Commercial product rename


Crescent Anchor’s operating system based on DragonFly, originally called “Silver OS”, has been renamed “FireFly“. Thanks Jeremy Almey.

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  1. Joe "Floid" Kanowitz says:

    Congratulations! … To the extent that I’m sure I wasn’t the *only* one thinking this would be a perfect name for a DF distro.

    Now, as free marketing advice, and since the new name harks back to DF derivation anyway, I’d suggest (gasp!) dropping the ‘BSD’ from the product title.

    Whaaat? Um, hear me out. There are ‘only two kinds of people in the world,’ those with a clue and those without. The people without a clue (who are, in theory, the ones most likely to be paying for shrinkwrap… as opposed, at least, to pirating shrinkwrap) really only care if a given feature or package works ‘on [product].’ The people who do have a clue will easily determine what’s up without the proverbial extra three syllables.

    OS X is, of course, the prime example; while there’s no chance they ever would’ve called it “MacBSD,” we can all imagine the complaints about FreeBSD.org i386/packages/gimp-2.0.4,1.tgz not working if they had. “But it’s all BSD?”

    That’s the thing; those three letters, while not intrinsically meaningless, have lost much technical bearing. They’ve never guaranteed — or really been intended to guarantee — even the theoretical compatibility “Linux” tends to fail to produce for the kids in practice. It’s a nice show of respect and tribute, but one that can live ‘buried’ in the marketing material, while ‘forcing’ a more sensible division of responsibility for it.

    Not to mention that the only thing “BSD” at the *end* of the official name of a project signifies now is that sources will be available under a BSD-style license… So while it’s a free world, if the intention is to take advantage of same and eventually roll in some proprietary or binary-only differentiation, realize that even that weak vestige of convention would will break.

    Considering the ridiculous amount of demand for “OS X for x86,” and the vacuum as comes to “OS” vendors willing to take full ownership of the support task*… I doubt it’d do any /injury/ to take that attitude. [To the extent that, y'know, something like AtheOS would already have that penetration if it could run OpenOffice and Firefox, and Linspiredows has already made a halfway decent showing whilst telling people they only have 'eTypewriter' and 'WarmStoat' for applications, and it'll cost money to download each.]

    *’Course, it’s been more complex than that, as every Linux vendor has been hoping to ride on strength in numbers… but they have that single-ABI/LSB dream to ride on, and DF features/*ulators or not, it’d be a bit dangerous to make a *promise* of full-spectrum compatibility at this point, right? Not that I think anyone’s *said* that on the FireFly/Silver front, just to point out that it misderives naturally as people struggle to ascribe logic to ‘brands.’

  2. Lazarus says:

    I can’t say that I agree with your idea to drop the “BSD” from the name (not that I would care one way or the other) but you tend to post really interesting things, and I think that you should do so more often, if for no other reason than to give people something to think about :-)

  3. Justin C. Sherrill says:

    I recall Matthew Dillon saying that this operating system was to be called “DragonFly”, and “DragonFlyBSD” was just for when it was needed to make it clear what it was – say, at a technical conference where people know the meaning of the BSD acronym.

  4. Joe "Floid" Kanowitz says:

    I’ve been sitting here thinking I should do something more constructive than adding to this thread… But while I think that last one was an independent observation, I was referring solely to the commercial product if it wasn’t completely clear.

    (“DragonFly BSD” fits the ‘BSD = licensing’ naming convention, so there’s obviously no problem there. .. and the counterargument in the commercial case is that the ‘BSD’ appellation should be accepted as a non-trademarked equivalent of ‘UNIX,’ but my observation is that people* are more likely to blindly assume the same implications to it as ‘Linux.’)

    *Blah, well, ‘people’ who aren’t already in licensing with major ‘UNIX’ vendors (Crescent Anchor ‘competitors’), thus taking them out of the early market for the product because they’ve already paid for something that ‘works’… Figure the target market is what’s left after you subtract those who’ll live with straight DFly and those already entrenched with something else, and the “I want something like OS X ‘cuz free OSes are hard but I’m never ever not-ever nuh-uh gonna buy a Mac!” crowd seems to be the largest (or just loudest?) demographic that leaves. Until it runs on cellphones, anyway. ;)

    [This is what spending time on Amiga fora does to you, kids.]