[Assist] recent news entry

Ineiev ineiev at gnu.org
Sun Aug 26 11:48:16 BST 2018

On Sat, Aug 25, 2018 at 10:46:05PM +0000, bill-auger wrote:
> On Thu, 23 Aug 2018 07:01:43 -0400 Ineiev <ineiev at gnu.org> wrote:
> if you were suggesting that "Arch GNU/Linux" or "ArchLinux GNU/Linux"
> would be better?

I guess, "Arch GNU/Linux" [0]. it was clearly named after the operating

[0] https://www.gnu.org/distros/common-distros.html#Arch

> if you prefer the former then you are assuming that the name of the
> operating system is "Arch" and it claims to be a kind of "Linux" - the
> latter indicates that the formal name of the operating system is
> "ArchLinux" without claiming to be any kind of anything - so that
> "ArchGNU/Linux" would be an inappropriate mutation of the formal name;
> but appending "GNU/Linux" to that indicates the type of thing that this
> thing with the name: "ArchLinux" actually is - if you are still not
> convinced, there is an entire wiki article on this very topic[1] that
> should be more illuminating

I believe this is actually addressed by the FAQ entry I referred to
in my previous message.

> [1]: https://wiki.parabola.nu/The_ArchLinux_Misnomer

I'll try to cover the points it makes.

> "ArchLinux" and "Arch Linux" are registered trademarks of a
> particular product.

I don't think this may matter. we may have _permission_ to use
other people trademarks, but I don't think we have any obligation
to use it [1]. and the trademark still refers to the operating
system rather than to the kernel.

[1] https://www.gnu.org/p/why-call-it-the-swindle.html

> The tacet error is that the word "Arch" does not
> precisely name any distro.
> That product is the distro which is often
> referred to informally by the nick-name "arch" in the same way that
> some people may call their VolksWagon Beetle a "vee-wee bug"; but no
> one thinks that car is an insect by the virtue of it's misleading
> marketing name.

So "Arch" in fact _can_ be accepted as a name of that distro. using it
alone would be less problematic than calling it Linux.

> To be clear, there is a software project named "Arch" that pre-dates
> the ArchLinux distro and it actually is a GNU project (and not a
> distro).

This would be essential if there were a considerable chance of
confusion between them, but in fact any reasonable context makes
the difference clear.

> the "ArchLinux" project and the distro
> that it produces by the same name; in which the letters "L-i-n-u-x"
> are not descriptive, but an integral part of the single-word project
> name spelling.

I don't believe it isn't descriptive. it may be a single word,
but it's a compound word composed of a qualifier and a wrongly
named operating system.

> Suppose now, that someone says, "Fred Flintstone should be called
> Fred Flintperson; because after all, he is not a stone.".

The analogy doesn't hold. the person was named because of someone's
relation to a stone, not to a hypothetical flintperson that must
have never existed. then, the relation between the particular
person and the flintstone the name derives from may be and typically
is merely symbolic, because it's likely to be a name inherited
from distant ancestors. the distro was named after the operating
system, and (which is more important) the relation of the distro
to that system has never been broken.

Yet if people think that the name Fred Flintstone is problematic
for some reasons (for example, if that name sounds obscene
in the cultural context where that person is called), they still
may and should rename that person in a more acceptable way.

> the name "VolksWagon" may suggest to some that the company makes
> wagons).

This example isn't perfect. "wagon" includes "car" (in English,
and "Wagen" includes "car" in German), so "VolksWagen" may make cars;
in contrast, the distro makes a GNU/Linux distribution rather than
the kernel. more important, they don't disrespect anybody
if their name suggests they make "cars", "wagons" or "vehicles".
if their name suggested that they primarily use the work
of beekeepers, _that_ would be wrong (unless their cars, for example,
would be made mostly of vax and on apiaries).

Did Parabola maintainers discuss the issue with the FSF?

The opinion of this author may and/or may not coincide with his and/or
her own point of view.
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