Open Source Shenanigans
May 13, 2007 § Leave a comment
Over the course of my career I have had the good fortune to work with some very smart folks. Among the brightest are two multi-faceted, multi-talented programmers, Josh “Joshy” Marinacci and Robert “Cooper” Cooper. These guys are dedicated to continually improving Java, and bringing innovative frameworks and applications to the programming community. Recently they launched an open source project to create an entirely Java-based version of desktop widgets. Widgets are currently offered by Yahoo (formally Konfabulator) and will also be familiar to Mac users in the form of the popular Dashboard widgets.
Originally the project was launched under the mysterious working name “AB5k” and had already begun to attract a following of enthusiastic developers. In a mad dash just before the recent JavaOne conference I pitched in on an effort to rename the project and create a logo to help give it some identity. The current name is now Glossitope. The name is the end result of numerous iterations and eliminations. The word derives from a blend of Glossy and Isotope – intended to evoke a sense of a tangible item with a dynamic core. Once the name was settled on I began to work on logo variations, eventually settling on the “atomic G” which is currently in use on the Glossitope site. For those interested in this sort of thing, we deliberately decided to go for a logo that was more web-friendly than print-friendly although if the name sticks I’m sure we’ll be making one and two-color variations in vector art rather than bitmaps. Naming is always an interesting puzzle as it involves a wide variety of factors including: the input of various stakeholders (in this case we are expecting some eventual guidance from Sun), the time allotted to the process (a frenzied crunch before JavaOne), the intended use and display media, the overall brand message, language and distribution considerations, trademark and domain availability, and lots and lots of opinions. Generally the best way to approach these issues is with considerable amounts of caffeine. A process helps too, but in the end a small amount of gavel banging by a project leader will help keep the timelines on track (thanks Josh).
So at the moment there is a Glossitope project, with a shiny new logo, and rumors of a T-shirt that has yet to surface, but the real story is this very cool new widget platform that promises greater portability and an enhanced range of features over its predecessors. Check it out!