Could someone direct me to a site dealing with open source app re-naming conventions pls?
scooke last edited by
I've come across another company offering open source apps, and they use names like the following: KABIcloud (Nextcloud), Email, KABIsocial (Mastodon) and KABIchat (Matrix) . This reminds me of another company that uses their own names for open source apps that they haven't made, and the same convention for what I think are apps they have made.
I'm thinking of offering similar services, but plan on sticking with the app names, and not "rebranding" to SCChat, SCCloud, SCSocial, etc. I don't intend to denigrate these laudable efforts to offer open source apps, but what convention is there about labelling them with another name? Is there something in the licence that allows for that, or maybe doesn't actually allow for it? One root question about this practice I have is: Doesn't this give the impression that "I" made SCChat, or any other app? With the other one (whose name I'm forgetting, that's why I'm not using it, and it's too late for me to feel like googling it - i googled it - frama*), even though I knew they were using these existing open sources apps, I had to really dig in their websites to find any kind of acknowledgement. At least this KABI includes the app name in brackets; but for someone new to this, it's still confusing.
Anyway, I figure someone here could direct me to a website about open source licences in general, and maybe more specifically what it expected/allowed when it comes to renaming or acknowledging. Thank you!
PS: This is yet one more reason why I appreciate Cloudron. They don't obfuscate the source of the apps they offer in the App Store.
@scooke It is totally allowed to rename an open source app. The open source licenses after all do allow to fork the app. The only required thing, most of the time, is to keep the original names and authors in the license files. And also, of course, for copyleft licenses, to share back any change you made to the app.
scooke last edited by
@mehdi You know, this probably sounds funny, especially since I've been on this forum for awhile and have promoted open source apps for a long time too, both near and far, but this idea really expands my mind about what "open source" really means. I've always viewed it from the perspective of the creator, the initial coders who made something, and that they wanted what they made to be accessible to people who want to use it. I've never viewed from the perspective of a user who wants to re-use it. Funny hey, since this is a core tenet.
I think if someone is going to re-use it, or fork it (is this the right term?), and then rename it, they must have a capable dev team with them to handle further development of their fork. So, Frama and KABI and other examples aren't individuals making derivative, but a team.
Would I be correct in thinking that, if KABI or Frama, or whover forks an app and makes it their own, that most likely they wouldn't be going to the original/first creators for help with their new fork? Would those original devs be willing and happy to help this new fork develop with their help and troubleshooting?
When I think of something like FLAP or Caprover, their "product" is their service of serving Nextcloud, Pixelfed, Matrix/Element, etc., using the existing apps' names. They thus can depend on help from the original devs, or at least from their respective forums, since they are using Nextcloud-proper, and thus Nextcloud wants their product to work well so that usage increases, more people know, and they might generate income however they do it?
If I keep thinking out loud, would it benefit Cloudron to fork any of these apps and slap a "cloud+name", like, clouddocs, PixelCloud, Clatrix+Clement, etc., on the apps? Or is it better to just work on the service of Cloudron, and how it can make these open source apps accessible to users and customers? I reckon the latter is better: promoting the fact that they serve tried-and-true open source apps rather than their own "new" version. I, for one, would opt for a service using the name of apps that I'm familiar with, rather than a forked version with a derivative name.
Most likely, there are some apps out there that started as another project and then a fork of it got more popular, right? Any examples? ( I just thought of some - the various client apps to access Mastodon, this would be an example, yeah?)
Anyways, I just thought I'd share my thoughts, my growing awareness of all that open source means, etc.
Most likely, there are some apps out there that started as another project and then a fork of it got more popular, right? Any examples?
Off the top of my head : LibreOffice vs OpenOffice, NextCloud vs OwnCloud, Chrome's Blink engine vs WebKit, ...
As for people who re-brand apps, sometimes it is a proper fork which diverges from the original, sometimes it is just a re-branding for the purpose of having a unified branding (Framasoft is in this second case I believe). As to whether the original devs would be willing to offer support in this case, I do not see why not
About if re-branding is preferable to keeping the original app names, I believe it totally depends on your usecase : for Framasoft, they want to offer a unified ecosystem, easy to use, even for non-technical people, providing one app of each kind; for Cloudron, the goal is more to give choice to the person who wants to deploy apps, having at least a few choices of apps in each category. In this case, it does not really make sense to rebrand.
robi last edited by
Think about the maintenance this requires, either continuous rebranding of original releases, or continuous patching and recompiling of your own.
Why do double the work? Or have to pay people to do it? Or manage fragile automation to do it?
LibreOffice vs OpenOffice, NextCloud vs OwnCloud
LibreOffice was started since the community was not happy with the new commercial owner of their project and Nextcloud was started because developers left their former company because they were not happy with the direction. So I would say these are not good examples when it comes to "we want to slap another name one it and try to make money with it".
One example of such a project would be https://librem.one/, which got started through Purism as a way to add additional value to their existing business.
I guess the question is: "do you want a software where you can change the branding or do you want to maintain your own fork?"
One way that forks are bad is in the way they dilute awareness and participation for the original project. Attribution may be in the source code, but not necessarily in the ui.
Mariadb is a fork of the mysql project. The mongodb project changed its license, because it felt unfairly treated by a company running a fork of their software.
So I would say these are not good examples when it comes to "we want to slap another name one it and try to make money with it".
Indeed, but the question was "some apps out there that started as another project and then a fork of it got more popular", so I think these do fit
scooke last edited by scooke
This came at a good time, an example of user-developer dynamics in opem source.
MooCloud_Matt last edited by MooCloud_Matt
@scooke sometimes you are forced to, if you offer NextCloud as a service you CAN'T offer it with the name of NextCloud, you can say that is based on that.
Recent history is made with Hetzner, now is product is called storage SHARE.
if you offer NextCloud as a service you CAN'T offer it with the name of NextCloud
Yes, I wanted to include something about this in my earlier reply, but then forgot about it. In this specific case its not much a problem of licenses, but rather about trademarks. If you run a modified version of one software, it may be in violation of their trademark to offer your version under the original name.