19

In episode 1, we discussed changing the site name. A pretty much consensual answer proposed Free & Open.

In episode 2, it was revealed that there is no longer a consensus. The proposal for “Free & Open” was sniped down for mysterious reasons, and while it is one of the few that maintain a positive score as I write, it is certainly not consensual. We discussed variations on the theme of “Free & Open X”, but they all suffer from a major defect: they look like they describe the topic of the site, but none of the proposals for X actually do (this site is not about principles, or culture, or contribution, or works, …).

So how about a non-descriptive name? Most Stack Exchange site have a descriptive name, because naming is hard. But we can't seem to come up with a descriptive name, so maybe that's the wrong thing for us. So how about joining the ranks of Stack Overflow, CrossValidated and a few others and picking a non-descriptive name?

  • 3
    Are we trying to reach the ocean by rowing upstream? "Open Source" is a bad name because it looks like it describes the site but fails to do so well. We've been looking for a simple name that describes something complicated without being too broad (free & open was too broad). I'm not sure if it's possible, why don't we do what other sites do? "Stack Overflow" isn't a descriptive name, it's a nice pun on a topic that gets asked extremely infrequently. I think we should look for a name that is short, catchy, and only tangentially related to our description. "Pull Request" might be a nice name? – Abhi Beckert Aug 22 '15 at 16:51

28 Answers 28

11

Free/Libre/Open

Keeping another descriptive option in the running. An alternative to just "Free & Open". (See wolftune's original suggestion and rationale).

  • 5
    This is actually not bad. It's neutral, descriptive, catchy enough and the Libre thrown in there should definitely be enough for people to figure out what we're about. – overactor Aug 17 '15 at 6:56
  • 7
    Not only is this inclusive, catchy, easy to summarize as "FLO" for short, it's actually used in the wild. We use it at Snowdrift.coop (where the rationale above links to), and I've seen people use it elsewhere as well. It has all the advantages one could hope for realistically. – wolftune Aug 17 '15 at 14:45
  • 2
    Devil's Advocate: Hey! This site is all about software! What happened to Creative Stuff! – Zizouz212 Aug 18 '15 at 15:30
  • 6
    @Zizouz212 I think the whole point is that FLO is a superset of FLOSS – david.libremone Aug 19 '15 at 8:48
  • 1
    And what about Creative Commons content? That is not Free & Open according to the respective organizations. – Zizouz212 Aug 19 '15 at 15:12
  • 1
    gnu.org/licenses/license-list.en.html mentions the CC licenses, and some of them favorably. Is there a source for the "not Free & Open"? – Michael Schumacher Aug 19 '15 at 18:19
  • 1
    I'm not a fan of "Free" because too many people think it means "free as in beer" - which is clearly not what we're going for. And "Libre" is not an english word, so again I don't think it belongs. – Abhi Beckert Aug 20 '15 at 3:54
  • 1
    @Zizouz212 freedomdefined.org/Licenses includes (most) CC licenses – david.libremone Aug 20 '15 at 11:45
  • 2
    @Zizouz212 see also creativecommons.org/freeworks – david.libremone Aug 20 '15 at 11:54
  • 3
    @AbhiBeckert see links above; in this context free unambiguously refers to freedom; libre is used by some in the free/open community for similar reasons, and is accepted as a synonym in this site's definition - in that light it seems odd to exclude it – david.libremone Aug 20 '15 at 12:10
  • 1
    @MichaelSchumacher An argument would be that they are not OSI approved, this is essentially another political debate. – Zizouz212 Aug 20 '15 at 17:33
  • 3
    @AbhiBeckert You're right in that "Libre" is not an english word, it's French for free as in freedom. However, that's not the issue: We use the word "Libre" to clear out the ambiguity towards the English word "free", so it's not an issue. – Zizouz212 Aug 20 '15 at 17:34
  • 3
    Its just too much of a mouthful for my taste. – RubberDuck Aug 21 '15 at 22:22
  • 3
    @Zizouz212 do you mean "Free/Libre/Open" is too long? we can contract it to "FLO" as required – david.libremone Sep 10 '15 at 15:03
  • 3
    For less slashes, it could be Free-Libre-Open or Free•Libre•Open. The main idea is to spell out all three words as a combo in titles and major headings, but just use FLO everywhere else, nice and short. No matter how much we insist otherwise, people out there won't stop using all three of these, so including them all means we cover the scope of all that. – wolftune Sep 14 '15 at 19:23
9

Free, Libre & Open

Basically the same as F/L/O, but with less slashes. (TimPost suggested "Libre, Free & Open" but I think the words flow better in this order.)

@ArtOfCode suggests "Free/Libre & Open"... write in the comments which you prefer

  • 1
    Comma after "Free" indicates Free and Libre are two different things – Pandya Feb 2 '16 at 2:31
8

Pull Request

This name is short, catchy, recognisable a large portion of people who use the site, and does not imply anything specific about what kind of "open source related" questions can be asked.

  • 4
    This. This is good. – RubberDuck Aug 22 '15 at 17:49
  • 5
    Will it be recognisable to all our target audience? To musicians remixing CC licensed samples? To academics with questions about open access journals? – curiousdannii Aug 22 '15 at 23:43
  • 2
    @curiousdannii Academics belong on Academia – Zizouz212 Aug 23 '15 at 0:12
  • 2
    @Zizouz212 Most questions about academia belong on Academia.SE, but questions about CC licensed journals are allowed here, and I'd like to think we would heartily welcome them! – curiousdannii Aug 23 '15 at 0:14
  • 1
    Now, Open Science/Reserach belongs on Open Science, will stay on Academia for the meantime. If you want to allow it, fine, but we're not promoting it. – Zizouz212 Aug 23 '15 at 0:14
  • 7
    @curiousdannii That's not really relevant. “Stack overflow” is not a meaningful concept to many people who program only in high-level languages. “Super user” is not a meaningful concept to a majority of denizens of Super User since it isn't a Windows term. – Gilles Aug 23 '15 at 0:33
  • 3
    @Gilles I'm responding directly to Abhi who says it's recognisable to everyone. I don't think it has to be, but that kind of comment makes it sound like he's not thinking of all our target audience – curiousdannii Aug 23 '15 at 0:38
  • 3
    I didn't say it's recognisable to everyone, but it should be recognisable to "people organizing, marketing or licensing open source development projects" (taken from Help -> Tour). – Abhi Beckert Aug 23 '15 at 6:45
  • 3
    @Abhi And the site description needs to be changed because that is not our audience. – curiousdannii Aug 24 '15 at 1:01
  • 4
    I like that it removes the focus from the whole F/L/O definition thing and more focusing on the practical aspects of collaboration/sharing, which IMHO is one of the uncontroversial aspects of the whole community. – ojdo Sep 17 '15 at 12:14
  • This thread may be mute by now, but worth mentioning that with the hype around #movetogitlab, we probably don't want to go this way – Mureinik Jul 6 '18 at 6:01
4

The Commons

More commonly used in the non-software world, but it could be okay.

  • 6
    It's a fine term but much too vague and broad, not precise enough for this group's actual intent. Are we intending to include discussion about public parks? – wolftune Aug 17 '15 at 14:39
  • 1
    It is great as a metaphor. – Nicolas Raoul Sep 9 '15 at 8:32
  • 1
    I'm not against the idea of a non-descriptive name, but a descriptive name that gives the wrong impression of our scope seems counter-productive. – trichoplax Sep 24 '15 at 8:15
  • 3
    That sounds like a good name for the main chatroom ;-) – Mathieu Guindon Oct 6 '15 at 21:17
2

Open Source

I vote with keeping the name we have now.


To quote Richard Stallman's in depth discussion on the topic:

Why Open Source Misses the Point of Free Software

The term “free software” is prone to misinterpretation: an unintended meaning, “software you can get for zero price,” fits the term just as well as the intended meaning

We are trying to build a resource for learning about FLOSS and in my opinion we should be as approachable as possible. We should not have a name that can be misinterpreted as easily as "free".

Stalman also says:

In practice, open source stands for criteria a little weaker than those of free software. As far as we know, all existing free software would qualify as open source.

I would rather not have too much emphasis on "free" in the title, because the "weaker" criteria attached to "open" more accurately describes questions that are on-topic for this site.

We are a community for discussing "open" projects and that includes free projects but is not limited to them. Therefore our name should be "Open" or perhaps "Open and Free", but it should not be "Free and Open".

  • 1
    Nobody is going to say why they down voted this? It was the second most popular site name on the previous meta question, and should be part of the discussion. – Abhi Beckert Aug 20 '15 at 20:42
  • 1
    +1 to leave the current one – kenorb Aug 21 '15 at 11:11
  • 3
    -1 implies software only – david.libremone Aug 21 '15 at 14:24
  • 5
    I'm voting to keep this because people outside of software recognize FLO principals as Open Source and don't make the distinction between Free and Open Source. – RubberDuck Aug 21 '15 at 22:21
  • 1
    Does not imply software only – trichoplax Sep 24 '15 at 8:22
1

Free & Open

Just putting it here to see how it fares. If the SE staff deem to explain in detail why they think it won't work (such as whether they tested the name in context or out of context) then we can consider what they say then, but until then, lets keep it in the running.

  • 1
    @d3vid libre isn't a distinct category like free and open are, it's just a synonym of free. – curiousdannii Aug 21 '15 at 15:13
  • 1
    As Tim Post said in round II of this discussion, the "Free & Open" name is too ambiguous. Somebody else in future might create a stack exchange site for things that are free as in beer. We need to find a name that cannot be interpreted as meaning something other than what this site is about. – Abhi Beckert Aug 22 '15 at 16:03
  • 2
    @AbhiBeckert Well Tim needs to come back and explain in just what contexts he tested the name (with mockups? with the site description?) or else his comments are not useful to us. If this name is too ambiguous then so are almost all the others here. – curiousdannii Aug 22 '15 at 23:24
1

Open Projects

I'm actually new here, but after reading this description of the site I think it gets the point.

  • 1
    For someone new to the subject, but very interested, this is the title that would have reached out to me. I had assumed Open Source was all about code until I accidentally found out otherwise. – Aabaakawad Nov 5 '15 at 17:31
1

Free/Libre & Open Source

  • "Free/Libre" gives clear idea that we are talking about free as in speech or freedom
  • "Open source" is about production and development model.

Things to note:

-1

Here comes a contrarian argument for 'don't change the name any time soon.'

I think that the name has to follow the scope, and the scope is yet to be narrowed to the point that you can pick a name. Whether the name is descriptive or not, it has to be somehow suggestive of some concept related to the scope, and I don't see how to do that.

As of now, people have written that they want to be open to questions about software and non-software, 'free', 'open', and other licensing models that are neither, licensing, community, related tools and technology.

I can't, myself, think of any concise definition of this, or any brief term that will be acceptable, given the political freight attached to some of the terminology.

So, I recommend worrying about building enough traffic to survive, and then seeing what subjects predominate, and then thinking about the name.

-3

Ask Free

I proposed Ask Freely in the original thread, which has been reproposed in this one as well. Thisversion now seems nicer to me, partially since it's more in line with ask different, partially because it seems more about freedom.

  • 1
    I'd prefer "freely" (less ambiguous, more grammatical) but would settle for this – david.libremone Aug 24 '15 at 6:20
-5

Share and share alike

Covers the concepts of lax/permissive licenses and copyleft licenses without direct reference to "free", "open", other terminology, or any particular license steward.

-5

Permission genie

Regular genies grant wishes. We grant permissions :)

  • 1
    and just imagine the site art :D – david.libremone Aug 21 '15 at 9:17
  • 1
    Could be more scary than cool... – Zizouz212 Aug 23 '15 at 0:12
-5

Bazaar

Inspired from this book: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cathedral_and_the_Bazaar

Bazaar is also a dying VCS but it will probably not overshadow much.

-6

Free Content

Wikipedia includes this definition of "free content":

Free content, libre content, or free information, is any kind of functional work, artwork, or other creative content that meets the definition of a free cultural work. A free cultural work is one which has no significant legal restriction on people's freedom:

  • to use the content and benefit from using it,
  • to study the content and apply what is learned,
  • to make and distribute copies of the content,
  • to change and improve the content and distribute these derivative works.

The article goes on to provide examples of free content from many domains - Creative Commons for media, the terms "free", "open source", and "free and open source" for software, "open design principles" and allusions to making CAM and CAD models available freely from engineering, "open access publishing" from academia, and examples from legislation.

It seems like "Free Content" is a pretty generic term for software, hardware, media, and more.

  • 3
    This sort of name is exactly why this thread asks for a non-descriptive name. It looks like a site that hosts free content, not like a site for questions about making free content. – Gilles Aug 17 '15 at 19:52
  • 3
    @Gilles I've never got the hosting impression for a single site name that has ever been suggested... – Zizouz212 Aug 17 '15 at 20:12
-6

Share Alike

Not all FLO licenses have a share alike clause and it's a bit focused on licensing (though not explicitly, and it also stresses sharing). But it is catchy, reminds the right people of FLO starigh away and possible captures the spirit.

-7

CONTRIBUTORS

Is an all caps name bad form for an SE site?

  • 1
    -1 for all caps - you might try posting it in lower case for vote comparison... – trichoplax Sep 24 '15 at 8:28
-7

Copyheart

Inspired by Nina Paley's license.

  • 2
    This is the first time I've heard of her or her license. So it may not have enough recognition factor. – curiousdannii Aug 23 '15 at 1:17
-7

Free Reign

I like the implied oxymoron :)

-8

Force Push

Referring to what you might need to do with a version control system after making a few mistakes.

-8

Sharing

I think this captures something important about the spirit of various FLO movements. (It is not meant to be legalistic and thereby permit non-FLO restrictions. Freedom to modify, access to source code, copyleft, etc, could be mentioned in the site description.)

  • 1
    any reasons why not? – david.libremone Aug 17 '15 at 12:19
  • 2
    questions/polls like these are very opinion based. Where most SE (meta) answers reasoning is paramount, this is a "feeling" question, and just not liking it is a reasonable ground to downvote here. Don't take it personal, it's a fine suggestion, and thank you for proposing it. (the downvote isn't mine by the way) – Martijn Aug 17 '15 at 15:58
  • 1
    @Martijn fair enough :) – david.libremone Aug 18 '15 at 3:02
-8

License Breach

I think this is about as close as we can get to a name like Stack Overflow or Server Fault. There are two problem though. It's very licensing centered (not good) and doesn't exclude proprietary licenses at all.

  • 1
    Once more unto the (license) breach, dear friends, once more; I like it – Martijn Aug 21 '15 at 10:52
  • 1
    The site's scope is bigger than licensing. – RubberDuck Aug 21 '15 at 22:18
  • 2
    @RubberDuck and StackOverflows scope is wider than stacks. We're currently looking at non-descriptive titles, since the descriptive ones didn't get us anywhere – Martijn Aug 22 '15 at 17:24
  • 2
    @Martijn there seems to be a few people who think this site is solely about licensing. I don't think we should reinforce that. That's all. – RubberDuck Aug 22 '15 at 17:48
  • 3
    @RubberDuck Really? Who? – Martijn Aug 22 '15 at 17:51
-8

FLOSS

Free and open-source software (FOSS) is computer software that can be classified as both free software and open-source software.

FLOSS aimed to avoid taking sides in the debate over whether it was better to say "free software" or to say "open-source software".

See: What is the difference between FOSS and FLOSS?

  • 6
    Only problem, we're not only about software and definitely don't want to give the impression that we are, which this unfortunately will. – overactor Aug 21 '15 at 13:08
-8

Open

The Open Definition makes precise the meaning of “open” with respect to knowledge.

In summary: Knowledge is open if anyone is free to access, use, modify, and share it — subject, at most, to measures that preserve provenance and openness.

It can be summed up in the statement:

“Open means anyone can freely access, use, modify, and share for any purpose (subject, at most, to requirements that preserve provenance and openness).”

Source: Open Definition

-9

The Lark

Why a lark? Well, why not?

The flight of birds evokes freedom in many cultures. The lark in particular has other positive connotations in Western culture; I don't know how it's perceived elsewhere.

-9

Ask Freely

which was suggested in episode 1, and IIRC discounted on the basis that we should try descriptive names. Here it is again for voting.

  • 4
    nice complement to Ask Ubuntu and Ask Different – david.libremone Aug 17 '15 at 7:00
  • 1
    The association with similar names gives me the vague impression of a corporate affiliated site, even though it doesn't explicitly say so. – trichoplax Sep 24 '15 at 8:29
-9

Intellectual pooperty

Inspired by Nina Paley's book. The URL could be poop.stackexchange.com!

-13

Free Beer

The "wrong" side of free as in beer vs free as in freedom, naming for something you don't want, analogous to StackOverflow and ServerFault.

I believe Free Beer would have very strong recognizability with open culture, and may even function as a "cultural badge" of membership: it appeals to a shared tradition of explaining what free culture is about. And explaining what free culture is about and how it works is what we do here.

This might lead some people to think we are about beer. The question is how much we care if people not looking to ask on-topic questions or find on-topic answers initially think this site is for something else than open culture vs how much do we care if people who are looking for something on-topic on this site.

As long as we don't actively encourage off-topic questions - and I don't think this name does - I think we should be good.

Also, who doesn't like free beer?

  • 3
    Your approach is interesting, but I'm not sure how readily most people who are engaged in FLO projects associate free beer with "Free as in speech vs Free as in Beer". Maybe "Free as in Beer" would help, but that's awefully long. Also saying the opposite of what you want to say seems a bit strange. – overactor Aug 20 '15 at 9:31
  • 2
    I think we can handle the occasional post about beer! It'd be a nice diversion from our normal discussion. :-) – Abhi Beckert Aug 22 '15 at 17:05
-14

Of Visible Nature

Tell me if I'm throwing out nonsense ideas.

  • 4
    We're going for non-descriptive site names, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the site name should have nothing to do with the topic. How does “Of Visible Nature” relate to F/OS, if it does? If it doesn't, what makes you like this name? – Gilles Aug 15 '15 at 0:47
  • 1
    I had a disclaimer... I think this was a slight play that on the fact that the source is visible... – Zizouz212 Aug 15 '15 at 0:48

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