03 Mar 2014

41324

8

Regarding the motto proposal

The ReactOS Project recently received a proposal to adopt "Open your Windows to Freedom" as the official project motto, with the proposed motto itself having been selected in a self-organized vote by the community. After internal discussions between the team developers and other administrative members, the Project has chosen to reject the proposal. The following outlines the reasons.

The overaching issue the team has with the proposal is the impression that "Open your Windows to Freedom" may convey. The phrasing implies that ReactOS is antagonistic to Microsoft due to the implied desirability of 'freedom' from a Microsoft product. Though ReactOS is a defacto competitor with Windows due to the featureset ReactOS offers, that status is a side effect and not a principal goal. As has been emphasized many times in the past, ReactOS is an open source implementation of the NT architecture with a Win32 subsystem. The members of the project believe that the value of such a system comes from its inherent utility and room for experimentation. The project can and will take advantage of misteps by Microsoft in order to promote ReactOS, but actively trying to undermine Microsoft is not the goal of this project.

In addition, there is general dissatisfaction with any mention of Windows at all in the proposal. A motto, should the project determine one is desirable, is effectively a statement about the project's focus and intent. The things referred to in the motto would indicate those are the traits or concepts that the project wants to emphasize about itself. To have the word windows, regardless of whether it is capitalized or not, implies that the project considers its worth to be defined by some ephemeral relationship to Windows, as if ReactOS' worth by itself is not sufficient and must be bolstered by drawing a comparison, no matter how indirect. The project has no desire to for the long term be defined by its relation to Windows. Right now that is the easy comparison to make, but to be viewed as constantly chasing after Windows suggests that the target is never surpassed. The project is not so lacking in ambition as to settle for that.

The above two points were the predominant reasons for the project to reject the proposal. These are not decisions the project enjoys making, but ultimately a decision must be made and an explanation provided.

Comments (8)

  • anon

    I must agree. I did an initial cull of the huge list and removed those that antagonized, sounded too broad or irrelevant, used profanity or played off of trademarks, and posted the list back. But things I felt should be removed were included in the poll. I personally like this slogan, but I also see it as problematic. While capital is more of a problem, even lowercase is close enough to possibly cause problems. And in a sort of indirect way, that could be seen as calling us Windows. As a runner up, I liked the one to the effect of "Built by us and for us." But caution has to be taken with that one to not get it too close to a certain urban clothing line.

    Mar 04, 2014
  • anon

    QUOTE: to a certain urban clothing line
    THAT would be no problem - they wont sue a software firm. At least not until such a cloth is worn by a pirple girl.

    Mar 06, 2014
  • anon

    Sorry if I'll offend anyone, but this is plain ridiculous. "We're not Windows, but we're compatible with Windows, but have nothing to do with Windows and don't want to mention Windows in our OpenSource attemt to reimplement Windows-compatible OS from scratch." Just how long you are planning to keep this line? Your team is writing Win32 API and Kernel environment Emulator Operating System. WAKE up, OS. The faster you'll admit ReactOS is in fact an environment emulator type of OS, the easier things will get. Just remember how Linux began. There's no need to be hypocrite and fooling people into believing your team is writing the "Windows competitor". It might be an "Windows competitor" once original Windows become too much bloated and Microsoft won't be able to maintain it without major flaws and disrespect from its loyal user base (which is already began to happening since Vista, that's why abouh half of planet still uses XP and will keep to use it even when there will be no official support). Once ReactOS become more flexible and feature-rich than Windows XP and be able to run more software and drivers than Windows itself - you'll win. This goal is actually very near, looking at how system became more stable since the past 4 years. You have plenty of potential users who are more than happy to wait for stable ReactOS. Don't disappoint them. Don't treat them like worthless mob. Don't pretent to be a "serious Microsoft" with "serious business" and "serious OS". You aren't. Stop with this marketing nonsense nobody believes in. Be as friendly and as responsive as possible. You aren't "gods", we're not your "slaves". Once your team realise that, it will be easier for everyone. Not every contributor out there is a genius nor tech specialist, you know? More importantly, learn to listen to people, don't reject their proposals, don't neglect them, open your doors wide and let them do what they want, but don't leave them all on their own - give them your support when they need it. Users and developers - we are supposed to be friends, aren't we?

    Mar 04, 2014
  • anon

    It is an open source implementation of Window, not an emulator. A lot of the code is from WINE, and what does that stand for? "WINE Is Not an Emulator." We are doing everything natively, running just like Windows to the extent it can be surmised in a clean and legal way. We are not emulating the environment, but providing the environment as natively as possible. We use Windows drivers, not Linux drivers trying to fake the middle layers and shim everything together.

    We won't be able to keep our goal and run more software and drivers than Windows. How could we? What would be the stuff XP won't run we could run? It would not be older Mac stuff, and it wouldn't be Linux. But I will concede that once we get to 64-bit, we'd likely be the only 64-bit OS with 16-bit support (though that would be emulated, and even Windows users can run DOSBox).

    Mar 04, 2014
  • anon

    I think the fact that the motto was looked at at all says something about how the developers of the system are viewing the followers of it; they are not discounting people's opinions, but protecting their own project. The most people should be asking for is some level of involvement, which has been given to them.

    Thanks for the update, even though it's something I personally don't have much interest in!

    Mar 04, 2014
  • anon

    They've worked on this project for years. Considering the low level of support, they have made great progress. It would be a pity for all that effort to be in vain over some silly logo or something. So I'm with the devs on this one.

    Mar 10, 2014
  • anon

    I believe the devs want to play down the "React"/antagonistic part of the project, and distance themselves from the high-strung conspiracy theorists that gravitates to this project. Also, as others have said, why limit oneself to just making a 1:1 copy of another operating system? Why not emphazise that its just a open source operating system that happens to run windows applications natively? The vast majority of applications are developed for windows, so mottos in the vein of "Runs it natively" or "Natively Open Source" would convey that instead of the "lesser alternative" mottos that was suggested.

    Mar 12, 2014
This blog post represents the personal opinion of the author and is not representative of the position of the ReactOS Project.