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Open Source GNOME

Groupon Backs Down On Gnome 114

Rambo Tribble writes: Groupon has announced it will abandon the 'Gnome' name for their product, ending the recent naming controversy that had the open source community up in arms. They said, "After additional conversations with the open source community and the Gnome Foundation, we have decided to abandon our pending trademark applications for 'Gnome.' We will choose a new name for our product going forward." The GNOME Foundation has thanked everyone who helped.

My question... does this represent Gnu thinking on the part of Groupon?
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Groupon Backs Down On Gnome

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  • Who would want it anyway?

    • Try it again. Intial Gnome 3 releases weren't that... uh.. stable or feature filled. Since 3.10~ish it's gotten better and 3.12 on is pretty solld. 3.14 we're starting to see some nice polish too. Try it again, use it for a week or so, and check out .

      • 3.14 we're starting to see some nice polish too.

        yeah, but the patches just go on forever

        • Yes, but at least there is movement. I think there is also a huge lack of people and a continued lack of financial support.

          Still, broken-ness and all I'm comfortably using it now and quite like it. I do sort of miss the classic layout and all the cool stuff you could do with compiz - but the shell view is so convenient I couldn't imagine going back.

    • Yeah, Groupon was doing that name a favor by launching a new product with it.

      Actually, I've tried Gnome 3.12 with PC-BSD, and while the UI itself is okay, the applications ain't. After I installed GNOME 3.12, a lot of applications, such as Chess, Four-in-a-row, Epiphany accompanied them. Problem is that under other DEs, those windows can't be moved. Some, like Web/Epiphany, fill up the screen, even going over the taskbars of the DE, so that the only way to go to the other virtual desktop is to close t

      • They work fine for me on Fvwm, both from 3.12 and 3.14. Must be something weird going on in your environment.

      • What makes me sad is the CPU leaks in games. (in versions 3.8.x and 3.10.x). Gnome's minesweeper uses a ton of CPU (for a minesweeper!) and occasionnally locks up. The reversi (Iagno) will consistently lock up with 100% of one core use mid-game right when things become decisive. Also chess used to be bugged (but not in the 2.x versions) with illegal moves and me getting randomly handed the control of the opposing pieces! (illegal castling typically, which I also witnessed in "Microsoft Chess" once. Some dum

  • "ending the recent naming controversy that had the open source community up in arms"

    It did?
    • by ihtoit ( 3393327 )

      a few comments on slashdot, certainly...

      • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

        Enough to get GNOME their war chest in less than 24 hours.

        That probably gave Groupon pause. They probably thought that GNOME was some weakling that they could easily bully. It looks like they though wrong.

        If this sticks, it's a very important precedent and one that benefits the entire community (love or hate GNOME in particular).

        • by ihtoit ( 3393327 )

          Don't ask me why, I couldn't tell you, but if I used Gnome (the X client) I would have donated. If this had been a Microsoft story, I'd've been like "Let the fuckers burn" (I do use Windows 7). Probably something to do with the profit motives of the two communities - one works to improve itself by helping the community improve itself by acting on community input, the other listens to shareholders and the SEC and marketdrones to develop ways of milking "consumers" for every red cent they can get out of them

  • Smart move (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    The risk was not from the Gnome Foundation's lawyers, but from smartasses all around the Internet coming up with ways to get back at Groupon with names for preposterous services that don't quite infringe on Groupon's trademark.

  • by msobkow ( 48369 ) on Tuesday November 11, 2014 @11:53PM (#48365789) Homepage Journal

    I thing Groupon's thinking was more like "Shit! They're willing to go to court over it!"

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Nah, they were more afraid of a protest at their offices. If you consider how smelly the average Unix nerd is, and multiply it by the 20 or so people who would actually show up, it would make sense to back down quickly. I don't blame them.

    • or "Shit! They bought our last deal with the lawyer office, buy one lawsuit, get three free!!"

    • Still, the new name they chose, DisneyApple, is unlikely to ever get confused with anything else...

    • More like the complaint about the name went to their lawyers who said "What's open source? Buzz off hippies!"
      Then the controversy hit their marketing department... who said "We're going to call this thing Gnome? That's a terrible name! And hippies have money now you dolts!"

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 12, 2014 @12:07AM (#48365867)

    The GroupOn Global Code of Conduct start with "What Groupon Stands For: Do the right thing--follow the law, act ethically, and treat people properly."

    This attempt to bully a non-profit for use of it's established trademark does not seem to be consistent with the stated code of conduct. For this to drag out from May to November seems to suggest that GroupOn had no intention of following it's own code of conduct. So, if there has been no policy in place at GroupOn to keep this from happening, how long will it be before another non-profit or FOSS project suffers from the same bullying at the hands of GroupOn?

    I'm also curious to know, at what expense of resources did defending the GNOME trademark come at? Who is paying for the expense of resources? Does the projects GroupOn have on github really justify the set-back that GroupOn has created for the GNOME project?

    This revision of the story from Sri Viswanath leaves me with more questions than answers and makes it very clear that GroupOn is not a company I ever want to do business with.

  • Gnu thinking on the part of the Groupon Collective?
  • The problem probably just finally got escalated inside Groupon. Before it was some stupid desk clerk thinking: Oh, some hobbyists I've never heard of are mad that their little programming club has the same name as our new terminal. No big deal.
    Then it was "Sue them into next wednesday!" "Burn Groupon to the ground!" "Hang them higher!" and their response being "OMFG! It's a project that's FOSS and Linux and they are all friends with IBM, Oracle and Google. And they've got lawyers!"

    Probably some exec with a clue got wind of the situation and concluded that "... yeah, they do have a case and this Gnome Project acutally isn't that small of a deal as one might think. And we have enough bad press as it is. Back down.".

    Smart move I'd say.
    And they even get a little neat publicity for playing nice.

  • by salesgeek ( 263995 ) on Wednesday November 12, 2014 @07:53AM (#48367173) Homepage

    Hate to say, but marketers can be the most oblivious people in the wold. They also create things and have the same feelings of ownership that many of us do when we cook up a heaping helping of awesome code. So, I'm not surprised by Groupon taking a minute to figure out where they stood.

    Last year, the people at my company's marketing department emerged from their cave with a Hire Veterans campaign. Awesome. Except for the fact that the helmet they choose to cap the M-16 with was a Nazi Stahlhelm. When I pointed it out I got the "what do you, developer, know about marketing" response. I answered, "Three of our board of directors are Jewish."

    • by leonbev ( 111395 )

      Do you think that giving the POS terminal the GNOME name was just a piece of viral marketing tactic to begin with?

      Think about it.... nobody on Slashdot (or many of the other technology web sites covering this story) would be talking about Groupon's new product if the Gnome team didn't make such a stink about their brand name. Many of the people reading those sites are potential buyers of this product.

      Maybe they should call it the "iPOS" next, so all of the Apple news sites will get their chance to talk abou

      • Do you think that giving the POS terminal the GNOME name was just a piece of viral marketing tactic to begin with?

        I think that in marketing it is better to be lucky than good. If they are smart they will call it Groupon POS because any other name will squander the brand identity that this little kerfuffle has caused.

  • My question... does this represent Gnu thinking on the part of Groupon?

    It's quite possible. Whatever else you may say about Groupon, it's undeniable that Groupon's Not Unix. In fact, it's likely that Groupon's Not Useful. Especially if their servers run the Hurd.

  • My question... does this represent Gnu thinking on the part of Groupon?

    Gnobody Gnows.

  • We donated to Gnome to help them defend themselves against Groupon. Now they have stated that they will use the funds for the ongoing development. This is crappy message to all donors now and in the future - and a misuse of trust. Why? Because it will make it harder to convince future donors that this is a real emergency and not just a ruse to get money. If somebody asks for a donation for a specific purpose, than they should offer to reimburse the donors if that special purpose goes away. Gnome should rea
  • Ha, thats funny. Funny because they are shelfish Coral, shelfish.
  • What did Groupon's Gnome and the GNOME desktop environment have in common? They are both a POS.

    (I don't actually dislike GNOME though it's not my favorite desktop environment. But I couldn't resist the joke.)

  • "My question... does this represent Gnu thinking on the part of Groupon?"

    Nope, just means they had zero chance to win the lawsuit that was about to be dropped into there laps
  • Perhaps it occurred to them that you probably should not anger a large group of people who happen to have the skills to get back at you in some other perhaps not-so-within-the-law ways? A day or even an hour of downtime of other unrelated servers can be rather expensive. Just saying.
  • The cynic in my says that Groupon did this intentionally to generate a firestorm of controversy to get themselves some free publicity. The only other possible explanation is that they are incredibly foolish.

    • The cynic in ME says Gnome kept this going -or even started it, in collusion with Groupon - to get publicity for Gnome.

"In matrimony, to hesitate is sometimes to be saved." -- Butler