None of The Above is abbreviated Nota.
What Does a Nota Vote Mean?
[JesseJamesGarrett] I don't understand what a vote for "none of the above" is intended to accomplish. Does it mean "throw out all the names under consideration and start over"?
[TomasJogin] That's probably what it means, yes.
[JesseJamesGarrett] Seems like the time to voice such an opinion ended when the vote actually started.
[PhilRingnalda] That assumes that everyone with a worthwhile opinion was watching every step along the way, and agreed that the time was right for a final vote, and those were the only possible candidates. Not true, but if so, why all the "blog the vote"? If everyone with a worthwhile opinion already knew about it, there's no need to mention it.
[JesseJamesGarrett] By that standard, we'll never get to a vote. The procedure and schedule for vetting names and voting on them has been in motion for weeks now -- there has been plenty of time to raise objections. We are hardly rushing to a decision here.
[TomasJogin] Seems like nobody cared enough about pie/echo/atom to vet them. Atom and Echo might have been harder to "clear", but the legal "problems" with Pie seems trivial to me. IANAL, of course.
[NickChalko] People cared enough to cut pie/echo/atom, under the assumption any hint of trademark violation was enough remove a candidate.
[JesseJamesGarrett] All of those cases (especially Atom) presented more than a hint of trademark violation. Legal review is expensive and time-consuming even if you don't end up winning the trademark -- it makes no sense to go into it with the odds against you from the start.
[NickChalko] Your right, better to start with the odds in the our favor.
[TomasJogin] One open source project was enough to disqualify "Echo", certainly "Atom" had bigger conflicts than that.
[DavidJacobs] My name and several comments on this page seemed to have been deleted - I'm not sure how or why. Should there be a better place to introduce ones self? And to answer Jesse's question (respectfully) - a vote for none of the above is a vote to "Wait for a better name," in my case.
What Else Could a Nota Vote Mean?
Hmmm, Nota could be considered short for the Latin phrase "nota bene" meaning "note well" - maybe a good esperanto-ish like name for the project, and people who need acronyms can "know" that is stands for none of the above, so you get the metahistorical humor thing happening too. Pronounced "note-uh," btw...
[SeanPalmer] If we get a NOTA win, then to stop us from going around in circles, perhaps we should cede the process to some professionals, with initial wiki involvement. Specifically:-
Create an OpenPoll to get a shortlist of 10 or so names. Any name can be voted for--even those perhaps unfairly & brusquely thrown out because of trademark concerns.
Give the shortlist to professional legal experts for vetting. Sam Ruby has been suggesting this for weeks now, and has stated on his Weblog that he has had offers. If 0 names result from the vetting, go to step 1. Else if 1 name results from the vetting, then use that name. Else go to step 3.
Give the new list to professional marketing/PR experts, and have them choose the best one. The problem with wiki voting is that each person gets one vote, but not all people are equally qualified to deem which name is most suitable.
This would stop us from going around in circles, and ensure that the name is sound from a legal and marketing point of view, whilst also being popular with wiki participants.
[TomasJogin] From a not-lawyer point of view, the names currently on the list does not seem to have legal conflicts. Marketing professionals may know what constitutes a good name in general, but they probably have less of an understanding of what this format/api thing is. The openpoll idea to get a shortlist is exactly what NameFinalVote was for four weeks, until the vote started, a week ago.
[SeanPalmer] Atom, and possibly Echo, may have been dismissed unduly--we have not been told by any legal expert that it is not okay to use those names. The names currently on the list were vetted against ProjectNameGuidelines, not democratically chosen. If NameFinalVote fails, i.e. records a None Of The Above, then there is no reason not to start again with a clean slate taking in mind all of the proposals, and then giving them to some people who do for a living what we're doing here as a hobby. Your point about marketing professionals is a good one, but I presume that there are tech sector marketing people out there, somewhere... Hopefully!
[-0.5] Echo wasn't dismissed because of a legal expert but out of common courtesy and the integrity to stick to our promises.
Isn't the continuing namelessness of this format a bigger liability than selecting a less-than-absolutely-perfect name that slices, dices, and makes Julienne fries? It's disappointing to see so many people choosing to perpetuate the problem rather than working towards a solution. Here's my vote for you none-of-the-abovers: Rally behind one of the existing names, revive one of the removed ones, or promote an alternative. [RogersCadenhead]
[KenMacLeod] I don't believe the lack of a final name is a liability. A working name, like Pie, for example, would be perfectly fine over the next several months before the final specs are able to be published. That gives time to truly clear names.
[+1] since the wiki is called Pie, Pie is the working title till a real title emerges
[+1] It's not a liability now since the process has been going on for so long. If we could have settled on a name at around the time that Echo was chosen, it wouldn't've been too difficult to normalize all the references to the project. But now, everybody's going to remember the GreatNamingStruggle, and people are getting used to saying not-echo, !atom, or just "that format". Using a working name at this point and continuing naming discussions in the background would be a good idea: present a united front to project "outsiders" to lessen confusion, and make sure that people realise it's just a working name. And I believe that "Pie" is more than suitable, as long as people aren't under the impression that it's the final name. [SeanPalmer]
[+1] for "Pie Project" as working name [FrancoisHodierne]
[+1] [ZhangYining] let's just pick one of Pie/Echo/Atom as the working project name (like "Chicago" was the project name for "Windows 95"), and carry on.
[RickThomas] Gee folks, this is a wiki. A poll has no standing except as one way to consensus, which clearly there isn't. It's not like some sclerotic political system rigged against the marginalized Notas. Here, anyone can add a candidate, change his vote, or change the process any time. The simple solution is to suspend the poll and reopen the nominations.
The poll seems to have been suspended, but I can't find a reopening of nominations... [SeanPalmer]
[RickThomas] Also, to the extent that a Nota vote is just a -1 for FeedCast, it doesn't count. As a precedent -1 didn't count against Atom. The only fair vote is straight positive votes for vetted candidates.
A Nota vote is -1 for *all* listed candidates. It is a +1 for scrapping all of them at once and choosing new names. You have a strange definition of fairness if you can't see that the community is deeply divided here.
[RickThomas] You seem to think that 27 Nota votes will somehow erase 44 Oota votes. That is obviously wrong. Only the owners of those votes can change or erase them. A Nota vote only says the voter is not willing to participate in a consensus now, until there's an acceptable candidate. NameFinalVote doesn't "fail"; it is suspended until it can be the basis of a consensus. The Nota block has bought a delay.
That said it seems to me that Notas now have an obligation to "Lead, follow, or get out of the way." Come up with a qualified name you can support, a name that will draw my vote away from FeedCast, a name so cool that it brings in 100 new voters. But I'm not willing to drop my vote in favor of a hypothetical.
One more way of looking at this: A Nota vote literally means you voted "None of the above", nothing more than that. (Millions of other people also voted for none of the above.) (1) This is not at all logically equivalent to a separate question of "Eliminate these candidates from consideration. Yes/No" (2) Implicitly that question failed because more there are more votes for candidates than Nota. and (3) Even if the question was posed and succeeded it would have no force. The "banned" candidates would still eligible. Where is a "write-in" more welcome than on a wiki?
[RogersCadenhead] I removed the following text from the NameFinalVote page. It made it sound like voting for NoneOfTheAbove is an officially santioned way to scuttle the current vote, when it appears that the quote is simply a definition of what "None of the Above" means in a general electoral sense:
'None of the Above' definition: "If 'None of the Above' wins a plurality---more votes than any other candidate---a special election is called with new candidates."
[JasonCosper] I'm actually for calling the project NOTA just so we can move on with it.