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Re: What to call Guix

From: Ricardo Wurmus
Subject: Re: What to call Guix
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2015 11:02:55 +0100

Richard Stallman writes:
>   > > I would like to suggest the name “GNU Software Distribution”,
> That has two problems:
> * It doesn't say that this is a distribution of the GNU _system_.
> * It implies this is the one and only "software distribution"
> that is connected with GNU.

GSD could also mean "Guix Software Distribution" or "Guix System
Distribution" (obviously "System" refers to GNU).

This name does say that this is a distribution of the GNU System, yet it
does not seem to imply that this is the *only* software/system
distribution that is connected with GNU.

Admittedly, it is not a "clever" or funny name, but it is descriptive
and honest.  It is a non-name, not used to establish a "brand" in its
own right but merely to distinguish Guix (the packaging system) from the
GNU system distribution built from it.  It is a purely functional name
(pun intended).

Bonus features:
- it can be abbreviated as GSD which many people on the #guix IRC
  channel supported (back when it meant "GNU Software Distribution").
- BSD has ports, GSD has Guix.
- the Guix System Distribution is one attempt at a GNU System
  Distribution (or "GNU/Linux distribution" according to those who want
  to have "Linux" in the name)
- GSD can be pronounced as GuiSD or Geist, a (somewhat obscure)
  reference to "Structure and Implementation of Computer Programs", an
  influential book for many Scheme hackers[1].
- the initial release could still have the code name Guixotic, because
  it's a clever name.

What do you think?  Is this an acceptable compromise?

-- Ricardo

[1]: From the dedication:

    "This book is dedicated, in respect and admiration, to the spirit
    that lives in the computer."

and from the introduction in chapter 1:

    "A computational process is indeed much like a sorcerer's idea of a
    spirit.  It cannot be seen or touched.  It is not composed of matter
    at all.  However, it is very real.  It can perform intellectual
    work.  It can answer questions.  It can affect the world by
    disbursing money at a bank or by controlling a robot arm in a
    factory.  The programs we use to conjure processes are like a
    sorcerer's spells.  They are carefully composed from symbolic
    expressions in arcane and esoteric "programming languages" that
    prescribe the tasks we want our processes to perform.

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