Stop wasting time and money, make the Fedora 18 release name “Fedora 18”

Calling all Fedora users and developers. Please visit the official poll to choose the future of Fedora release names.

Nobody refers to “Running Fedora Verne” and choosing the name every few months is just a giant waste of time and waste of a very busy legal team that has to review and research each stupid name. I think “Beefy Miracle” is a ridiculous name that really takes the edge off an otherwise most professional release.

Just have the next release name as Fedora 18 and be done with the nonsense names once and for all.

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Richard has over 10 years of experience developing open source software. He is the maintainer of GNOME Software, PackageKit, GNOME Packagekit, GNOME Power Manager, GNOME Color Manager, colord, and UPower and also contributes to many other projects and opensource standards. Richard has three main areas of interest on the free desktop, color management, package management, and power management. Richard graduated a few years ago from the University of Surrey with a Masters in Electronics Engineering. He now works for Red Hat in the desktop group, and also manages a company selling open source calibration equipment. Richard's outside interests include taking photos and eating good food.

41 thoughts on “Stop wasting time and money, make the Fedora 18 release name “Fedora 18””

  1. I was considering leaving a comment with just the message “I disagree. ” but instead I’ll briefly explain the reason:

    Release Names are Fun, and they inspire the Artwork that is used for that release. My brother really loved the Verne wallpaper and is looking forward to the Fireworks one.

    Wallpapers aside, A project that takes itself too seriously is boring. And boring projects don’t attract new users / developers.

    Finally, niost distros have funny names, look at Debian’s Toy Story names, or Ubuntu’s Qrazy Quetzal.

    I do agree that perhaps Fedora took it to a place noone else has, with Ketchy Ketchup being one of the accepted proposals… but I don’t think dropping the release name altogether is the ‘best’ path Fedora can take.

    1. I agree with “Release Names are Fun, and they inspire the Artwork that is used for that release.”. This is good reason for having project names – like your brother, I thought the default Verne imagery was great, the underwater scene and submarine.

      Unfortunately, neither “Beefy Miracle” nor any of the proposed F18 names serve this purpose.

    2. I also would like to comment that I really think these elements that are fun and creative also show the culture and community involvement.

      I really liked calling F17 the “Beefy Miracle” because not only was it such a community based meme but it was also to showed that the community really has a driving force in this project. Furthermore, I don’t think it’s a “ridiculous name” because as far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t just refer to a hot dog or a stupid meme.

      If it needs explaining, “Beefy” can also mean extravagant and Miracle can help describe what this project has become. I think it’s a fitting

      Alas, I will admit I’m very disappointed with the name choices this year; I would have hoped that the names would less silly. I fear F18 may have a name that’s less than satisfactory, but I would stress I do not think F17’s name is a problem.

  2. I dislike polls because they are so binary. While I agree that perhaps our naming has gotten a bit out of hand I can’t help but feel this is a “get off my yard you crazy kids!” kind of reaction. Taking the fun and inside jokes out of Fedora to make it more “serious” is sort of pulling it in the extreme other direction. Beefy miracle does have a history within the Red Hat distros and while the joke may be lost to the outside world it does carry with it some value. Why is it we can’t find a balance to allow Fedora to still be fun while also letting its features stand as a serious OS?

    I should also note the reason people don’t call Fedora releases by their name is the criteria for linkage between the names is somewhat over intellectualized so it is hard to remember (though I think beefy miracle will be remembered with perhaps a laugh or a lampoon). Apple has cats, Ubuntu has rhyming animals, o’rielly has exotic animals, etc. The animals are perhaps coincidence but the simple linkage from release to release does make it easier to use the code names. Numbers quickly get unwieldy and impersonal, especially with 6-8 month release cycles.

  3. In some ways I agree and in others I don’t. I’m not a fan of the “beefy” name of Fedora 17… and looking over the choices for Fedora 18… they are mostly food related and I’m not a fan of the choices.! I’ve loved the “codenames” pre-17, like Verne and if they were like that, i’d say keep them. But as to the current tend (and the apparent work of approval), maybe it’s better to retire them.

    So I’d guess I’d vote on changing the process of naming the releases.

    1. I thought the release name for Fedora 17 was a joke then i read about its bond with RedHat history. Ok, the first and the last time, stop. I like to choose/propose a release name but stop with “frankfurter, etc..”.
      Also, could the release number become uncomfortable ? (within few years: Fedora 21, Fedora 22,…)

  4. I totally agree – “no release name” would indeed be a welcome “feature” for Fedora 18.

  5. RHEL already covers the “pro” corner of the market. Fedora is the fun, fresh, edgy distro at Redhat.

    The only problem I have with Fedora release names is that they are not incorporated into the marketing material enough. Wallpapers and boot screens should clearly match the release name, but seem to rarely do. Fireworks == Beefy Miracle? Maybe the inside joke has gone too far because I don’t get the connection.

  6. That graphic looks (and is) rather stupid. A hot dog. Nothing wrong with subtle references to Lions, Leopards, Ocelots or Pinguins, but a hot dog? You can’t hope to build a great product while code naming it “Beefy Miracle” and featuring a hot dog in its artwork. I would actually risk saying that most of the World actually considers hot dogs as rather disgusting food :)

  7. It is funny that you chose to put that graphic in the post. Because while I read the words all I could think was “mmm that looks like a fun release, I can’t wait for the day when I get to install the stable BEEFY MIRACLE on my computer!”. I am a total sucker for pretty graphics and branding. That is also why I disagree :)

  8. Lawyers have to review the release names? Sad… Any idea how much work it is? E.g. would the money spend on this task be able to cover the salary of a part-time developer?

  9. J5: I don’t think it’s possible for _any_ set of codenames to be easier to remember, particularly in sequence order, than the corresponding set of integer numbers.

    Fedora’s release numbering scheme is sufficiently simple and consistent – it’s just the integers counting up from 1, always has been, and hopefully always will be – that I don’t think we could ever come up with a codename scheme that anyone would prefer.

    As Richard says, almost no-one actually refers to the Fedora releases by codename. I can’t remember ever hearing/reading a post like “I’m running Fedora Verne and I need some help with…” It just doesn’t happen.

    1. You missed my whole point of when used right code names are more memorable than release numbers, especially if the press picks them up. They can give personality to the distribution. When people talk about android they talk about Ice Cream Sandwich, Honeycomb or Gingerbread, not 4.0, 3.2 or 2.3. Apple build similar buzz by attaching feature expectations to such releases as Snow Leopard and Lion. The issue isn’t naming, the issue is we have diluted the relationships of the names by having a convoluted criteria which in the end produces names that really don’t speak to the personality of distro unless you understand criteria. Android is sweet; MacOS is fierce; Fedora is an over intellectualized child who enjoys specious riddles?

  10. Luckily ‘Fun’ is not part of the four foundations. Otherwhise we would have to remove it now.

    1. I hope this doesn’t offend anyone, but if picking a codename constitutes ‘fun’ to you, I can only imagine how wide your grin would be if you did something *really* exciting, like paint a wall and watch it dry ;)

      Beefy Miracle is a bit of an exception, but the thing with that is that the Beefy Miracle gag had existed for a long time beforehand. It was already funny. We had lots of fun referring to it. I’m not sure anyone actually had a whole lot _more_ fun by making it the codename of a release. It’s not like we went all out and used the mustard graphic for the Plymouth theme or something, we didn’t even incorporate it in the background in any obvious way. It’s just a silly name and nothing but a silly name, unless you already knew about the in-joke.

    1. Taryn, I agree. I was put off Fedora 17’s development because of this (my usual contribution is just testing the alpha and beta and filing some bugs). I didn’t want to complain, though, so I just ignored the whole development cycle. :)

  11. Imagine the meeting in your company:
    “Yes, Fedora 18 is the right choice for us. The security problems we’ve had with other systems will simply vanish. We think that the new Gnome 3.6 interface will be easy to use for even our most technophobic staff”

    The guy who gets free pens and polo shirts pipes up:
    “You say you want us to install a ‘Beefy miracle’ on everyones machines?”

    *meeting descends into chaos

  12. “Beefy Miracle” is not only a lousy codename, it also features a terrible, terrible artwork. Software is a fine art, and you can choose great, witty release names without sounding like an actual greasy, cheap hot-dog.

  13. I agree that “Beefy Miracle” comes under the category of “f*cking stupid” release names – it might be a Fedora in-joke, but most of the people who encounter the name certainly don’t get the joke, nor think particularly highly of whomever thinks this kind of thing is funny.

    Which is unfortunate, because some of the previous release names have been good ones – Verne being especially so, since it was something easily fitted into the release branding. Losing that would be a shame…

  14. Release names are pointless, they aren’t endearing when they’re so random anyway (and only last 6 months), they aren’t carried through in the artwork, and not memorable. Numbers make more sense, and the names smack of competing with that other distribution out there with silly animal names.

  15. this hope to spare time with names is turning into a giant poll. Maybe could we give this post a name?

  16. Come on, GNOME has a long track record of giving releases schizophasia-flavored names. Comparing to that “beefy miracle” is relatively healthy. And that sausage inna bun won’t last long anyway. I mean, look: it already got mustard all over itself.

    1. @Alexandre – since when did Gnome *ever* give releases names, funny or otherwise? I don’t recall them ever using more than just a number…

      1. Ah, Simon – you must not be aware of the Genghis Khan (Temujin) release – GNOME 2.4.0 – and the resulting flame-war. That was the release that caused GNOME to abandon release names.


  17. Sincerely I hate those incremental numbers.

    Firefox, I don’t know which version number I have.
    Fedora the same, sometimes I’m still thinking to use F17 !

    I’d like to see from the name how old a distribution is.

    So why not a very simple scheme such as 2012.1 and 2012.2 ?
    Sincerely I’d like that scheme for the linux kernel.

    I don’t like ubuntu’s scheme either because the month is fixed in the name.

  18. Release names must be carefully chosen. Hindus and others revere the cow, ergo beef, and they would find the hotdog and beef obscene.

    For Fedora 18, you could use Fedora Chai.
    Chai is 18 in Hebrew, it also means luck, good life, and it also means wishing nice things to people.

    But, then it is not a food. Who says that the link should be a food. If it is a food, I could live with Fedora Olive.

    (Have to google results to assure no name conflicts).

  19. My big surprise was that Beefy Miracle was eligible, as I fail to see a connection between it and Verne and I thought a connection, even fairly tangential, was required. I’m also surprised it got past the vegetarians and Hindus, and I’m also also surprised that it wasn’t rejected out of hand for sounding ridiculously unprofessional. I know Ubuntu’s release names are getting increasingly implausible, but that’s no reason to get silly.

    1. The connection was “both have been proposed as names for F16” which si pretty lame ….

  20. What would really win is to drop the sequential number, and use a year / month or year / week of year. Once you get a release number about 10, it just seems stale.

    Fedora 2012.2
    Fedora 2012.6

    (I am making up the months here, just so you get the idea of how they would fit).

  21. I know I am not involved in the Fedora project, but my take on this is that you can have the best of both worlds. People seem to enjoy the release names, but it seems to me that the problem is that there is too much time wasted on picking the names.

    Why not just simplify how the name is picked and pick something, and then this way you get a name that people enjoy without it feeling like it is a timesink.

    We have a pretty simple way of doing this in Ubuntu – one guy, Mark Shuttleworth, picks it. Sure, it might not be a democracy, but then again, it is just a name. :-)

  22. From my point of view those nicknames are very useful. It’s much easier to search for “foo bar ubuntu oneiric” than to seach for “foo bar ubuntu 11.10”, the results way better.


  23. if ((time_estimated(choose_release_name)) < REASONABLE_TIME_CONSTANT)

    * My definition on REASONABLE_TIME_CONSTANT


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