[Twisted-Python] suggestions for naming to help us preserve a Twisted trademark

glyph at divmod.com glyph at divmod.com
Fri May 30 13:03:51 MDT 2008

On 03:31 pm, phil at bubblehouse.org wrote:
>I have to say, personally, there's pretty much no way I would ever 
>name a project 'Twisty' anything ;-).

OK, OK, I get it.  Everybody hates "Twisty" :).  I should have been more 
careful to separate the specific suggestion of "Twisty" (which was just 
something that popped into my head) in my original message from the need 
for a word like this.  I wasn't totally set on it.
>Of course, I understand this wouldn't be a requirement, but if this is 
>to be a useful marketing technique, whatever the prefix is needs to be 
>obvious, but also inconsequential. That's the thing that's great about 
>the Java convention, once you're familiar with it, you pretty much 
>stop seeing the J. Same with the tired but successful iSomething.

You've convinced me.  I still think "Twi" sounds okay (better than 
"Twisty")  "Tx" (evocative of "TwistedmatriX", "Transmit", "Twisted 
multipleXed"?)  "T"?  I'd suggest "Tw" but I feel like it has to be 
pronounceable, and "Tw" forces the first letter of your project to be a 
vowel (whereas "Tx" could be pronounced "Tix").
>I think a one- or two-letter prefix is pretty much the best option

OK.  I guess your suggestion is a lower-case "t"?  :)
>I am curious, though, what would Divmod do? You guys have some of the 
>most significant Twisted projects, and would probably be the best 
>people to set the example, but you already have great names for your 
>projects. tMantissa or twdAxiom just don't seem very stylin' ;-)...

Divmod is really enmeshed into the core Twisted community.  If we had an 
implementation of protocol X for Twisted, we'd distribute it in one of 
our libraries or applications in order to prove it out, then contribute 
it to Twisted proper.  We've done this a few times already.  This 
sidesteps the naming issue, because then it's just "Twisted X" at the 
end of the day.  In fact it usually isn't even that; we developed and 
contributed the IMAP protocol and that's part of twisted mail, we 
developed and contributed the JUICE protocol which became 
twisted.protocols.amp (although that will probably need to grow its own 
twisted.amp "dot product" at some point in the near future).

I started trying to explain here why other people should do this if we 
don't, but it turned into a small novel about community dynamics.  I 
think I'll save that for a future blog post.  Suffice it to say that not 
everything that gets done in the world is as awesome as the stuff Divmod 
does, and naming conventions like this are for smaller, less heliocidal 
projects, which implement a protocol or two, or maybe bind to an 
existing non-Python library.

And now, for something completely different:
>On May 29, 2008, at 7:15 PM, glyph at divmod.com wrote:
>>I'd really like "twisted" (and our various "dot product"  subprojects) 
>>to be a trademark that the software freedom conservancy  can protect 
>>and defend.

>A good example of what I wouldn't want to see is the whole Firefox/ 
>Iceweasel debacle.

I was talking to James Knight about this yesterday (another core Twisted 
developer if the name does not immediately ring a bell) and he made a 
very good point about trademarks to me: "Tou especially don't want to 
discourage people from using the word "Twisted" to refer to Twisted."  I 
think the Iceweasel thing is kind of silly, and isn't really necessary 
to protect the Firefox trademark, since Iceweasel *is* Firefox.  If 
anything it weakens it a little bit, because now there are multiple 
ambiguous names which one can use to refer to Firefox, rather than one 
clear trademark.  So I don't want anything like that to ever happen to 
Twisted.  (When I say "weaken" here I'm not talking about the legal 
sense, but the branding / marketing sense.  For all I know it might be 
bad for the legal sense too, but I'm not a lawyer.)

On the other hand, Debian has recently had some rather high-profile 
examples of how they insert bugs into their packaging that are not 
present in the software itself[1], and Twisted has had issues with this 
too[2].  I can sympathize, a little bit, with the Mozilla folks' desire 
to use trademarks as a weapon to say "stop breaking our stuff!".  I 
don't think that this is the right way to go about it, and clearly it 
doesn't work if they just do it anyway and give it a different name. 
While I think the Firefox patches which precipitated the Iceweasel 
debate are far, far from this point, there *is* some point where 
patching becomes so intense that distributors really shouldn't use the 
same name for their software.

[1]: http://www.debian.org/security/2008/dsa-1571 in case you're living 
under some kind of magic rock that prevents all computer security 
related things from reaching you.

[2]: I couldn't help but think of this bug - http://bugs.debian.org/cgi- 
bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=474630 - where some debian developers have 
specifically discussed re-introducing bug #2339 in a patch.  I feel like 
there's a parallel thread that should be started here about how we 
communicate with packagers.  For example, I am pretty sure that there 
are bugs in Twisted which would prevent *any* system packager (debian, 
redhat, gentoo) from getting a clean test run from an installed package, 
and yet we basically never hear about it.  Why is that?  What use is our 
test suite if the actual way twisted is installed always breaks it?  How 
can we convince packagers to build and install stuff and tell us when it 
fails the tests?  This has nothing whatsoever to do with trademarks, of 

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