Avocet branding - What do you think?

Nikolay Shopik shopik at inblock.ru
Sun Mar 29 13:56:58 UTC 2015

Agree on all points here.

Codename are useful for long-term and big projects, and as Martin cleary
pointed out it also doesn't make sense outside of English-speaking
countries. And even English-speaking users not may understand difference
w/o prior knowledge of how names makeup.

Tie version number on Gecko was clearly mistake back then.

On 29.03.2015 15:45, Martin Kotulla (SoftMaker) wrote:
> Frankly, I don't like much the idea of using bird names:
> 1. Most people outside the English-speaking countries have no idea what
> an avocet or bunting is. They will not even recognize the terms as bird
> names.
> 2. How do you want to make people understand that a bunting is
> better/newer than an avocet? You either need to have multiple releases
> in succession for people to recognize that it is a numbering/naming
> system. Or you need to explain this system to our users, again and again.
> 3. A thunderbird is a (mythological) bird. Explain to the users what
> role a second (real) species plays.
> 4. You wrote that you would use customized artwork to announce a
> release, but Thunderbird in general would use the conventional branding.
> From a branding/marketing viewpoint, this is not good. Create artwork
> and stay with it. The most hardcore branding advocates will even dictate
> the background color the artwork is placed on.
> Imagine we get some good online reviews for TB 38 with a black avocet.
> These reviews stay up for years, and they will often show the artwork.
> When people go to download TB, they will not see this artwork anymore
> but only the "conventional" one, or even the next bird artwork. They
> will be confused.
> 5. Are you ready to run worldwide trademark searches for "avocet",
> "bunting" and every bird name that we will use from now on? Whenever
> some company in god-knows-what-country claims a trademark violation, we
> can fight for the brand "Thunderbird" because it's been in use by
> Mozilla for years worldwide. But avocets and buntings?
> I picked an arbitrary country (Australia) and ran a trademark search for
> avocet. It is in fact registered in Australia for "Computer software in
> the field of oil and gas exploration and production". For me, that's too
> close for comfort. We can probably defend our use, but do we have the
> money for that? And that was just the first country I tried.
> -- 
> What I definitely agree with is the idea of decoupling Gecko version
> numbers from Thunderbird version numbers. There is no reason why a
> component (admittedly a major one) should control the version number of
> the software that uses it.
> Numbers are still the best way to convey the idea of "new release" to
> the users. If they see "Application 6.0" is out and they are still at
> 3.0, they will understand they are hopelessly outdated. Same with
> "Application 2016" when they are still using "Application 2011".
> Unfortunately we can't go back from version 38 to version 9.0 or 10.00.
> You can never decrease a version number without major confusion. My
> suggestion would be to switch to years: Thunderbird 2015, Thunderbird
> 2016 etc. In years where there are two major releases, they would be
> 2017.1 and 2017.2 (or Spring 2017 and Fall 2017. Old die-hard Clipper
> users will love that...)
> The artwork in your post is beautiful, though.
> Martin Kotulla
> SoftMaker Software GmbH
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