#38 What's in a Name?

Posted on Wednesday, May 3, 2017
In this episode we’re talking about naming. In particular, I’m interested in trying to hash out whether or not the name of a software application is important as it pertains to user adoption and what not. I wasn’t sure where I sat on the matter at the start of the episode. I think I have a better sense of it now, though. I think.

Show Notes

And, yes, I’m a week late with this episode. I know. And I’m sorry. I do, however, hopefully have good reasons (or acceptable ones). For one, I co-authored an Opensource.com article with venerable Ben Cotton on dealing with hater culture online… particularly when it comes to getting feedback. The article is called Hater’s Gonna Hate: 7 ways to deal with criticism and it got some pretty choice feedback, I’d say.

Also related to Opensource.com, I had the honor of recording last weeks Top 5 video. Just a little thing that highlights the 5 most popular stories of the previous week. It was definitely a lot of fun to produce. I’ll probably do it again.

Speaking of doing things again, I also participated in a 72-hour horror film race over the weekend. It’s been a while since I’ve done a weekend film challenge like that. I was doing some simple visual effects (rotoscoping and paint-over) for this piece and I’ve gotta say that I kind of miss doing these things. Mayhaps I’ll step into doing them again more regularly.

But, this episode is about none of that! This episode is about software naming. We have programs like Blender, Krita, Kdenlive, Natron, and (of course) GIMP. I’ve even seen Mastodon get heat for its naming. The thing is… does naming really matter all that much?

After talking [to myself] through this episode… I’m inclined to think that it doesn’t. And, if you listen to the episode, I may or may not have suggested that I would be OK with using a program called “Kitten Puncher.”

Because, really, if it matters at all, the name of a piece of software only matters at the beginning… that time before people start using it. After that, it’s all about the program’s functionality, how it actually works, and how suitable it is for doing the job at hand.

That’s what I think at least. What about you?


Jason van Gumster

Jason van Gumster

“I make stuff. I make stuff up. On occasion, I stuff-up what I make. I don’t do much stuff with make-up… though I’m not above trying. I work in all kinds of media: words, animation, ink, coffee, wood, video. And, of course, I’m really passionate about open source and open content, so that’s what I talk about in this show. Books I’ve written and other creative experiments I’ve made can be seen on monsterjavaguns.com.”