Relishing the release name
So after the vote was taken, after the balloons had fallen to the convention floor, the release name for Fedora 17 is Beefy Miracle, a cartoon hot dog.
Given the alternatives on the ballot (more on this later), I’m OK with this release name and it passes muster-d with yours truly.
Some people have a beef with this release name and have been going out of their way to grill its proponents on what a huge faux pas and injustice this is. Beefy Miracle — how could you name something like that? Don’t you see it will make you a laughingstock? What were you people thinking?
To those who bring this up, I say: Relax. It’s a release name, and as far as I can tell, the release names for any distro only hold a degree of significance to the developers. From what I understand, there is a history of the Beefy Miracle name within Red Hat circles and this hot dog thing has been years in the making.
But to the rest of the FOSS world, generally after the announcement of the release name (or at the time of the distro’s release), the name is quickly forgotten. We hear what adjective and animal that Mark Shuttleworth comes up with, some roll our eyes at the announcement, and move on. Fedora goes through its semi-annual knock-down, drag out debate about a release name, it’s decided upon by range voting, and life goes on.
Rarely, if ever, is the release name ever confused with a distro name (“Beefy Miracle Linux”? Nope), even this one.
Here’s proof: Don’t Google it, but what’s the release name for Fedora 12? For Ubuntu 7.10? Right, you have to go back and check on that because Constantine and Gutsy Gibbon were not indelibly seared into your consciousness.
Admittedly, the Design Team at Fedora — the best in FOSS — probably has its hands full in coming up with an adequate desktop for Fedora 17. But this could be the only down side to the whole Beefy Miracle issue.
And to the guys insisting on the frat boy, locker-room, ahem, “humor?” It’s time to stop now. You’re reaching and not grasping here, and while it could be marginally funny to some the first time, it’s pretty lame on the whole.
It’s a cartoon hot dog, that’s all. Sheesh.
I was vocally against Beefy Miracle for a Fedora 16 release name, primarily because there were more interesting names on that particular ballot. The Fedora 17 ballot didn’t offer much in the way of appealing options, making Beefy Miracle almost a fait accompli.
To paraphrase Bill Murray in “Ghostbusters,” “OK, so it’s a dog.” But it’s one that I’ll take with some mustard — which shows progress — and relish.
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(Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and has just started developing software in his new home office. Watch this space.)