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Re: The naming question (Postgres vs PostgreSQL)

From: "Andy Astor" <andy(dot)astor(at)enterprisedb(dot)com>
To: <greg(at)turnstep(dot)com>,<pgsql-advocacy(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: Re: The naming question (Postgres vs PostgreSQL)
Date: 2007-08-27 23:05:23
Message-ID: 51494DB187D98F4C88DBEBF1F5F6D42301BF8BB9@edb06.mail01.enterprisedb.com (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-advocacy
Greg (not Josh),

Please forgive my error. All we need is another Josh! ;-)

Andy


----- Original Message -----
From: pgsql-advocacy-owner(at)postgresql(dot)org <pgsql-advocacy-owner(at)postgresql(dot)org>
To: pgsql-advocacy(at)postgresql(dot)org <pgsql-advocacy(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Sent: Mon Aug 27 17:37:19 2007
Subject: Re: [pgsql-advocacy] The naming question (Postgres vs PostgreSQL)


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Apologies, Andrew, but I think this is a very important topic, and 
one that should be addressed.

Josh Berkus wrote:
> My perspective on the naming question is that if we wanted to do it, we needed 
> to do it for 8.0 which was when PostgreSQL became much higher profile.  We 
> did seriously evaluate it at that time, but the amount of effort involved 
> would have held up the release and we decided not to.

That's not my recollection. I recall battling to make 7.5 into 8.0, but there was 
no real debate about a name change at that time. Since then, however, I've talked to 
lots of people about changing the name and found no real objection, only 
support, including from most of Core. Even Tom Lane admits it was a mistake: 
http://tinyurl.com/2v4fdl

> It is still the case that changing the name would involve a lot of tedious 
> effort and hunting down references.

Nobody says we have to go crazy and hunt down and change every single reference. 
"Postgres" would simply be the preferred and official name, while "PostgreSQL" 
would be the older, alternative spelling.

> Overall, I'd say that the advantages of changing the name don't balance the 
> effort involved in doing so.  That's a very qualitative judgement though, and 
> if there was overwhelming support in the community, *including* several 
> volunteers to help do the work, I'd certainly re-consider my stance.

I think the support in the community is there, and I don't see what all the 
effort involved is. We simply make it the official name, and migrate things 
over as we can, and don't sweat the older stuff. Count me as one volunteer, 
at any rate.

> Also note that I was chatting with Kaj Arno at OSCON, and he was bitching 
> about people mispronouncing "MySQL".  So don't assume that shortening our 
> name would necessarily help ...

I'm pretty sure that "Postgres" would have little to none of the pronunciation 
problems that PostgreSQL has. Also, MySQL is a compound, while PostgreSQL 
is a portmanteau, from which springs many of our problems.

Ron Peterson notes:
> It's google'able.  Think of all of the documentation out there which
> refers to PostgreSQL.  When people start searching for 'postgres'
> they'll get virtually nothing.

Sure they do: 5.7 million results, including postgresql.org as the first hit. 
"Postgres" is the name the great majority of people use anyway. It's the name 
of the OS user and the default database we create alongside template1. And the 
nice thing is that it is still a unique word, so it won't get swallowed up in 
lots of other words (e.g. "Oracle" and "Firebird")

> Why 'Postgres'?  Any marketing effort this large should start from
> scratch, and consider all possibilities, not just default to something
> barely different for the sake of easing the terrible pronunciation
> challenge.

It's not so much a marketing effort as realizing that our current name 
is unwieldy, prone to errors in spelling, translation, and pronunciation, 
and is quickly changed to "Postgres" by most anyway. Being "barely different" 
is a strength, not a weakness. One thing is for sure is that Postgres is really 
the only option here, we're not going to rebrand the entire project like 
firefox did, if that's your implied suggestion. :)

> Maybe some people don't like PostgreSQL, but why assume everyone likes
> 'Postgres' better.  I don't.

What's your alternative?

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