'Atom' Should Be Its Name, and Its Name Was Atom

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/echo/pie").
  • Atom' is becoming ubiquitous, 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 (here and here)!

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 "LOOK! I CONTRIBUTED MY TWO CENTS TO THE MAKING OF THE NEXT BIGGEST THING! OOOOH!"), then Atom would never have become as ubiquitous as it were.

Post comments to the atom-syntax list.


My httpd.conf is Better Than Yours!

My httpd.conf is Better Than Your httpd.conf, a rousing discussion between members of the #apache IRC channel on Freenode. It's priceless like a commercial.


Surviror: TechnOccult

From #swhack:

<Morbus> i have to figure out how to parse newsml in php.
<Morbus> i'd rather be using perl. sigh.
<Morbus> i just may end up using perl. they'll never know.
<AaronSw> oh, i thought you were on SURVIVOR: PHP for a second
<Morbus> heh, that'd be a good tech game show.
<Morbus> i'd watch ;)
<Morbus> actually...
<Morbus> you know. we should do something like that.
<Morbus> we could have different tribes like python and perl.
<Morbus> and we'd battle it out for use of powerful modules in future challenges.
<AaronSw> heh, that'd be hilarious
<Morbus> yeah, it would be.
<AaronSw> Alright, now the perl team is going to calculate the prime numbers using only the letters a, b, and punctuation

RSS 2.0: Codenamed Hitler

I just realized the ever-vigilant winerlog blogged my mention of "Hitler" for a code name of Winer's RSS 2.0, transcribed here from IRC:

[09:53] <Morbus> I say "proposed" rather innocently - its more "shoved down everyone's throat by nazi dictator".
[09:53] <Morbus> but that's a lot of words to type.
[09:53] <Morbus> we should code name rss 2.0 "hitler".
[09:53] <Morbus> that'd be fun.

Here's the catch though: I said that on September 6th. In searching for that mention, I found someone else had said something similar on August 22nd, which means I'm not the only Jewgregator. Cool.


AmphetaDesk Interview

Want to know more about the new release of AmphetaDesk? Read THE #SWHACK EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW, conducted by Aaron Swartz and Sean Palmer.

Whooo! Moving On To Others...

Welp, I finally finished the GFDL version of FREE AS IN FREEDOM (the "no frills" version). I'll add it to my book list (maintained since 1992), and move on to the other forty or so bookmarks still sitting in my root folder. Boy oh boy. I have far too many things to read. I haven't even opened AMPHETADESK for a week or so. Stupid IRC (yeah! blame the SWHACK crowd, whooo!).

DNN is Alive, Alive!

Yes, DNN is alive again. I've got to admit I've done a horrible job of supporting this DISOBEY.COM venture (even with thoughts of killing it altogether), but no more. With a slightly modified redesign, a better backend system, XML export, a minor name change ("News" to "Nonsense") and other little touches, things will be better. I promise.

Why the sudden resurgence? There were a number of reasons, really. I started thinking about DNN about a week ago. I was having a conversation in IRC about weblogs and what was out there before the term "weblog" even existed. DNN was one of them. How dare I insult its eldery vigor and historical value by letting it wither in obscurity?

My ego was another reason. The more email I get about the stuff I put out, the more I sat in IRC and randomly wax moronically about nothing in particular, the more neat little things happened in my life, the more I realize that there's some flipping 'Cult of Morbus'. People who chuckle at the stupid things I say. People who like the stupid articles I write. People whom I like in return. And more importantly, people who WANT TO KEEP UP TO DATE on all of my spewage. How dare I make them lead an unfulfilled life?

There are more reasons, sure. Dedication is another. I started this. I hate finishing things I've started, I really do. Things must live forever, either in archives, or as a growing, living beast. This isn't anything new - DEVIL SHAT billed itself an "evolving ezine", and that was back before DISOBEY.COM even existed. It made me angry that I'd let something so visceral and random as DNN become crap.

So, DNN's back. Shortly CHICO'S GROOVE will be back as well, slowly morphing into an email flavored version of the Nonsense.

Yes, I'm getting back to my roots. This... this is a good thing. Here's the ironic part. Tomorrow, I'm going on a five day vacation, the first real one I've had in about four years. So, bollocks to all of you. A taste, a taste, I say!



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