[Xr] xr on Microsoft Windows

Keith Packard keithp at keithp.com
Sat Jul 12 09:28:31 PDT 2003

Around 11 o'clock on Jul 12, Owen Taylor wrote:

> I don't see a problem with keeping the name Xr even not on X. It's
> not like the X Window System managed a monopoly on the letter X.

Well, we've already had several people say that they skipped right on by 
Xr because of the name, even though the library is addressed at their 
applications (squeak in particular).

> Perhaps a more obvious-what-it-is name would be better anyways -
> but I wouldn't change it just because of the X. And the big problem
> with nice obvious names is that they are all taken.

Yes, the obvious names are all taken, but a reasonably unique name can be
used to form a brand that people will learn about given suitable
advertisement.  Confusing names are harder to generate brand identity for,
and short names seem likely to be harder to defend from trademark

I'd rather find a word that we can build some kind of brand around;
something that has relatively a obvious pictorial representation so we can
create logos, design graphics around and provide some kind of thematic
identity to the project.  Think 'Gnome' vs 'Gtk+' -- Gnome is *way* easier
to sell because you've got all kinds of cultural context to build upon.

Carl and I have been tossing 'cairo' back and forth -- there's an inside 
joke that can be explained -- Xr looks very much like the greek letters 
chi and rho, and the italian word 'chiaros' means 'light, clear', which 
certainly provides some useful associations with alpha compositing and an 
easy to use interface with short function calls.  Anglicise 'chiaros' and
you get something very close to 'cairo'.  Mixing Italian, Greek and 
Egyptian seems like it should offer plenty of opportunities for thematic 
brand development.

-keith (who should clearly avoid any plans for a future in marketing)

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