[Assist] recent news entry

bill-auger bill-auger at peers.community
Mon Aug 27 08:18:50 BST 2018

hey thanks for the rebuttal - i love this topic :)

On Sun, 26 Aug 2018 06:48:16 -0400 Ineiev <ineiev at gnu.org> wrote:
> 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

whether or not it is permissible or obligatory to use the trademark is
is not the point - the point is that it is the name chosen by the only
people who have any right to name it - one may refer to that thing by
any other name; but any other name would be completely arbitrary and
incorrect; because it is not the actual name of that actual thing

On Sun, 26 Aug 2018 06:48:16 -0400 Ineiev <ineiev at gnu.org> wrote:
> So "Arch" in fact _can_ be accepted as a name of that distro. using it
> alone would be less problematic than calling it Linux.

"Arch" is not an acceptable name of that distro because it is not the
name of that distro (or any distro) - just as "bug" is not the accepted
name of a volkswagon - it merely a commonly used "nickname"

i do agree that using "arch" alone is less problematic than calling it
any kind of "linux" - but "less problematic" or "politically correct" is
not the same thing as: "actually correct"; which is what one should
strive to be when using proper names, especially in a professional

for example, i do not know how to pronounce "Ineiev" - so, shall i call
you Alice? or Bob perhaps? - either of those would be "less problematic"
for me; but neither would be correct, and so it would be somewhere
between pretentious to arrogant for me to use them while referring to
you - and after you protest (which you may do rightfully so), would it
be polite of me to insist on always calling you Bob anyways; simply
because i like that name better than the one you have already? - and
surely, i should not be foolish enough to expect you to answer me when
i say: "Hey Bob !!"; nor for any other person to know that i am
referring to you when i say: "Bob thinks we should change archlinux's

On Sun, 26 Aug 2018 06:48:16 -0400 Ineiev <ineiev at gnu.org> wrote:
> This would be essential if there were a considerable chance of
> confusion between them, but in fact any reasonable context makes
> the difference clear.

im not convinced of that - there are many people in the world
sharing the name "bob smith" and it takes much more than context to
distinguish them

both "arch" projects are free and open-source software projects - it
would be different if one were a dog shampoo or automobile; but two
free and open-source software projects is the very same context -
further more, only one of them is actually a GNU project - so
associating "gnu" with the other would only make them less clearly
distinguishable - then they would be two free and open-source software
projects both with "arch" and "gnu" in their names

On Sun, 26 Aug 2018 06:48:16 -0400 Ineiev <ineiev at gnu.org> wrote:
> 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.

and "flintstone" is the combination of two rocks - but that does not
change that fact that it is his proper formal name that was given to him
by the only person who had the right to name him - i am not that person;
so i would be pretentious at best, to call him anything that he does
not answer to, merely because i dont think his name is sufficiently
descriptive of his nature

On Sun, 26 Aug 2018 06:48:16 -0400 Ineiev <ineiev at gnu.org> wrote:
> The analogy doesn't hold. the person was named because of someone's
> relation to a stone

whatever was the reason why he was given that name, does not
change the fact that he was in fact given that name, and not some
other, more accurately descriptive name - and it does not give me nor
anyone besides fred himself the right to change that name

the fact that the name "stone" does not accurately describe that person
is not a counter-argument - it is exactly making my point

indeed, fred may have been named in explicit tribute to some famous
stone; but that would not imply that he *is* any kind of stone, nor that
the person who named him intended any deception, nor that any
reasonable person would interpret it as such - a name is not a
description and should never be taken to be descriptive - that
statement was assuming that the name of the OS is "arch" and it is
claiming to be a type of "linux" - i am not convinced that was actually
the intention of the people who named it - i think they were two
names that were merged together, not a name plus a description -
after-all, "linux" itself, is also just a name - it is not a
description of anything either - "linux mint" is surely not any kind of
mint - that name is not descriptive of anything; although when read
naively, it seem to be describing some kind of mint - why doesnt that
bother anyone?

On Sun, 26 Aug 2018 06:48:16 -0400 Ineiev <ineiev at gnu.org> wrote:
> 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.

to be clear, only someone who is legally authorized to do such renaming
has the right to do so - and the only acceptable way to rename it, is
some way that is acceptable to the person who has the authority to
rename it - in the case of Fred Flintstone, that person is Fred
Flintstone - in the case of archlinux, those persons are Aaron Griffin
and Judd Vinet - notice, how i did not say those people are "Aaron
FlintGriffin" and "Judd GnuVinet" - there is a very good reason i did
not do that - that is because i wanted to be clear and correct about the
actual persons to whom i was referring; so i used their actual
formal names properly without embellishment - in fact there are probably
not any people in the world with those particular names; so i would be
referring to exactly "nothing" that actually exists (the very same
"nothing" as the fabled operating system named "arch" that presumably
claims to be some sort of "linux" without actually existing)

as i said, anyone is free to use whatever words or nicknames of their
own choosing in whatever context they happen to be in, especially if
it is an informal context; but the use of nicknames is unprofessional
because nicknames do not properly refer to any specific things, and are
very often more misleading than helpful - the only professional manor in
which to refer to some person or some entity by name is to use its
proper formal given name - thus, the only acceptable way to denote
archlinux as some type of gnu/linux is: "archlinux gnu/linux"; and that
appears anywhere from dumb to arrogant - so if the choice is between
looking unprofessional on the one hand, and looking dumb or arrogant on
the other hand, then i prefer to avoid naming it at all in a
professional context

On Sun, 26 Aug 2018 06:48:16 -0400 Ineiev <ineiev at gnu.org> wrote:
> Did Parabola maintainers discuss the issue with the FSF?

oh yes - it appears than many calories were burned over this some years
ago - i suspect that you will be happy to see the decision that was
codified in the "Parabola Social Contract" to be "Arch (the GNU/Linux

unfortunately, there does not exist any such "GNU/linux distribution"
that has as it's name: "Arch" - there is one of those things named:
"ArchLinux"; but that is not the one named in the "Parabola Social
Contract" - so that statement is either incorrectly referring to the
"GNU/linux distribution" that is named: "ArchLinux", or it is referring
to absolutely nothing that actually exists, and embarrassingly so IMHO,
as this is in the context of a formal mission statement

the "archlinux misnomer" wiki article is a commentary on that formal
decision and nothing more - but im glad you liked it :)

[1]: https://wiki.parabola.nu/Parabola_Social_Contract

More information about the Assist mailing list