Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (315 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-project] Project name and logo discussion
  • From: Richard Brown <RBrownCCB@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 3 Jun 2019 10:35:03 +0200
  • Message-id: <>
On Mon, 3 Jun 2019 at 08:02, Stasiek Michalski <hellcp@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:


I am myself afraid of this email, because this is about the basis of the
community, distributions, plans for foundation etc... Any change in
to all things outlined here will be controversial and will have huge
on the future of openSUSE as a whole. Take this very seriously, but
also don't
take it too seriously because it doesn't change the way community
but instead how it ends up being represented.

As mentioned in my talk week ago, I would like to change the openSUSE
to break it off of SUSE branding, however as Richard rightfully pointed
the suggestion should also mention changing the name of community and
distributions, to remove the `SUSE` part of `openSUSE`, on top of a few
issues that are unrelated to foundation talks. [1,2]

We do need to tackle this now, considering we are going through vital
of the talks of the Foundation, and both trademarks are planned to be
transferred at some point, but it might be best to start off the
with the name and logo that isn't necessarily tied to SUSE brand for
legal proceedings between SUSE and the project, depending on the
outlook on the ideas.

openSUSE logo issues:
* older version of SUSE logo, which is similar enough to be
confusing, also
will require agreement between future openSUSE Foundation and SUSE to
use the
* colour is too bright and light to stand out well on light
backgrounds [3]
* button variant looks the same as SUSE logo buttons, with the only
being colour (and SUSE tends to use similar green for buttons they
updated in a long time)

For current proposals, and to propose more visit:

openSUSE name issues:
* contains `SUSE`, which will require agreement between future
Foundation and SUSE to use the name (we will need this anyway, because
we will
support older releases, but at least there would be some exit strategy
everything goes south built into the name of the foundation)
* we are endlessly complaining about wrong capitalization (and will
for the
rest of time), even SUSE has it easier with "only" SuSE, SuSe and Suse
* FSF complains about `open`, although that works with openness of the
collaboration, more than `free` or `libre` would (not to mention that
we do
have non-free repos) [5]

There has obviously been a lot of suggestions here, from various
stuff like `Viridian Foundation` works quite well for the purposes of
naming, because it references SUSE, while not being directly tied to
SUSE name
(although it might be too generic and hard to type).

More important than the name itself however is to decide if we want to
the logo and/or the name at all, or we want to leave everything as is.
If we do
decide for a change there we will be able to choose the name and the
through a vote, I or some other designer will just have to design and
fix up
logos proposed by the community for the vote (like it was previously
done with
the YaST mascot/logo, which looked crude before the redesign, but was a
community idea). [6]


From my point of view, there a number of benefits of renaming the
openSUSE Project, especially when considering the announced-at-oSC
intention to form an "openSUSE Foundation" to be a standalone legal
entity representing the project.

For any such entity to be fully autonomously functional, it will need
to have at least some control/ownership/rights to it's own name &

openSUSE's current name makes such things rather complicated.
Trademarks are only enforceable if they're considered unique.

Right now, we operate under a situation where both SUSE and openSUSE
are owned by SUSE, therefore are considered 'unique'.

This has some practical side effects - for example, with domain names.
SUSE can't allow broad reuse of their mark without risking the
enforceability of their primary SUSE trademark, therefore SUSE
effectively have to register and own every possible *opensuse*.*
domain that the Project or any of our ancillary communities use, in
order to protect their overarching SUSE Trademark.

SUSE does a great job of making such domains available for openSUSE's
use under the current circumstances, but this occasionally leads to
situations that are awkward and uncomfortable for all involved.
For example, the openSUSE Indonesia community had to transfer the
domain they registered to run their local community sites/mirrors to
the control of SUSE, which no one really wanted to do and was
logistically problematic given the details of how Indonesia's domain
registry works.

Figuring out how/whether the future Foundation could own/control any
openSUSE domains is an open topic.

Talking speculatively, based on casual conversations and no legal
advice (yet), my personal expectation is that if the Project decides
to keep operating under the name "openSUSE", then there is no way the
Project will ever own the Trademark around the Project.
While I'm confident SUSE will do all it can to support openSUSE in
this area, we will all likely be limited in what we can do in the
areas of naming, trademarks, sub-projects, domains, etc, as a result.

Renaming the Project on the other hand would allow openSUSE to form
it's foundation under that new name. Given the amicable and
cooperative nature of our transition towards this 'less dependant'
governance model, I can foresee a situation where, if the Project
decides to rename, we operate under both the new and the old name for
a period to avoid a too disruptive switch over from "openSUSE" to
"whatever" - this worked pretty smoothly back in the days of SUSE
Linux 10.0/10.1 which were produced "by openSUSE" for example.

So despite the challenges and disruption that any rename could cause,
I do see the benefits, especially around the trickier parts of the
upcoming Foundation negotiations.

That said, my view is only one. if the community is abhorrently
against the idea of renaming, that's good to know, and the Board will
factor in the feedback into our negotiations with SUSE as we work
towards forming the Foundation.

Either way, we really need to have a good understanding of what the
community at large feel on this topic. If we don't have the discussion
now, it will likely be too late once legal entities and agreements
between SUSE & openSUSE are formalised.

So whatever your views, please sound off in this thread, even if your
view is already echoed by others.

Do you think openSUSE should change it's name?


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