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Re: 'SVN' in client names (was Re: SmartSVN - a new Subversion client.)

From: Ryan Bloom <rbloom_at_gmail.com>
Date: 2005-02-24 18:49:47 CET

On Thu, 24 Feb 2005 09:17:37 -0800 (PST), Brian Behlendorf
<brian@collab.net> wrote:
> On Thu, 24 Feb 2005, SteveKing wrote:
> > Ok, I admit I didn't ask first if I can name my project "Tortoise_SVN_" or
> > not. In fact, when I started it already was a registered project at
> > tigris.org. And AFAIK, projects registered there have to be approved by
> > tigris.org people before it goes online? So I thought the name was ok.
> Yep, and in my opinion it is fine - other open source projects, "close by"
> in spirit and URL and license, are OK by me. And if we get a "whole
> product" effort underway, that would provide another clear demarcation.

I am a lurker, and you all are free to ignore my opinion, but I take a
little exception to this. The beauty of the Apache and Subversions
licenses, are that they don't play favorites between open source and
commercial projects. Most of you guys know that I was very active in
Apache for a while, and I worked for two companies that released
Apache based products. I also worked on some very minor open source
projects that extended Apache.

I was never comfortable with calling either commercial product Apache,
and we were always careful to say "XXXX, based on Apache". I felt the
same way about my open source work. I would never have called an open
source module "XXXApache", instead, I would have used a name like "XXX
for Apache". I would have done that, because the Apache license
requires that I not use the Apache name directly without prior

By allowing open source projects to use the SVN name, but not
commercial projects, you cross the line about why you are writing open
source projects, IMHO. Instead of using open source to create
communities and high quality software, you are using your open source
project to "suggest" that others write open source software.

I would much rather see a single rule about when and how you can use
"SVN" in your project names, rather than one rule that is for open
source projects and another that is for commercial projects. This
puts everybody on equal footing, and helps to promote a community
around the project, because everybody is playing by the same rules.
Changing the rules for commercial projects means that they are
essentially second-class citizens, which doesn't promote community.

Now, having said all of that, I don't have an opinion on using SVN in
a project name. I see positives and negatives to both sides.
However, based on how long the SVN project has been around and the
number of other projects using SVN in their names, I'm not sure how
you can stop new projects from doing the same thing.


Ryan Bloom
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Received on Thu Feb 24 20:26:38 2005

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