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'Atom' Should Be It's Name, and It's Name Was Atom

Also posted here: http://www.disobey.com/dnn/2003/09/index.shtml#001550

I would like to propose, nay, admonish, that the name of the format and spec
should be Atom, that the current naming vote should be killed, and we should
move on to grander things without the auspices of "what's it called?!" over
our heads. This has been going on far too long.

 * "what to name it?" has been an issue since the wiki started. unsolved.

 * in every press mention, it's always been referred to, somewhere, somehow
   with the Atom moniker (individually or as multiple choice like

 * 'Atom' is becoming ubiquotous, both in our day to day discussions on
   this mailing list (contextually and titular, i.e. 'atom-syntax'), in the
   titles of the Wiki ('Atom Wiki'), and in regular chat (save for the
   entropied #echo IRC channel).

 * The current NameFinalVote wiki page shows very little participation,
   suggesting that no one really gives a damn. Likewise, the voting is
   proactive, not reactive (impending doom is more inspiring than
   lackadaisical choice). The vote should be replaced with something akin
   to: "Within {1 weeks time}, if a substantial amount of people raise no
   fuss, the official name of our format will be called Atom." If people can
   give good reasons WHY it should not be called Atom, in contest of this
   email, then that's reason to listen. However, it's more important to get
   this naming finalized, however.

Why Would Changing To 'Nota' Suck?

 * Re-education of the Press. As mentioned previously, they've all been
   using 'Atom' somehow or another, and renaming it to something different
   will cause confusion, explanatory backsteps that every editor hates, and
   an alienating of readership ('wait, i thought this was atom? why the name
   change? huh?'). Likewise, 'Related Articles' links will lose their charm
   ('i'm reading about Nota, what's this Atom crap?').

 * Re-coding of Projects. Due to Atom's ubiquity, much effort would need
   to be spent banishing the old name, heralding link-rot like never
   before. All atom-syntax archives and links would need to be forwarded
   to a NAME-syntax replacement, all Wiki pages would have to change
   (and searching for 'NAME' within your saved existing bookmarks would
   fail miserably), and more.

 * We'd Lose Search Magic. Searching for NAME will have little effect for
   months after the change, even though there's a wealth of good information
   out there.

 * People Will Misunderstand. They'll think it's a fork, a poor replacement
   (once a name becomes popular lexicon like Atom has, any up-and-coming
   replacement is distasteful), or totally unnecessary this late in the
   game. Some people will continue to call NAME 'Atom', causing more
   confusion than necessary (is it 'Really Simple Syndication'? 'Rich Site
   Summary'? 'RDF Site Summary'? How many times have you read an "either or"
   statement like this in the press concerning RSS. Do we want this?).

 * Besides the above, 'Nota' has a very crucial misstep, already mentioned
   on the Wiki discussion: it's not indicative of pronunciation. Is it
   "NotAGoodReplacement" or "Note-a"? Do we really want to release an .mp3
   of us saying the word (as PostgreSQL has done). More importantly, can you
   think of any OTHER product, company name, or item that has an immediate
   pronunciation problem? This is, IMO, the biggest nail in Nota's coffin.

I really can't believe the naming has been *allowed* to go on this long. I
don't even start projects without a name and some sketches of a logo - they
can make or break a product, and any revisionist history now will certainly
harm the format.

But, but, Morbus! You've forgotten about the legal issues!


Quite deliberately, and so should you. If it does in fact become a legal
issue, we will have a *reason* for changing the name; one we can quickly
whip out when *anyone* questions us for changing the name. There's no herd
voting, no "well, you know, because, uh...", no "just because". And, as the
above two URLs attest to, there are already multiple companies using some
form of Atom, and there have been no desist letters sent. If these URLs were
any powerful indication of the feelings of people (besides the ever-popular
OOOOH!"), then Atom would never have become as ubiquitous as it were.

Morbus Iff ( you shouldn't have come here )
Technical: http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/au/779
Culture: http://www.disobey.com/ and http://www.gamegrene.com/
icq: 2927491 / aim: akaMorbus / yahoo: morbus_iff / jabber.org: morbus