What’s in a name?
For the open source CodePlex Foundation, which shared a name with Microsoft’s CodePlex project hosting site, its name was a potential source of confusion.
The CodePlex Foundation is a Microsoft sponsored open source effort, though the goal is to have a broader base than just Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT). As such the CodePlex Foundation is now changing its name to the Outercurve Foundation in an effort to help differentiate and move the initiative forward.
“The aim of the rebrand is to reduce confusion, which mainly stems from having the same name as the CodePlex forge,” Paula Hunter executive director of the Outercurve Foundation told InternetNews.com. “There have been too many points when what the foundation did and what the forge did were not attributed to the correct entity.”
The CodePlex Foundation started up a year ago as a group dedicated to helping the commercial adoption of open source technologies. Back in 2006, Microsoft launched the CodePlex.com open source project hosting site which is a development forge for code development.
Microsoft is the lead sponsor of the CodePlex Foundation as well, though the name change to Outercurve doesn’t signify a change in the relationship with Microsoft.
“It’s not an attempt to distance ourselves from Microsoft,” Hunter said. “We are very happy with our relationship with our founding sponsor, and proud of the role the foundation plays in enabling Microsoft developers to contribute to and participate in the open source community.”
Confusion between CodePlex.org and CodePlex.com has also potentially hindered the growth of the CodePlex Foundation. Hunter noted that there have been a number of occasions when what the foundation does has been confused with what the forge does.
“We don’t think it has affected our ability to attract projects or sponsors, but it has confused some open source projects and slowed the acceptance process down a bit,” Hunter said.
The name Outercurve is intended to help eliminate confusion over CodePlex and to reinforce what the foundation is all about. Hunter said that the foundation wanted the new name to support their efforts to build credibility for the foundation within the open source community, and make the foundation an attractive investment for additional sponsors.
“The word ‘outercurve’ conveys the idea of a continuum, while showing that we represent the broader constituency of software companies and developers that are now embracing open source,” Hunter said. “The word and the logo show that we are bringing these broader communities together through a shared interest in innovation and growth.”
While the CodePlex Foundation is now the Outercurve Foundation, the core mission and vision remains the same. Hunter said that the focus remains on enabling the exchange of code and understanding among software companies and open source communities.
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.