Release name – why?


Not long ago, lwn covered a story about boiling debate surrounding Fedora release names. I never quite understood the point of having a release name. All these years that I’ve been using Fedora, since FC-2, I’ve never known the release name. I’ve never seen anybody answer – release name – when asked about which OS/Fedora they use. I think it’s just not natural to refer to a software by release name. We are more accustomed to remember and refer to a software by version numbers. Imagine what if all softwares start naming their releases? GCC will have some release name, Firefox will have other, Alpine or Thunderbird will have some more, Gnome and Kde will have still new ones, and soon we’ll need a pocket dictionary to know which release name means which version of which software. Not just that, I bet there will be flaming wars about one program using a release name used by some other software.

And all of that for no *good* reason.

Today, as I logged into – – the very first post I saw was


I agree with Mr hughes. It’ll be a lot better and makes total sense to name Fedora 18 as Fedora 18. It’s simple, intuitive, convenient and just much more useful than some obscure word which may be 10-15 people could decipher. Others would just use it for password.


Abandon Fedora release names, please!

10 thoughts on “Release name – why?

  1. absolutely agree. it feels like release names came about around the time another linux distribution with silly animal names started gaining traction. Personally, I can’t remember the release name of Fedora 12 or 13 or 14 or 15…. But those numbers, I remember those!

    • There was release name since the start of Fedora, and the same goes for Debian, so you should check history before drawing incorrect conclusions about Ubuntu.

      And if people do not want to use release name, fine, do not use them that’s your right. But in fact, no one was bothered by the release names until recently, so the problem is not that all release names are bad, just that people do not like the current one, despites having it proposed and choosed by the community. And since saying “the current one is bad, but this is the community therefor the community is bad” is against free software value, most people do change their opinion to avoid cognitive dissonance ( ie, try to belive in 2 contradoctary values ) by thinking that all releases names are bad.
      If release names were really unused, people would not care up to the point of asking to not choose them. I can’t believe that 1 discussion every 6 months is really bothering people, especially in Fedora where there is much more important and lively discussion.

      On the contrary, each time, we see lots of people proposing them, and the first time I saw the process, I tought that Fedora was rely taking community feedback seriously and was impressed. It helped people to think “this is not a red hat dominated project”, and in a cheap way. It help people to bond together, even if that’s not obvious at first sight. It permit to people to understand how the voting system work.

  2. As far as I can tell, release names are just for fun, and sometimes (usually?) to help set the theme of the default desktop background. If you don’t like using release names, then don’t use them, but it works for some people. Possibly the only reason virtually nobody answers with a release name when you ask what version of Fedora they’re running is that (A) you asked for the version, which is a number, and (B) it’s more difficult to discern progression through time with a release name.

    I agree “Beefy Miracle” is a stupid and unprofessional release name, but it’s what the community chose. That’s how open development works.

    And to be perfectly honest, I remember what happened in various Fedora releases by release name. Why? It’s just how my memory works.

    If you want to be perfectly professional and useful, why have abstract version numbers when we could use Ubuntu’s year-and-month system? If everybody adopted that, it would be easy to know which version of something goes with something else.

    Anyway, point is, it’s just for fun and sometimes (usually) marketing/branding.

    • I understand it’s for fun and the names are chosen by the community etc. Still these names don’t seem to serve any *real* purpose beyond some kiddish amusement. Of course it would very well work for some and won’t work as much for others.

      To talk about different naming scheme, I think naming Fedora 18 as Fedora 18 is much better.

  3. The funny thing is that code names really serve no purpose in FLOSS software. Coded = secret therefore code name = secret name which is for when proprietary companies want to keep the next fruit phone a secret.

    That being said – I’ve always loved the game behind code names with Fedora. While it’s fun to hear the alliteration in the Ubuntu names, Fedora is more mentally involved. Has to have a relationship to the previous one, but not the same relationship between the last two. I think it’s a fun mental game and following the chain of release names is neat.

    Also, I do think it helps the art team with the themes – both Lovelock and Verne have been extremely memorable.

  4. So if we abondon release names, where is the design-team to get it’s theme for the release from?

    And what about marketing? We’ll hand out hotdogs and be wearing hotdog costumes at Europe’s biggest Linux event. What do you suggest instead?

    • Hmmn…well, If release name alone is the source of light and inspiration for the design & marketing teams to create themes and marketing materials, then I think there is some problem there.

      Instead of choosing and voting for a release name, we could vote for and choose an idea(or ideas) for themes and marketing material. It’ll give much broader scope than a release name for designers to consider different ideas and could also bring in more variety.

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