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Re: Linux Becomes Female?

__/ On Saturday 27 August 2005 08:40, [Peter T. Breuer] wrote : \__

Before I defend my arguments, let me just clarify that I am a GNU/Linux
enthusiast and this is no flamebait.

> Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>> With names like SuSE, Fedora and Mandriva, in particular with changes
>> from masculine names like Red Hat and Mandrake, is it possible that
>> distributors see more potential in using feminine names?
> They aren't feminine names. I suppose "SuSE" might be an attempt at a
> play on words with the (near) feminine names derived from "susan", but
> Fedora is the name of a MASCULINE hat (see the icon)

Yes, I know. Fedora was all along my weakest supporting point for the

> and MANdriva begins
> with MAN (derived from MANDRAKE and, uh, something).

I thought about it, but the 'A' at the end makes it rhyme with 'Diva'.

>> This is by no means a critique,
>> but a question to which I failed to find an answer on the Web.
> It's a non-question, given that it asks WHY of X, when X is neither
> proven, likely, nor has any supporting evidence. Try asking IF instead.
> "Is Fedora a feminine name", for example. The answer is "no". Keep going
> like that. When you have enough data to form a conjecture with, then
> posit the conjecture. If the conjecture is supported, look for evidence
> for WHY or WHY NOT.

I actually went along those lines. Haven't found much on the rationale
behind the names...

> That's called being scientific and analytic. What you are doing is
> simply called being annoying, or "biased".
>> On a different topic, my experience has taught me that there is /far/
>> more to a name than there ought be.
> Really? Pray tell.
>> I still feel embarrassed to recommend
>> applications called "Firebox", "Thunderbird", "Mozilla" or "GIMP"...
> What? Why? What's wrong with FireFox? Or Thunderbird? Or Mozilla? Or
> GIMP? They have no negative connotations that I know of in English.
> Maybe you are confusing "gimp" with "wimp"?

No, but I am told that "gimp" has some connotation with a character in Pulp
Fiction. The rhyme with "wimp" doesn't help either. If it's of any
practical evidence, people to whom I mention The GIMP will not take me

If you develop a site for Average Joe, try telling him that you tested it
under some 'obscure' (to Joe it is) browser called Firefox and worked on
all graphics in the GIMP and not Adobe Photoshop. You will struggle to find
clients in this norm-dominated world. [nothing to do with personal
experience withsoever]

>> Even Microsoft steered away from a name like "Longhorn". Calling an O/S
>> after a pub
> Pub?  A longhorn is a range cow, surely!  As such it has connotations of
> the wild west. Pub! Indeed!

No, the story I was informed of involved a pub near the Microsoft
headquarters, which had this name. MS employees, who went there quite
frequently, wanted to use that name.

>> was never a bright idea. Overall, My main point is that it's
>> crucial to use more professional names to be adopted by a so-called
>> 'professional' world.
> Ahhhh. You come to a point - you don't think these names are
> "professional". What is unprofessional about them? Can't professional
> ranchers stock longhorn cattle?  Is Firefox or Thunderbird not an
> appropriate name for your car? I thought it was rather nice.

Me too. People around me disagree. One question to ponder: do we wish to see
Linux becoming more prolific? Or do we seek names that best satisfy us? I
can assure you that Professor John Smith (made up) does not want to stand
up at the podium using Firefox in front of an audience of Microsoft-centric
seniors. They don't like flashy colourful widgets either.


Roy S. Schestowitz        $> wget -r -erobots=off http://www.*

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