Suggestion: change the OS and project name

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What should the name of the project be?

ReactOS
25
93%
SkylightOS or something similar with "Skylight" in it
0
No votes
ArchOS or something similar with "Arch" in it
1
4%
DoorsOS or something similar with "Door" in it
1
4%
GateOS or something similar with "Gate" in it
0
No votes
PortalOS or something simisar with "Portal" in it
0
No votes
something else
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 27

Carney3
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2017 4:04 pm

Suggestion: change the OS and project name

Post by Carney3 » Mon Mar 13, 2017 8:59 pm

Hello to the ReactOS community. I fully support the goal of building a fully free (libre) operating system that is binary compatible with Windows and am deeply grateful to all those who have helped bring the project forward this far, including evangelists/advocates, designers, translators, testers, donors of money and equipment, and especially the coders, whose skill and dedication at carrying out such a mammoth and complex task is impressive.

In that positive spirit, I offer a suggestion: re-name this OS and project. I realize that this is not a trivial thing to ask, especially from a newcomer; that the name has existed intact for nearly many years; and there is a lot of emotion, loyalty, familiarity, and investment tied up in it. I understand that the given reason for the name is that it is a reaction to Microsoft's policies with regard to freedom and privacy. I also understand the possible argument that the name is unimportant, or that revisiting the name is a distraction from more pressing issues of coding, fundraising, etc.

However, In my opinion, the name "ReactOS" is a such bad name it is a barrier or slowdown to the success of the project, and therefore needs to be changed, the sooner the better. Why?

First, the term "React" places the project and team in the position of ceding the initiative to others, of being defined by others, and not only "others" but their own antagonist or adversary, and making that adversary not only the driving force but even the center of one's story and identity. "Protestant" Christians sometimes object to the label "Protestant" for the same reason; they dislike being defined merely by protesting against the Catholic Church because that places a different rival denomination at the center of their own story, emphasizes what they are against, and fails to emphasize what they themselves believe and are for. Also, when explaining the story of the name "ReactOS", one comes off as angry, and anger often scares and repels the unconvinced and unpersuaded. Most people just want to use software rather than use software to make an angry statement. If that software offers them benefits like better security or more freedom, or Windows compatibility that's good and a good way to attract them, so the name should convey positive attributes like that.

Second, the term has the connotation of "reactionary" (that is, far-right) politics or cultural outlooks, which for the vast majority of the ideological spectrum is unappealing, and in any case is distracting. I am NOT using this post to criticize reactionaries or begin a debate about them, indeed; the whole POINT here is to say that it is not helpful to the project, nor appropriate, to use the name of the project to bring up anything that is either unrelated or controversial, let alone BOTH unrelated AND controversial, whatever the merits of that unrelated / controversial thing might be, if any.

Third, the term also has connotations of nuclear reactions, a connotation heavily implied by the regrettable official logo. Nuclear technology is deeply divisive and controversial, and constitutes another distraction. In particular, the substantial involvement of Russians in the project evokes memories of Chernobyl (yes I know it was in Ukraine). Again, saying this is NOT necessarily a criticism of nuclear technology as such; it is possible for a good or necessary thing to be divisive and controversial, and a case can be made for nuclear power and nuclear weapons. My point is that the name of an operating system is not the place to evoke these issues or trigger such debates, if your goal is (as it should be) to persuade people, whatever their stance might be on nuclear issues, to use or support the operating system.

So, then, what should replace the name "ReactOS"?

I have some suggestions, but it's not necessary to agree with any of them to agree with the idea that we need to drop the name "ReactOS". Maybe you can think of some other alternatives beyond what I offer below. The point is, understanding the damage the name "ReactOS" does and resolving to get rid of it is the first step.

Let's look at what we're trying to replace. Windows is a great name, no way around it. In a time of command line interfaces, it conveyed the idea of a graphical user interface, with their windows as a central, defining element. Windows also have many positive connotations, such as looking out into a pretty outdoor scene while one is inside (especially if one is inside a bad or unattractive building). Opening up windows implies opening up to freshness, sunlight, a pleasant breeze, new ideas replacing stale old ones. There is also, perhaps, an implication of transparency, so that people outside the project or software can see the interior - if so in the case of Windows this implication is a blatant falsehood, but an attractive and effective one nonetheless.

So the overall idea I have is to evoke the some of those same positive features or connotations, without using the same word.

What else can you look out of from within a building or structure, and see the exterior?

Skylight is one. What a great word. However it might be a little too literally close to window to survive Microsoft legal threats. Same for other words for window such as lunette, fenestra, etc. Porthole is a window on a ship, but I think the word "hole" is too negative or questionable in colloquial English. Another problem with skylight is evoking a glass ceiling, being out of reach, not open, etc.

Another way to look out and see the exterior would be an arch. I was thinking of a stained glass window in a church, or even a glazed window, or an empty arched window in a ruin. Or an arched doorway or gate. The Saint Louis Gateway Arch is a symbol of how the city was the gateway to the frontier and the American West. Conveying the idea of a gateway to freedom is very attractive. Arch also has a positive connotation of being the best or top in its class. Rather than this OS being a mere alternative, it could boldly be marketed as being better.

Unfortunately Gateway is of course a trademarked name. And Arch is currently being used by Arch Linux. But Gate isn't trademarked, and Linux wouldn't be part of this OS name, so maybe Arch or Gate is a possibility anyway.

Portal OS is another possibility.

Door is another very interesting word. A door can be shut to keep intruders out, but also open to welcome people in, or let someone inside out to freedom. An attractive image for the default desktop background can be imagined of an attractive outdoor scene being visible through an open doorway, seen from within an unattractive, prison- or dungeon-like building. It also makes a lot more sense to have a Door symbol on a menu button, because a door can be used to go in OR out, whereas the "Start" button being used to shut down the computer was a source of mockery and confusion from the moment Windows 95 was released. One problem with "Door" is the possibility that whoever owns the rights to the name of the band "The Doors" might create trouble.

Then after choosing the word there is the further choice of exactly how to use it.

Do you have it in singular or plural form? "Windows" is in plural. So do you have Arch or Arches? Door or Doors? Gate or Gates? Portal or Portals?

And then do you tack the initials "OS" at the end to make clear this is an operating system? If so, do you have a space before "OS"? So if it's Arch, do you just have "Arch"? ArchOS? Arch OS? Arches? ArchesOS? Arches OS?

What do you think?

middings
Posts: 1008
Joined: Tue May 07, 2013 9:18 pm
Location: California, USA

Re: Suggestion: change the OS and project name

Post by middings » Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:08 pm

(1) You're two decades late with your objections. (2) I don't think the objections matter.

ctasan
Posts: 384
Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:02 pm
Location: Istanbul, Turkey

Re: Suggestion: change the OS and project name

Post by ctasan » Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:52 pm

Not really. ReactOS name has already an important meaning.

justincase
Posts: 434
Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2008 4:13 pm

Suggestion: DON'T change the OS and project name

Post by justincase » Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:10 pm

I like "ReactOS".
It rolls off the tongue easily (unlike most of your suggestions) and tells people a bit about the project right off the bat (e.g. we're not satisfied with the status quo and we're doing something about it), it's easy to remember, it's not easy to confuse with any other OS (unfortunately Facebook made react.js recently, which could be confusing for newbies), it implies that we want it to be able to react responsively to the user (a good thing), and the way that it brings to mind nuclear/atomic thoughts is a good depiction of how we're building it (testing how different parts work in Windows, then building ours to do the same thing) similar to how nuclear physicists come to understand the innerworkings of atomic structures).

Also, we're finally getting some public visibility with the current name. If we change it now we risk losing that.
I reserve the right to ignore any portion of any post if I deem it not constructive or likely to cause the discussion to degenerate.

EmuandCo
Developer
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Re: Suggestion: change the OS and project name

Post by EmuandCo » Tue Mar 14, 2017 1:33 am

It was a fight with myself to continue reading after the 2nd comparison to church crap, but... I managed to get through. ^^
First, the term "React" places the project and team in the position of ceding the initiative to others, of being defined by others, and not only "others" but their own antagonist or adversary, and making that adversary not only the driving force but even the center of one's story and identity.
We are defined by our antagonist. As you might know we try to be binary compatible to our antagonist. Our identity is the reaction we try to be and the licenses we use for that.
Most people just want to use software rather than use software to make an angry statement.
I personally like giving a angry statement by using a software tbh. We try to stand against Microsoft, so why not showing it? This is what PR is made for, ppl's attention.
Second, the term has the connotation of "reactionary" (that is, far-right) politics or cultural outlooks, which for the vast majority of the ideological spectrum is unappealing, and in any case is distracting. I am NOT using this post to criticize reactionaries or begin a debate about them, indeed; the whole POINT here is to say that it is not helpful to the project, nor appropriate, to use the name of the project to bring up anything that is either unrelated or controversial, let alone BOTH unrelated AND controversial, whatever the merits of that unrelated / controversial thing might be, if any.
Reactionary is not just far-right like everyone always tries to make others believe. Extremist opinions far-left and far-right both are evil and always saying that all right-wing-national-patriotic ppl are Nazis and ignoring the danger coming from left wing extremists is not very helpful. Not just that. Saying that reactionary is non appropiate is plain wrong, too. Check history and rethink.
Third, the term also has connotations of nuclear reactions, a connotation heavily implied by the regrettable official logo. Nuclear technology is deeply divisive and controversial, and constitutes another distraction. In particular, the substantial involvement of Russians in the project evokes memories of Chernobyl (yes I know it was in Ukraine). Again, saying this is NOT necessarily a criticism of nuclear technology as such; it is possible for a good or necessary thing to be divisive and controversial, and a case can be made for nuclear power and nuclear weapons. My point is that the name of an operating system is not the place to evoke these issues or trigger such debates, if your goal is (as it should be) to persuade people, whatever their stance might be on nuclear issues, to use or support the operating system.
You realize that our logo is a atom, ok. I don't see anything negative in reaction in a nuclear way tbh. An atom is imagined as solid (in the past as indivisible). I like the idea of something you can trust on, something solid and indestructible. Btw, ever thought of fusion technology? Logo fits nicely there. And another time... ppl will never go away because of the logo, it's catchy and can be easily remembered, once more PR ftw!
...all that naming stuff...
- Arch is Arch Linux and thus completely out of discussion.
- Gateway is a networking naming and will not help at all, because ReactOS is no gateway, but an OS.
- Portal is a copyrighted/trademarked game and out of discussion.
- Door sounds like a Windows wannabe and not like a real competitor. ReactOS was chosen as name to be different and no cheap copy which this name would make it look like.
- Singular or plural won't change my opinion.
- It's ReactOS, not React OS or Reactos or whatever.
Image
ReactOS is still in alpha stage, meaning it is not feature-complete and is recommended only for evaluation and testing purposes.

dizt3mp3r
Posts: 1450
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 5:54 pm

Re: Suggestion: change the OS and project name

Post by dizt3mp3r » Tue Mar 14, 2017 2:58 am

That has to be one of the worst suggestions seen on the forum in a long while. No real need to explain why...

Here are some light-hearted suggestions that I hope we don't choose.

PhobOS - an operating system to be afraid of....
TOSs - an operating system that plays with itself most of the time.
CuriOS - no-one is quite sure what it is for.
FatuOS - A ridiculous operating system that only reads old DOS floppies.
ChaOS - An o/s designed by Warhammer players and used by a chain of US stores (KMart)
FlOSs - A first time o/s for naive users to cut their teeth on.

ROCKNROLLKID
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Re: Suggestion: change the OS and project name

Post by ROCKNROLLKID » Tue Mar 14, 2017 4:41 am

I think you over thought the name ReactOS, lol. It is just a name. I mean, I guess in someways if you sat and thought about it, the OS might sound like a Mac clone, considering Apple usually has the habit of putting OS at the end of their operating systems (MacOS, iOS, etc). If people are interested, they will check us out and decide for themselves and if not, changing the name probably isn't going to change anything.

ThunderbirdMOZ
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2017 5:05 am

Re: Suggestion: change the OS and project name

Post by ThunderbirdMOZ » Tue Mar 14, 2017 5:25 am

I got a laugh out of DoorsOS so kudos for that, haha.

I have a story to tell. There was once a open source project named Lindows which was a linux based OS capable of running windows programs like reactos (with the running part). miscrosoft didn't like the name so they tried to sue them. They failed in the USA but miscrosoft continued trying to sue them in overseas countries. The developers of Lindows didnt have a lot of money like micsrosoft did and they didnt want to use one name in the usa and another name overseas in case they lost so they decided to settle with microsoft and they changed their name. Even though windows is such a generic word which should never have been trademarkable it would suck if the developers get sued by microsoft for changing to DoorsOS.

If there is a name change I would be more in favour of changing to Re-actOS with the dash there so re-act means to act again. But that's only if the name needs to be changed. I don't think the name as it is now sounds aggressive. If I want to promote ReactOS to someone the easiest way I can explain it without mentioning microsofts assholeness in the industry is to just tell them that ReactOS allows people to keep using their old windows programs when they stop working in newer versions of windows and they dont have to worry about unpatched windows flaws in old versions of windows because reactos is actively updated.

erkinalp
Posts: 838
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:55 pm

Post by erkinalp » Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:54 am

Doors:
Image
-uses Ubuntu+GNOME 3 GNU/Linux
-likes Free (as in freedom) and Open Source Detergents
-favors open source of Windows 10 under GPL2

PurpleGurl
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Location: USA

Re: Suggestion: change the OS and project name

Post by PurpleGurl » Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:27 am

ReactOS is fine. Though if you are concerned of the emotional implications, why not call it Act or ActOS? Maybe StrikeOS as in getting in the first strike.

RonC
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 11:02 pm

Re: Suggestion: change the OS and project name

Post by RonC » Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:42 am

ThunderbirdMOZ wrote:Even though windows is such a generic word which should never have been trademarkable it would suck if the developers get sued by microsoft for changing to DoorsOS.
Yes, correct. The word 'window' with a small 'w' was in common use, even by Microsoft itself, to refer to a type of 'frame' created on the screen by programs, to display data. Yes, it is possible to register such words as trademarks but it is another to defend that in court, and win.

Actually, Lindows came out ahead with a cash settlement that was supposed to be secret but the trade press somehow got wind of it and it was disclosed, at least in general terms. Just before the case was to go to trial, Microsoft settled. Lindows' attorneys apparently had developed a fairly strong case against using the term 'windows' as a trademarked word and the settlement was seen as an acknowledgement that it was wiser to pay-off Lindows/Michael Robertson that to risk losing the rights to maintain 'Windows' (with a capital 'W') as a Microsoft trademark.

In return for the cash settlement, Lindows agreed to change its name to Linspire. To the point of the quote, yes, it might 'suck' to get sued by Microsoft, but that could apply to either the plaintiff or defendant, and in the case in question, you might say the Lindows legal team came out ahead ...

PurpleGurl
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Re: Suggestion: change the OS and project name

Post by PurpleGurl » Wed Mar 15, 2017 8:03 am

Plus Doors reminds me of the single-line dialup modem days under DOS. In electronic bulletin board system terms, a "door" was a separate program that held the modem connection open, did a task, and returned control and the connection back to the BBS. They would use one or more shared files (some sort of text or CSV file) to pass the user account information between each other and to return whatever data that might have changed. Since it was under DOS (or Windows 3.1x), the BBS software would use batch files to load the doors. And if the door in question was not compatible with the BBS software, then you'd need to run a data file converter in the same batch file. For instance, the door was written for RBBS but you wanted to run it under Wildcat! So you'd first run a program to take the Wildcat! files and create RBBS compatible files, and the door software would find those.

And there were other programs you could run if needed or desired. I wrote a program set in assembly to clean up EMS handle leakage. One of the door games I ran used EMS memory and leaked it. So I had a pair of programs. One was ran before the door and simply made a call to DOS to ask for the number of open handles and record that in a file. The other was ran after the door, checked for the file, and if there, would read the number of handles from the file, compare that to what was currently open as reported by DOS, and issue calls to close any extras in case of handle leakage. I was wondering why the machine would run out of EMS handles eventually, and this fixed it. Another type of program to run would be one written for a door game that doesn't return the scores to a bulletin file to create one so other users could see who did what in the game.

I know this is all off-topic, but I'm reminiscing over the days I was a sysop. Really, I think we should stick to the name we have. Like already said, we have a reputation and following, and changing midstream could set us back.

dizt3mp3r
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Re: Suggestion: change the OS and project name

Post by dizt3mp3r » Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:03 pm

Not wanting to change the name at all - but a good replacement would be "Wonders ver 0.4.4"

"Wonders" sounds enough like "Windows" to be familiar, most in the UK and US pronounce the MS product as "Winders" in any case.

"Wonders" pronounced "wun-duhs" is a similar sounding two-syllable word, not quite a copycat in any sense and certainly different enough not to endgender any copyright issues.

middings
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Re: Suggestion: change the OS and project name

Post by middings » Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:48 am

I'm looking forward to the day when a generic name for operating systems like ReactOS and Microsoft Windows NT will be in common use by the trade and the public.

erkinalp
Posts: 838
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Re: Suggestion: change the OS and project name

Post by erkinalp » Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:58 am

Windows-like operating systems.
-uses Ubuntu+GNOME 3 GNU/Linux
-likes Free (as in freedom) and Open Source Detergents
-favors open source of Windows 10 under GPL2

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