Forum OpenACS Q&A: Response to Time for a name change?

Posted by G. Armour Van Horn on
I have to agree that name changes are disruptive and difficult, but that doesn't mean they aren't important. Whatever name is chosen is going to need a lot of support, I really don't think we have a lot of mindshare "out there" right now with the current name.

It strikes me that what OpenACS does is build enterprise web sites. There are a number of players out there, I understand BEA is the biggest of them. None of them have a lot of name recognition, and I think all of them are hugely expensive. Because of the current general interest in open source solutions I suspect that we could come up with a reasonably effective PR campaign without a whole lot of expense once the new version is named, available, and documented to the point that reasonably competent web developers (not programmers) have a chance to go to the website, find the code, and get it running. I know there are thousands of folks that have sites that have grown to be too large to keep developing in Dreamweaver that would love to have something affordable to move up to. I think magazine editors know this too.

Because this wide effort has not yet been made, I don't think it hurts much to change the name now. Two months from now might well be a disaster.

As much as I believe in community building, and as much as I think that community building is a magnificent way to build and grow a commercial site, I'm not sure the business community really groks that. They can be taught to use those features (bulletin boards, mutual support fora, spam programs) but they aren't the things that will get them in the door. An inexpensive tool that lets them build maintainable advanced data-backed sites will.

I like the sounds of CommuniKit, but I don't think it has the tone we'll need. The idea of Oasis V was good, reminded me of a small but succesful database program called Omnis 7 that has been around for a very long time. I think we need something short and pithy to start with, something for which Advanced Community System would be a subtitle.