments why the proposed name won't be good enough. Where will the site name even show up without any other context (ie. without the site description)? The only place I can think of is the site footer, which I understand is getting phased out... – curiousdannii Aug 12 '15 at 6:43
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    @TimPost Given how no suggestion here has reached a positive score — and let's face it, all of the “Free & Open X” suggestions suck — how about abandoning the idea that a site's name has to be descriptive? It's not like it really helps in practice. People ask computer questions on Computer Science all the time. They ask Android questions on Unix & Linux because “Android is Linux”. And conversely people don't blink before asking programming questions on Stack Overflow that aren't related to stack usage, and ask Windows questions on Super User despite the name being foreign to Windows. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Aug 12 '15 at 9:48
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    @TimPost I don't see how adding anything but software or source could help clearing up what we mean though, and both of those have huge problems. Every term that helps us comveying what we mean is tainted by politics. I have to agree with curiousdannii, this name willalways be used in context anyway, so why not go with somehing neutral, succinct and catchy? – overactor Aug 12 '15 at 10:49
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    @TimPost I think I would also have to present the argument that you also have successful sites such as Super User: which is definitely not a site about people who work on their computers. grow magical capes, and become superheroes :P There is an indirect relationship with that name: The fact that the site is about users, and I see the exact same principle here with this proposal. Non-Programmers aren't going to go to Stack Overflow because it's a site about stacked paper management that "overflows" their desk... – Zizouz212 Aug 12 '15 at 11:36
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    ... Programmers go there because Stack Overflow's apply to them. It may look at if Free & Open is not direct, but then I'll have to place Super User as an example: which too is not direct - We don't call it "Super Software & Hardware" for instance. – Zizouz212 Aug 12 '15 at 11:36
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    @Gilles My examples are hyperbolic not because I'm taking the suggestion in bad faith but because I don't think it's worth taking seriously in the first place. Its the product of an echo chamber of idealists looking for the perfect phrase to represent a somewhat abstract, very nuanced concept, when all we need out of a title is identity. You're letting the personal satisfaction you get from having found something that you think wraps up your idea of the problem space with a neat little bow blind you to the fact that most people in the target demo are just going to say huhwha? and move on. – Air Aug 12 '15 at 14:27
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    @Air Please don't make this personal. I'm not even the one who thought of this in the first place, so there's certainly no ego boost in my defending this name. I defend it because it's pretty good, the other proposals here all have major problems, and it was highly upvoted in the previous round. It is obviously not a fully descriptive name, so complaining that you can't be sure of the scope from the name alone is besides the point. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Aug 12 '15 at 14:32
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    @Gilles Nothing personal about it at all. Trying to get my toddler ready for daycare so I apologize for any miscommunication. – Air Aug 12 '15 at 14:42
2

Free and Open Works

As suggested in a comment by Greg Bray.

And this is some more text to prevent Community from converting my answer to a comment. Again.

  • 2
    I haven't voted either way on this, but I'd note that it has the potential to suggest that questions would be on topic if they were about open source works such as how to use them, or how some creative work was produced. – curiousdannii Aug 12 '15 at 13:17
  • 3
    No, this is no good. Like the 15 or so previous proposals, it looks like a fully descriptive name, but the actual scope is very far from the obvious meaning of the name. This site is not about free and open works, it's about making them. “Making free and open works” might work, but it's a mouthful. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Aug 12 '15 at 14:34
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    I actually like the double meaning here—"works" as in a physical site where a thing is done and "works" as a verb, an assertion that a free and open model does work. – Air Aug 12 '15 at 19:15
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    I've decided to vote this down. – curiousdannii Aug 12 '15 at 21:51
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    I upvoted because I figured hell, it's something, but the more I look at it, the more I don't want it to be our site name – Martijn Aug 14 '15 at 12:55
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    I don't agree with this one, but then I don't disagree with it either. This is probably the best that we are going to get. – Zizouz212 Aug 14 '15 at 19:52
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    @Martijn Please downvote it! I don't want to end up with a bad site name just because people have become used to horrible suggestions. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Aug 14 '15 at 20:43
2

Something else

None of these answers are right and limiting ourselves to Free & Open something is not the best idea.

  • 3
    Upvoted as I agree a "Free & Open X" title won't work, though I still think a plain "Free & Open" would. – curiousdannii Aug 14 '15 at 12:46
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    Unfortunately I don't think this is a realistic choice any more. Having settled reasonably well on F&O, changing that would require going back to suggesting more new names and getting a new consensus, which would just delay the change further. – ArtOfCode Aug 14 '15 at 16:33
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    @ArtOfCode We had a near-consensus on “Free & Open”, but then this thread shows that we no longer have one. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Aug 14 '15 at 20:44
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    @Gilles I think that's only because we were unfairly told we couldn't have it. – curiousdannii Aug 15 '15 at 0:39
0

May I present...

The FLOSSLCCopter

    FLOSS:FLOSS:FLOSS
         ___^___ _
 L    __/      [] \    
LOL===__           \ 
 L      \___ ___ ___]
              I   I
          ----------/

Moderator's Note
Since this isn't a direct answer to the question, but is still of value, I've locked it so it remains here without getting in the way of other suggestions.

  • OMG! I love it!!! :D – Zizouz212 Aug 12 '15 at 11:37
-5

How about

Free & Open Source

  • 1
    Ummm... Neutrality all over again? I thought the purpose of renaming was to find something abstract... – Zizouz212 Aug 11 '15 at 21:28
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    Not so much neutrality, as this implies all we do is software – ArtOfCode Aug 11 '15 at 21:32
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    @ArtOfCode And that too :) – Zizouz212 Aug 11 '15 at 21:32
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    @Zizouz212 Hmm, I though the name was just Open Source. I like the Free part added on, but I don't think that much should change – michaelpri Aug 11 '15 at 21:33
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    @michaelpri Regardless, it's still a valid suggestion :) – Zizouz212 Aug 11 '15 at 21:33
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    @Zizouz212 I'll keep it here if other people like it. I honestly don't have a huge preference, but I think that this would be a fine name. – michaelpri Aug 11 '15 at 21:34
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    @ArtOfCode I hardly think removing the word "software" from FOSS implies that all we do is software. – Air Aug 11 '15 at 22:16
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    @Air perhaps not, but "open source" implies software to the vast majority of people in our field, which is not ideal. – ArtOfCode Aug 11 '15 at 22:17
-5

Free & Open Culture

Pro:

  • Free culture is the umbrella term for the whole lot

Con:

  • Less recognizable, could be misunderstood as a culture of openness in general rather than the more narrow meaning
-6

Free & Open... Projects!

And this is extra text to make this answer long enough.

-6

Free & Open Development

Pro:

  • Many things are developed
  • Could even refer to the development of the "free and open" community itself
  • Nod to the origin of the movement in the (software) "developer community"

Con:

  • Could imply too strong of a tie to software development
  • Development is a process, not a product
  • 1
    The second con may not that much of a con though. The definition of freedom including very prominently the right to change and distribute changes (or the right to fork). This in result mean, that open products are more than products, as they can easily be developed further on. Even more, if we talk about a lot of things, the product isn't even the important thing defining the freedom. Think of open hardware, getting the hardware itself means less then getting the blueprints for the product. – Mnementh Aug 11 '15 at 22:20
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    I made it CW exactly so the pros and cons can be discussed and revised. Feel free. – Air Aug 11 '15 at 22:29
-6

Derivative

The right to fork is a central right in free culture. Allowing the creation of derivative works is what it's all about. This goes for software as well as non-software projects.

Other titles with the same theme that I don't like as much for various reasons, but could be made into an answer by you if you like them are:

Derivative Work

Fork me

Fork

Adaptation

  • 1
    -_- Ummm.... sigh – Zizouz212 Aug 12 '15 at 11:16
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    @Zizouz212 I don't understand what you mean by that – Martijn Aug 12 '15 at 11:17
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    I'll give this an upvote, it's the best non-descriptive title I've seen so far – curiousdannii Aug 12 '15 at 11:17
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    @Martijn It just feels... Really weird, and doesn't feel representative of the site. It sounds like a tagline, and I don't think we need a tagline as the site name: Also, (no offence), it doesn't sound like a good tagline either... – Zizouz212 Aug 12 '15 at 11:19
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    It's not a good sorting algorithm either, but since it wasn't intended to be one, I take little offense at its uselessness in that regard – Martijn Aug 12 '15 at 11:20
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    @Zizouz212 The possibility of derivative works is at the core of the FLO movement. And we have lots of questions about them. It's got to be at least somewhat representative. – curiousdannii Aug 12 '15 at 11:21
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    @curiousdannii I get your reasoning, but I fail to see how it would make for a good site name. The site name is supposed to be the one-word-tagline of the site, and I can't imagine us going "Oh, yeah! Here at Derivative, we're striving to make a site about blah blah blah". It just doesn't work for me. – Zizouz212 Aug 12 '15 at 11:23
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    I like where you're headed here but not sold on "Derivative." If we weren't so concerned with staying away from software-centric terminology, Pull Request would be very much in the spirit of the trilogy sites. – Air Aug 12 '15 at 19:16
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    @Air Pull Request is very software-centric though, and I tried going for something more technology-neutral, but feel free to suggest it. In that vein, Merge Conflict could also work – Martijn Aug 12 '15 at 20:17
-7

This suggestion is more a subtitle than a full title. I think it would be okay to include in the page header, but should be left out when the site name is listed (such as in the footer, or the network drop down list at the top)

Free & Open: Some rights reserved

  • 1
    As you say, it's not a full name, but I like it. – ArtOfCode Aug 12 '15 at 0:26
  • The issue is that I don't think what you suggest is feasible. It should be short and catchy, I don't think I really like this on. – Zizouz212 Aug 12 '15 at 2:10
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    Some rights reserved (with some adaptations) could make for a really nice catchphrase though – Martijn Aug 12 '15 at 9:43
  • @Martijn I completely agree with you, but maybe not for a site name :/ – Zizouz212 Aug 12 '15 at 11:24
-7

Free & Open Principles

This is about the mindset of all things free and open, and the core of the compass that drives such endeavors. These principles apply to software, creative or technical written works, or anything else that is open and grants people the freedom to share, improve and re-use that which we've built collectively.

I tried to think of a word that described that which we were looking at leaving intentionally blank, and it came down to a way of thinking, a mindset, ethos - the principles that matter.

  • 1
    This makes it sound like the site is concerned with the FLOSS movement at a theoretical level only, but we want the site to be one where people with practical licensing, collaboration or community problems can come to get help. – curiousdannii Aug 12 '15 at 6:54
  • 6
    Has anyone suggested 'Free and Open Works' yet? Seems like works is often used when referring to the project/content, and it has a nice play on words when thought of as 'Free and Open Works!' – Greg Bray Aug 12 '15 at 6:56
  • I think this makes it sound like we're the licensing counterpart of Theoretical Computer Science. – curiousdannii Aug 12 '15 at 8:58
  • @GregBray That's a decent suggestion, you should add it as its own answer. – curiousdannii Aug 12 '15 at 8:58
  • @GregBray That's actually a pretty good fit. Please do add it. It could conceivably be the only thing that would work, now that I think of it. – Tim Post Aug 12 '15 at 9:43
  • 1
    @GregBray Sounds like a site for questions about free and open works. Such as “why won't my video play in VLC” or “what's the monument in this CC photo”. If you pick a strictly descriptive name, you've got to get it right, otherwise it's confusing. If you want to have an inexact name, you need to make it sound inexact. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Aug 12 '15 at 9:51
-7

Free Culture & Open Source

An adaptation of Martijn's rather long suggestion.

-8

fopen()

Suggested by Tim Post in a comment above. Probably as a joke. However, in my experience, jokes are 90% truth.

Pro:

  • Playful

Con:

  • Less consise and descriptive. Neither is Stackoverflow
  • Emphasis on software
  • 2
    Personally, I like it. But it's too geeky. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Aug 12 '15 at 9:52
  • @Gilles too geeky for whom? Free culture is a rather geeky movement. – Martijn Aug 12 '15 at 9:54
  • @Martijn, it shouldn't be though. – overactor Aug 14 '15 at 11:33
-8

Free & Open Contribution

Pros:

  • Free contribution is important for all open and free projects.
  • No politics.

Cons:

  • A bit of a mouthful.
  • I personally prefer simply Free & Open, but this seems better to me than many of the other suggestions. – overactor Aug 12 '15 at 11:01
-8

Sourced: Free & Open

     ^
We've found it! As in you've found/sourced it.
-10

Free & Open... world.

Pro:

  • includes everything on the world

Con:

  • The World is not enough!
  • I have to admit, this is really, really, really cute :) – Zizouz212 Aug 11 '15 at 23:17
-10

Free Culture, Free Software and Open Source

Blatantly disregarding the question that's looking for Free & Open X.

Pro:

  • It covers everything
  • Free Culture up front, which all parts are part of
  • Keeps the link to open source/free software, which is an important part of free culture

Con:

  • Rather long
  • I like this, but it is rather long as you say. – ArtOfCode Aug 12 '15 at 9:37
-11

Free & Open Community

Pro:

  • No limitation of scope compared to just "Free & Open"
  • Leaves the definition of the community out of the title

Con:

  • Fairly vague
  • May carry the implication that this is a discussion forum
  • 1
    I like the implications of this one, but I don't see it fitting as a site name. – ArtOfCode Aug 11 '15 at 20:49
-11

Free & Open... knowledge.

Pro:

  • basically only the blueprints can be free after the common definitions, not the result
  • every knowledge can be freed

Con:

  • might be misunderstood for only direct scientific knowledge (like Wikipedia), not for software, hardware blueprints and so on (although that is all also knowledge
  • seems to exclude entertainment (music, movies, books)
  • This is a good title, however, there is an Open Knowledge Foundation (Surprise! Neutrality again!) and we have absolutely no questions about open knowledge on the site (Could be a result that we haven't defined it) – Zizouz212 Aug 11 '15 at 23:16
-11

Free Birdies!!!

I feel like such a child now... :P

  • Well... This got down voted quite quickly... I wonder why? :P – Zizouz212 Aug 12 '15 at 22:25
-12

Free & Open.xyz

Pro:

  • Moonshot factory
  • Google's doing it

Con:

  • Led by beloved and universally distinguished Sole Head Dreamer Nelson “Big Head” Bighetti
  • Joke name
  • Seriously, no
  • 1
    More to the point, we're looking for a name not a URL... – ArtOfCode Aug 11 '15 at 20:48
  • We follow google? – Zizouz212 Aug 11 '15 at 21:33
  • @Zizouz212 Haven't you heard? It's the new hotness. – Air Aug 11 '15 at 22:33

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