Gaim's A Bad Name

Quick Rant here...

Gaim, pretty much the most popular open source instant messenger, did something really silly. It's something that a lot of open source projects do, and that's picking a bad name. Well, I'm not saying the word "Gaim" is actually a bad name, but it's origins are. Now, I'll be upfront with you and tell you that most of this is an assumption, but it's a pretty easy one to make.

If you goto Gaim's FAQ, there's the question "What does Gaim stand for?". Their responce is to tell us that it stands for nothing and that the only proper ways to spell it are gaim and Gaim. Then they put particular emphesis to never call it "GAIM". And this is where my obvious assumption comes from. It's pretty clear that the original developers wanted to make a version of AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) for Linux. So, like a lot of other guys, they just tacked a 'G' on the front of AIM and they had GAIM. Now what the G stood for beats me, it could have been for Gnome, GTK, GNU, or something else...it doesn't matter. The point is, they made this mistake, and now they're trying to ignore it ever happened.

Developers, think harder on your program names! Just because you don't see it really being anything more than a hobby, doesn't mean it won't become hugely popular down the road by some chance. Now I'm not saying everyone needs to get delusions of grandeur here, but you just need to be a little more forward thinking. Then again, if you really know your program is crappy, don't waste a perfectly good name on it (your always free to rename it at a future release) :P

As for Gaim, I'd just suck it up and come up with a new acronym to better cover your mis-stepped tracks. How about "GTK-based Advanced Instant Messenger?" ...or if you want to be silly, you could go with "Grade A Instant Messenger"..heh.. I'm sure there are tons of ideas for it already out there though.

Look, if I see another open-source application that starts with 'YA' and stands for "yet another" I'm going to scream...well, I won't actually actually scream. I'll just post more and more rants like this... Seriously though, if you can't find a decent name for your application, ask some of your more creative friends.

PS. No more "something's not something" names either. I don't care how funny Stallman thinks it is :P

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