Reply to post: Re: Name Change, what for?

Wait – we can explain, says Moby, er, Docker amid rebrand meltdown


Re: Name Change, what for?

While I agree in general, in this specific case (open source project vs commercial derived version), it makes a lot of sense to give it different names.

This all goes back to the original conflict between Mozilla and Debian about inclusion of Firefox in Debian. Mozilla basically said: fine, we trust you Debian people to distribute a Firefox executable, but we don't want anybody building a (possibly malware-infested) custom version of Firefox and slapping our Firefox brand on it. Debian said: but allowing our users to make any bl**dy change they like and redistribute the result is the whole point of Debian.

In the end, the conflict was resolved by re-naming the Debian version of Firefox as "Iceweasel" and removing any reference to "Firefox". Confusing? Yes, but given the nature of branding and open source the only possible solution.

Since then, people have wizened up and starting to give their open source projects names different from the commercially-supported version to begin with. Consider Chrome/Chromium, but also PhoneGap/Cordova. So this move fits into an established pattern.

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