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Re: SVN logo proposal (Re: svn commit: rev 234 - trunk/subversion/clients/win32)

From: <kfogel_at_collab.net>
Date: 2001-10-15 17:47:26 CEST

> Did I or did I not say on #svn yesterday that Subverion needs a logo? So
> I played around a bit, looking for ideas. One of the things I tries was
> looking up "subversion" on http://zhongwen.com/zi.htm, but I didn't like
> the ideographs. Then I tried just "version", and got back two
> characters: the firs, "ban3", means "printing blocks, edition"; the
> second, "ben3", means "root, origin, source; basis" -- *and* it looks a
> bit like an inverted tree, complete with a cross-branch merge marker! :-)
> The result is at http://www.xbc.nu/svn/subversion.png. It also makes a
> very nice icon, even at 16x16 pixels.

It _is_ visually beautiful, very nice. But perhaps not as appropriate
as one might think...

That word, "ben3", is a very general term -- one definition is indeed
"version", in the sense of "edition", but it's not really one of the
principal definitions. The "root/source/origin" meaning is much
stronger, followed closely by "volume" (as in "volume 3 of the

It's also the second character of the 2-character word meaning
"Japan", in both Chinese and Japanese, and among readers of those
languages it would bestow a sort of implicit nationalism on
Subversion. :-)

Sorry to knock down a proposal without making a better one; not very
constructive of me, but I have no particular skill at making logos.
Do know some Mandarin, however, and therefore would like to help us
avoid the pitfall of "non-Chinese decides to use a Chinese word as
part of a logo or slogan, looks it up in a dictionary, and ends up
with a word that is inappropriate due to unwanted primary meanings and
lack of context". In general, you can't take a two-character compound
(ban3 ben3, in this case), break it up, and expect either component to
mean the same as the whole compound. Like if you want a logo for your
waterfall, it wouldn't work to just use "fall", that kind of thing.


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Received on Sat Oct 21 14:36:44 2006

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