The HeliOS Project is now.....

The HeliOS Project is now.....
Same mission, same folks...just a different name

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Sunday, May 01, 2011

What's in a Name?

Sometimes, there's just no sense in bucking the way things are.

A few days ago, I brought forth a smattering of ideas that represent the myriad of simple improvements that could be made in Desktop Linux.

Many of the problems we encounter in new user adaptation isn't in the isn't that there aren't enough applications to get the job done...

Most of the problems I've encountered while teaching hundreds of people how to use Linux are in the GUI.  They are either not intuitive or just flat broken.  If I can find it, I will come back and do the edit later, but recently I was exploring Sourceforge and found a pretty cool Java CD and music burning app.  When I installed it and took it for a test spin, a glaring problem showed itself immediately.

When I clicked the button to choose the music I wanted to burn, it opened the entire Linux file system.

Not the home directory...not the Music folder within...the entire file system.








You get the idea.

Now sure, you and I would roll our eyes, navigate our way to the folder we wanted and be on about our business, but this kind of coding shows at least two things.

A.  Laziness

B.  A lack of understanding or concern for new Linux Users.

Another problem arises when developers choose the names of their apps.  I'm not going to rehash the same thing...I did so enough in the blog referenced in the second paragraph above.

From the comments:  As a general rule, programmers should never be allowed to name anything. The more competent the programmer, the more likely this is to be true.

As some of you remember, I have talked with our Directors about removing The GIMP from our custom respin and replacing it.

I shouldn't have to do that.  Many of the children we serve suffer disabilities which either cause them to wear prostheses or they are restricted to a wheelchair for the rest of their life.

I'm simply not going to rub their afflictions in their face by offering them a program called The GIMP within the menus.

And yeah, sure...In Spanish, or Russian or most any other language you can dredge up, it will not hold the same negative connotation as it does in English....but it's English I have to deal with so for me it is an issue.

So, through the glory and genius of the GPL, we're going to fix this.

We, for our own purposes and custom respin, are going to rename The Gimp....and probably redo the splash screen while we're at it.  Your artistic talents are welcome in helping us do so.

While other applications may have similar features, I don't think anything else within the Linux Desktop comes close to GIMP's feature-set.  Many of our kids are amazingly talented in art and graphics and it's a shame to remove an app just because the name of it can be offensive.

But I'm not going to rename are.

In the comments, I would like to  hear your ideas for a new name.  While you are at it, let's give the music player Guayadeque a shot.  That is the main music player in our our opinion, it works much better and consistently than the other offerings.

The Directors of HeliOS will pick the best of the best and they will be put up for a vote on the 16th of May.

What the hell does Guayadeque mean anyway? (Note:  I actually found it and it's explained in the comments below.)

So...what say you?

If your suggestion is chosen, we will either send you $50.00 US or a gift certificate from Ebay for that same amount. 

We will stop taking ideas on the 14th of May.

All-Righty Then


evaline said...

Ok, maybe I am weird, but I never much liked the random names given to software (yes, usually with some subtle joke like "pidgin"). So here are my boringly descriptive suggestions:


Ok those were five randoms from the top of my head. I like "creative canvas" (alliteration!) too.

evaline said...

Ok, I like boring names like

Creative Canvas
or just Create, or Canvas

The other ones (like "pidgin") try to get too cute some times. Just make it something memorable and descriptive!

PV said...

How about "Qanvass"? It's evocative of the nature of the program (it acts as a canvass for the artist), it's short, it's simple, it's not an acronym, and it's probably not offensive. (I was going to suggest "Kanvass", but then I realized that may suggest a connection to KDE where there is none.)
And what's wrong with Guayadeque? Is this another slang insult to disabled people (full disclosure: I have a physical disability, yet I didn't know that "gimp" is an insult against those with physical disabilities until reading the previous post on this blog — I've lived a pretty sheltered life, I guess)? While it isn't evocative of the program's purpose, I think it's pretty catchy — it has a cool, tropical ring to it.
a Linux Mint user since 2009 May 1 (two years! Yay!)

eMBee said...

Image Maker

Dave said...

Please, whatever name you decide on, make sure you do a thorough trademark search at Free software wears a large target for trolls of all sorts - and trademarks are no exception.

FWIW, my vote would be for "Rastr" - it's descriptive, simple, memorable and doesn't appear to step on any active trademarks. As a bonus, if anyone asks what it means, it's a perfect lead-in to explaining the difference between raster and vector art (and their corresponding free software tools)...

Blog of helios said...

@ PV.

Guayadeque is unpronouncable for the most part and as of yet I have not found any Spanish translation for it...and I have been told it is Spanish...

By a native Spanish speaker who has never heard of it.

It just sucks as an app name for a music player or any app for that matter.
We shouldn't be in the business of tying tongues when we present our apps.

And it is pronounced "why-a-vicky"

Blog of helios said...

Ah, found this:

What does Guayadeque Mean?

Guayadeque is, beside a Linux Music Player, a ravine on the island is Canary in Gran Canaria. See this wikipedia page for more information.

Pizzasgood said...

WilberWorks (GIMP's mascot is named Wilber)

The words "Art" and "Canvas" have some nice translations in other languages:

Ealaín (Irish for "Art")
Striga (Icelandic for "Canvas")
Lona (Galician for "Canvas")
Leinwand (German for "Canvas")
Gynfas (Welsh for "Canvas")

kylerconway said...

Image Artist

Prabin Dahal said...

I propose "Chitra". It is a nepali word for picture. or "Tasvir". and I did not find any relation to disability

PS : 1 Chitra
2 Tasvir

Gavin said...

If you remove the "GNU" from GIMP, you are left with IMP. ;) Simple, but not very inventive. I like some of the others a lot better, especially if you will be going to all the trouble of rebranding.

For Guayadeque, how about Sonorama?

By the way, let me know when you finish your next respin so I can upload it.

Giles said...

Glimpse: gnu lively image manipulation program - scene editor

Fabio said...


chalbersma said...

Name Sugestion:
Image Kicker
Kicking your Images into shape :)

The Mango Seed said...

Linux Photo Editor. It avoids stupid, obscure names or in-jokes or unpronounceables. It shows clearly that it's the de-facto standard for anyone who wants to use something like photoshop on linux. And it's OBVIOUS. People will remember it. And if they don't remember the name, they can just say "the photo editor" and that will be fine, without having to think, "wait, is Guayacatacaca a piece of software, an obscure mountain, or the stuff I put on my omelette this morning?"

David Joshua Geary said...

I suggest 'Imp'.

'Imp' is a simple common word, easy to pronounce, and shows its relationship to GIMP.

Dr.Frankinfurter said...

Why not just use Pinta? Most people who know enough about image manipulation would already have at least heard of GIMP and will install it already. For the sake of brevity in your lessons, Pinta should serve nicely for the basics. (or GNU Paint - I'm just providing Pinta as an example since it provides layers)

eMBee said...

i like photo editor, could also use image editor.

since the point here is not to pick a new and unique name to differentiate but to pick something obvious that is easy to understand, those are good candidates.

as for imp, that doesn't really sound much better:

instead of dropping the GNU one could also drop the P, having "program" on a programs name is kinda redundant anyways.

GNU Image Manipulator (gim), anyone?

(i still like Image Maker, GNU Image Maker? :-)

Bad_Robot said...

Linux Photo Editor is not a very good name, as the application is cross-platform. I like the Glimpse suggestion personally.

Some other suggestions:
Imagine Editor

Or swap the word Photo for Image in any of these.

Abe said...

It would be appropriate to first make contact with the main developer(s) of the application that is candidate for a name change.

Combination of Sharp with Photo/Image/Raster
ImageSharp, PictureSharp, PhotoSharp.
RasterSharp, Etc...


Blog of helios said...

@ Abe,

Spencer Kimball and Peter Mattis are the original developers of The Gimp and are no longer involved in the project.

From what I can glean, The Gimp is now developed and maintained by a number of folks within the Gnome Project.

Given the fact that Gnome has a long and proven history of completely ignoring user input, I'm not certain that notifying them for an extremely localized renaming effort is necessary. And to be honest, I wouldn't give them the satisfaction of ignoring me.

On a wide scale, I don't really encourage a complete rebranding of Gimp. I don't think any amount of requests or justification would do a bit of good.

Better we just deal with it within our specific needs and move along.

So thinks me anyway

Michelle Minkin said...

I am partial to Photo Imp...or PhotoImp...either one works for me

Bill said...

Open Photo Editor
Open Photo Garage

Obvious, simple, non-confusable.

Anonymous said...

Image Imp

If this is chosen, just put the 50 bucks into HeliOS.

Anonymous said...

Image Pixie

evaline said...

(sorry for the double post up top, I got an error on the first one and thought I lost the comment!)

smurf said...



Donn Ingle said...

Just a mind-dump for GIMP:
"Draw and Paint"
"Free Painter"
"Free Draw"
"Draw Free"
"Art App"
"Artscape" (so it sits next to Inkscape)
"Pixel Pusher"
"Open Artist"

For the music player:
"Free Play"
"Soundscape" (I like 'scapes)


Mike Regan said...

I'm drawing a blank on the Gimp rename but for the music player, how about

drum roll please..........

Pan's flute

Anonymous said...

It seems odd that after spending so much time and effort building an application the developer would simply dump the user in the file system for a place to put their files. Sort of like taking the user on a trip from the East coast the West coast and dropping them off a mile short of the Pacific Ocean.

eMBee said...

consider that the renaming can only go so far. even if you manage to replace all references of GIMP (including the images, like the splash screen) you are still stuck with all the tutorials and documentation all over the web.

just searching for "linux image editor tutorial" has 5 out of 10 hits referencing gimp. i don't see how you'll be able to avoid that.

greetings, eMBee.

Anonymous said...

Of the suggestions so far, I like Glimpse. However, the 'scape guy had a good idea, I think. I'd just tweak it a bit:


I don't think Artscape is appropriate, as that would work for Inkscape as well (not that Imagescape wouldn't either). I don't like Photoscape, but it implies similarity of purpose with another well known image manipulation program that is misnamed.

I also liked the same poster's Soundscape idea, although it might be trademarked (I remember listening to a Soundscapes program on the radio).

Troy said...


One wonders if you are more sensitive to the name Gimp, than the individuals it might offend. I have a good friend, James, who is in a wheel chair, and he says the name does not offend him in anyway. Often, people feel self conscience about someone handicap, will be afraid to look at the person, or engage them in conversation. James tells me the people he likes best are small children, because they are not afraid and just come out and ask about his handicap. He has voiced the opinion that if he were constantly ask, he might get tired of repeating himself, but that is not the issue he has now. Mostly, he becomes frustrated by people treating him/seeing him as his handicap and not as a person.

So, to recap, are you sure you are solving an issue that needs to be solved? Have you had children that have been offended? Looking gimp up in the dictionary informs me there are at least 3 other definition. So, maybe this is not the issue to worry about.

Please take no offense to any of my ramblings, I think very highly of you and your efforts to help those needing assistance.

Michelle Minkin said...

came to me while I was working.


Blog of helios said...

i don't see how you'll be able to avoid that.

We will adapt the current documentation and replace references of Gimp with the name chosen. We will also explain our renaming of the app.

Outside of that, well, the internet is the internet.

Las Vegas Mixx said...

I would suggest something whimsical that is still similar:

GUMP or Gump Forest

Gavin said...

The software that opens the root of the file system is annoying, and I know that examples like that one are encountered more often in the FOSS world, but proprietary software is not without its share of similar problems, as well. The move from WinXP to Vista/7 is still jarring MS users because the "home folder" is no longer in "C:\Documents and Settings" but rather in "C:\Users". I personally like the change because it is cleaner, shorter, and does not require escaping white space characters when navigating via the CLI. But other people find the change confusing and infuriating.

I sometimes wonder... if FOSS were to fix enough GUI issues of the type of which you gave an example, would the pay-for and proprietary software vendors really up their ante?

There is reason to suspect that they would not be able to do so beyond a certain point - after all, the relationship between Apple and Adobe is reminiscent of a feudal rivalry!

Also, I love the Pee Cola! :P

KenJennings said...

My 6 yr old likes


(Everything in her world is Pinkalicous, Goldilicious, Purplicous, etc.) And in the same theme we could go with



She thought a larger "Pixelicious Paint" was cool too.

Me? I'm a programmer. If I think about it too long I'll just make a contrived set of words that reduce to the acronym, "TRON".

Gavin said...

@ Troy

Most people, like your friend, are "cool with it", so to speak. But there is a good portion of people, even among the non-handicapped, that get rubbed the wrong way about things like The GIMP. The reasons and reactions vary, but the end result is the same: they do not like the name. And in the situation of a charity or non-profit such as The Helios Project, helping people by offending them is not considered very socially appropriate. ;)

This is the same reason why new computers are not sold with questionable desktop backgrounds, or why we have censorship in virtually every country in the world. Culture dictates decorum. Some people are not as sensitive as others, but would you really take that chance if you were the operational director of a non-profit organization?

Ben said...

Creative Raster Artwork Program

jeffq said...

How about Retouché? French always sounds classy (even to the French, I bet).

On the other hand, I like Imp. It'd be easier to connect the two for current users, and Wilber could be the eponymous imp.

Anonymous said...

"Most people, like your friend, are "cool with it", so to speak. But there is a good portion of people, even among the non-handicapped, that get rubbed the wrong way about things like The GIMP. The reasons and reactions vary, but the end result is the same: they do not like the name."
Because these people are being sensitive about the issues rather than looking for the positives that such challenges bring about in these people, and admiring them for any resourcefulness. Persons with disabilities far more often than not, find ways to overcome those challenges that everyday life brings (and sometimes can be amazingly more inventive)... they are not the ones to typically view their disability as an overwhelming limitation... sometimes, it can be a major asset that can give superhuman advantages... can an ordinary human trudge for miles through snow without risking frostbite?

Re the file requestor dropping the user to the root filesystem... I don't believe it is an issue that isn't easily remedied through educating the user about why it might be due to a less pragmatic approach. If one was given a default "(~/)Videos", for saving a video, one would be less learned about the advantages that the extra space on a /media/videos might bring, especially when that user has consumed all the spare space on /home and cannot install updates anymore (assuming the simplest of default installs in the first place).

For your localised name change, how about "Artclass", "DaliArt", "Artyzan or Artizan", or dare I mention it, "ArtStrokes"?

Straconis said...

Linux Graphics Studio


Audible Vibration Player

kurtdriver said...

Lot's of programs out to be renames for the reasons you give above. Nearly anything beginning with a "K" for instance, on the grounds of cacophony, names you can't pronounce, and yeah, the GIMP, which is offensive. The best names seem to be taken, I liked ImageWorks, too late!
How about just plain old "Wilber"?

B Swiss said...

@ Gavin

"Most people, like your friend, are "cool with it", so to speak. But there is a good portion of people, even among the non-handicapped, that get rubbed the wrong way about things like The GIMP."

Actually, if my experience is anything to go by, it's pretty much the non-handicapped that get rubbed the wrong way by stuff like this -- the actual handicapped get aggravated by the taboo about acknowledging their reality (and of course by intentional insults, simple prejudice, and unconscious dismissal of their real capabilities).

However, it appears from Helios's account, the real friction is coming from some of the kids' parents, and from well-meaning, politically correct outsiders. The outsiders can be ignored, but he actually has to deal with those parents.

Anonymous said...


Paul said...

I would keep it simple. I've often labled firefox as Internet for those new to anything but IE. Maybe something like Advanced image editor.

Zombie Ritual said...

PIMP, portable image manipulator program :P

NONIMP, non offensive named image manipulation program.

GIMA, gnu image manipulation app

GIMS, gnu image manipulation software

HIMP, helios image manipulation program.

Eduard said...

I think you got a great idea. Names are SOOO important!!! The name should be easy to remember and you should be able to guess what is it about just knowing its name. I like GraphicsIMP, so you remove the GIMP thing and yet we gueeks can recognize it.

Anonymous said...

I highly suggest:


Photo Image Manipulation Program...

Dani Whitford said...


To the point, simple and a search for trademark and copyright only turns up a graphics business in California with the name of Image Craft.

Be careful because I checked a lot of the ideas presented here and many of them are already in use.

I'm sure you could contact Image Craft and get permission to use is especially when you are going to use it in such a limited way.

If it's used, don't send me any money. Use it for what you need it for.

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Hi I, too, have a disability that allows me to take offense at the inoffensive. My disability is that I am offended by people who take offense at that which is not offensive.

The program in question is the "Gnu Image Manipulation Program". That's "GIMP" for those of us that don't like to spend all day typing the name of a program but still want a clear indicator as to what the thing is.

Live with it.

If you want to actually contribute to the program by, for instance, actually improving it and adding features... well it is open source and I'm sure they'd welcome any assistance you might offer.

If you want to add some feature or features that, for whatever reason, doesn't fit the project or its goals, then by all means fork it and maintain your own version. You'll probably want to make sure you abide by the GPL when doing so.

If you want to fork it just so you can give it your choice of name and not otherwise improve or even change it, that's an ego trip and nothing more. Go ahead, if you must, but you'll probably not find users flocking to your product. And you're still bound by the GPL.

FWIW - I don't care for the name "the gimp" either. But I'm not offended by it. And since I'm reaping the benefits of other people's hard work, I'll just live the name they gave it.

Liam 2011-05-03

Tony said...


Michelle Minkin said...

If you want to fork it just so you can give it your choice of name and not otherwise improve or even change it, that's an ego trip and nothing more. Go ahead, if you must, but you'll probably not find users flocking to your product. And you're still bound by the GPL.

Did you read TFA pal? HeliOS only intends to rebrand GIMP for those kids who suffer mobility disabilities. There's no Ego involved and if you knew Ken, you wouldn't have said such a stupid thing. He could care less if people "flock" to the project. It's not even a project, it's a simple rebranding. It won't be available to the general public. It's just for the kids and their families that might find offense in the name Gimp.

The GPL perfectly allows what Ken is doing.

"Live with it"?

You live with it bucko. Those who are not comfortable doing so won't.

Mike B. said...

In keeping with similar letter/word choice, GIMP could become:
Grapes Art Bucket
Gramps and/or Gramps Graphics
Griff (The) Graphic (Fox)
Gimmer (The Graphic Fox)
Glimmer Art

Related to the icon, GIMP could become:
Wilber's Paint Brush
Wilber Paints
Wilber's (Art) Easel
Wilber Arts

Note: anything in parenthesis would be an optional of course.

Note: I did not have time to check for trademark collisions or previous submission collisions.

Anonymous said...

Graphix Fox

Graphics FX

Picture Perfect

Anonymous said...

For the music player.

Music Mogul or MusicMogul

Blog of helios said...

@ the last anonymous poster.

I removed your post because ArtWorks was already suggested, in fact it was the first posting. "ArtWerks" would be close enough to that submission to be considered her idea.

Anonymous said...

One wonders how the users will find any tutorials for the renamed app. I think changing the name means, that you have just cut the user off from googling for help.

Blog of helios said...

One wonders how the users will find any tutorials for the renamed app. I think changing the name means, that you have just cut the user off from googling for help.

Nope. The full tutorial for that app will be on the desktop, along with a brief explanation as to why the name change. Roughly 15 links to GIMP tutorials will be included in that document.

Gavin said...

Anonymous #10/Liam - "My disability is that I am offended by people who take offense at that which is not offensive."

Logical flaw: stating opinion as fact.

Offensive, from

#3, "causing displeasure or resentment".

Offensive, from

#1, "causing resentful displeasure; highly irritating, angering, or annoying".

Offensive, from

#2, "causing anger, displeasure, resentment, or affront".

The definition of offensive is rooted in opinion and cultural structures. Ergo, there is no universal definition of offensive that can be applied across the totality of humanity. You have merely stated your own personal opinion on this topic. And you are certainly entitled to your own personal opinion on this topic. (And I also think it is great that you are sharing your own personal opinion on this topic, regardless of you being anonymous or not (you were both ;) ); after all, this is how statistics are accumulated.) However, stating your own personal opinion on this topic as fact is illogical.

In fact, being offended by people who are offended by the name of a FOSS project is emotionally equivalent to being offended by the name of a FOSS project, and is only once removed from being logically equivalent (ie, having an emotional reaction to an emotional reaction). I think you should be aware that you are, in fact, having an emotional reaction to this topic and not a logical one by definition of the word offensive.

As an aside, I think you should also look up the definition of the word improve. You will find that giving The GIMP a name that is less offensive to more people is improving it. And, as you have already stated, the GPL most definitely allows such things.

Gavin said...

@ B Swiss

"Actually, if my experience is anything to go by, it's pretty much the non-handicapped that get rubbed the wrong way by stuff like this -- the actual handicapped get aggravated by the taboo about acknowledging their reality (and of course by intentional insults, simple prejudice, and unconscious dismissal of their real capabilities)."

I agree.

Gavin said...

@ Anonymous #5

"Because these people are being sensitive about the issues rather than looking for the positives that such challenges bring about in these people, and admiring them for any resourcefulness."

I agree.

Jeff Smith said...

Gimp names:
Free Expression
Etch A Sketch ;)

Music Player:

saulgoode said...

My suggestion is that the name by which you refer to the GNU Image Manipulation Program be...


NOT "the Gimp". By using all capital letters ("GIMP", not "Gimp"), one emphasizes that it is an acronym and not a word.

Also, by including the article ("the"), you tend to anthropomorphize the reference, further dissociating from its intended meaning. By using just "GIMP", you would emphasize that the term is referencing the name of a computer program and avoid confusion with the term's other senses -- or do you commonly refer to applications as being "the Firefox", "the Photoshop", "the Audacity", etc? (Granted that originally the program was typically referred to as "the GIMP", but the developers have consistently discouraged this practice for nearly a decade.)

I would also discourage further employment of the Urban Dictionary as an authoritative lexical reference and should hope that you are not presenting it as such to your beneficiaries. A web search of the term "gimp" using any of the search engines available will indicate a strong association of the term with the computer program; well over 90% of the first results will be in reference to the program, with the other results being about equally shared between its usage in embroidery and as a term of disparagement or fetishism (and these less tasteful results invariably linking to dictionary or encyclopedia entries, not websites per se). Quite simply, the predominant meaning of the word "gimp" is no longer what it used to be. In my opinion, it would best to further deprecate the former sense into inconsequence, not promote its employment as a term of derision (is such even needed?).

There are a great many websites, resources, and forums dedicated to GIMP users sharing their experiences and expertise with using GIMP. I am not aware of any of them being unsuitable for children. GIMP user forums tend to be extremely welcoming to children (of all ages) and provide wonderful encouragement of creativity, sharing, and learning. It is, in my opinion, a grave mistake to hinder the recipients of your systems from locating these helpful resources and from participating in these GIMP user communities.

If you wish to change your desktop menus to not include the term "GIMP", by all means do so. It is not uncommon for distros to modify their menus to provide generic terms such as "Photo Editor", "Internet Browser", etc, and such an approach can be beneficial regardless the application's name.

If you wish to change GIMP's splash screen, I would also encourage you to do so. Individual users can readily customize their splash screens by placing image files in the "$HOME/.gimp-2.6/splashes" folder (all such images will be randomly selected). To change the system-wide splash screen (which appears if no user splashes are present), substitute your image file with "/usr/share/gimp/2.0/images/gimp-splash.png".

Beyond these simple measures to minimize the "in your face" presentation of the word "GIMP", other changes would be largely untenable and serve to isolate your users from what is one of the oldest and largest non-corporate-sponsored, volunteer only, Free Software projects in existence and one of the most creative, child-friendly, and sharing communities on the Web.

My recommendation is that you consider these detrimental aspects of your ultimate choice and whether it is a good idea to be obstructing your users from gaining the full benefit -- especially with regard to the social aspect -- of using the software you provide.

Pizzasgood said...

saulgoode, you make good points, however you forget the target audience. Remember, doing a Google search to determine mindset only works for people who are on the internet, and tells you nothing about those who are offline. The people being served are not the sorts of people who are hip to the tech world. "Gimp" refers to the art program in the minds of people who have been on the net for years, but to those who are new to the world of computing, it probably still reminds them of e.g. "Little Moe with the gimpy leg". Yes, the actual word "gimp" isn't used much in today's world and younger people wouldn't be very familiar with it (I only know it from hearing the above quoted line in Home Alone, and from a book I read as a child that featured a character who had had polio), but the parents of those young people would be familiar with it.

That said, I do actually agree with leaving it as "GIMP", but this ain't my project, and I don't face the prospect of dealing with angry parents. And parents can become quite unreasonable about really dumb things when their children are involved.

Blog of helios said...

And parents can become quite unreasonable about really dumb things when their children are involved.

You have no idea...what do you think started this whole thing?

Thanks for understanding the big picture.

I honestly don't have time for this, but I just got tired of the flack. Yeah, it's only been a couple of instances but I run a charity that caters to the needs of children. Piss off just a couple of parents, they make calls to the local fishwrap or slam us online and years of work get unraveled.

Personally. between you and I and maybe the 40K that read this blog monthly, I only dislike the name because it's non-descriptive...any suggestions for the local rebrand?

Digitante said...

I favor "GnuPaint"

It retains the GNU branding and therefore uniqueness, and it immediately tells you what it does. Very easy to remember, and very descriptive -- GIMP _is_ "the GNU paint program".

FracturedSingleton said...

For the GIMP:

amnesiacandres said...

Thinking about what you said that many kids are really art talented, i could just thought about giving them the necessary workspace for them to express. Therefore the name I propose is ArtShop
As a way to offer them an art workshop, the name is easy to remember since it is very related to the tasks you can do, and there are no other similar applications with that name (from a quick google search)

twitter said...

Don't feed the trolls but if you must, please keep the names as close to intent as possible. Keep the GNU in names that have it.

GNU Paint, pronounced "new paint" and already suggeste above is in line with the author's intent. GNU Player might also be. The names are simple and unlikely to cause a trademark problem. You should also keep the original logos, like the cute fox etc. If you like these, please keep the money so you can keep doing what you do best.

A lot of the negative feedback you get is directly incited by Microsoft. Got charter schools? That's a Gates/Broad/Walton effort and I know staff from them that are rabbid Microsofties. Microsoft's Technical Evangelists push all sorts of rubish on them and their other "channels". As you know from being personally assaulted at a gas station, the hatred bread by Microsoft is no laughing matter. They want you to repudiate your free software friends and quit doing what you are doing. See 66 pages of Microsoft Evilness (Comes vs M$ plex 2456) and Evangelism is War (plex 3096) for insight on their dishonest and divisive tactics.

The simple answer is to be proud of what you do, if a little ashamed of a few juvinile names. You are a real life Santa Clause, bringing toys and education to people who need it. Better yet, your magic free toys work better than the expensive, restricted "products" pushed at the local big box store. You can change the names if it's not too much trouble to keep up (pakcage management will be a real headache) but don't repudiate good parts of the free software community or feel bad about the great tools you have brought to so many people.

Mark West said...


Mark West said...


Martin N. said...

From all the suggestions so far my top picks are:


Dr Santam Chakraborty said...

What about Art ?

nikola said...

Its funny how people complain about bad naming choices and then you see the solutions are just as bad.

The naming problem is going to be always a problem when you factor in foreign languages and people are never going to be happy.
Its unfortunate that the name can mean something else but your solution is excellent (all praise the GPL).
Best of luck.

PS: I wont offer any more bad choices but from the ones mentioned I do like GIM (people can read it Jim or even make a mistake and say Gin which is funny)
and GNU Paint because it will be read `new paint` which I think is perfect.

Blog of helios said...

@ Ben

Creative Raster Artwork Program

Funny...real funny.


Anonymous said...

Picture This


Anonymous said...

Hello to Helios from Germany,

I like your work an addictions. But you are wrong with the cd-burning application.

It is java. When it is java it should be platform independent. Don't blame the programmer that he hasn't done a second application to determine the home folder with the music.

And for a sane brain: Who stores flacs local? They're on the server volume, of course. Looks like you assume a bit too much.

But my strongest point is: Get your customers to know their file system. It was the worst thing that ever happend: Your files in windows and different default save path in every app. Chaos. I was called to restore files, but the user niether know their names, their location or the type. "It was on the desktop and now it is gone! Cry!"

Start teaching them the basics. Force them to know the file system basics. Force them to know where to store files. Force them to choose the path.

The java application has done it right!

You can't trust and use a powerful tool without basic knowledge. And if they don't like to gain knowledge: Let them use Windows, please.

Sometimes freedom has it's price.

Shahil said...


eMBee said...

this is getting off topics but since it relates to one of helios concerns i'd like to share it.

@anonymous in germany:
as someone who has been using unix since 1992, knowing the directory structure in and out, i still find it very disturbing if an application lets me start searching in the root directory. who do they think i am? i really do not have time to waste with that nonsense. all my files are in my home directory, please go there. any place outside the home directory is wrong!

to add a petpeeve of mine, when the webbrowser offers to open a file with an application that is not listed, it lets me search in root as well. not even in /usr/bin, although both are very useless, there are 3000 files in /usr/bin

could you have the decency to present me with something like the gnome menu structure and let me pick apps from there?


greetings, eMBee.